Cross Connection Control Program

Frequently Asked Questions

A cross connection is when the drinking water supply line is connected to a non-potable substance (examples: industrial equipment lines, a garden hose filling a spa).

Certain conditions may cause water in the drinking water distribution system to reverse flow (examples: lower system pressure from fire-fighting activities or broken water mains) and bring non-potable substances back into the drinking water supply.​

Backflow Assemblies are devices that are installed at the facility’s water service connections, and prevent non-potable substances from flowing back into the drinking water supply.

Backflow Assembly Device image

To ensure that backflow assemblies are protecting public health and the environment, the Title 17 of the California Code of Regulations Section 7605, and the Sacramento County Code Section (SCC) 6.30.110, require the facility owner and or operator to have their facility backflow assemblies tested when they are first installed and at least annually thereafter. Assemblies may require ​​more frequent testing as determined by EMD.

Contact an EMD registered tester from the Certified Backflow Prevention Assembly Tester list and have them test all of the backflow assemblies listed on the notice.

Once they have tested your assemblies, the tester will put a blue colored test tag on your backflow assemblies.  This tag shows you, and EMD, that your assemblies passed the field test.

When finished, the tester will electronically submit the test data to EMD.  Ask the tester to send you a copy of the electronic test report; it includes the date EMD received the compliance information.

Ultimately, it is the responsibility of the owner and/or operator for making sure EMD receives the test reports within 20 days of the field test.

You received this type of notice because one or more of your facility’s backflow devices didn’t pass field testing, and you are required to repair the defect (SCC 6.30.110).

Contact an EMD registered tester from the Certified Backflow Prevention Assembly Tester list to perform the repair maintenance on the assembly. In some cases, the assembly must be replaced due to age, or severity of damage.

Once the assembly has been repaired, or replaced, the assembly must be retested to show it’s in working order. Question 05 (above) lists the testing requirements.

You received this type of notice because your facility is required to have an approved backflow device installed at the water service connection (SCC 6.30.060 and 6.30.070).

  • Review the installation letter for the punch list of EMD requirements.
  • Contact a licensed contractor to start the installation process (many of the EMD registered testers have the required licenses).
  • Contact your water service agency to verify if there are additional requirements before you start installation (e.g. scheduling a site visit with the water agency representative)
  • Ensure that the backflow device you plan on using is listed on EMD’s approved device list.
  • Obtain the appropriate building permit from your local building department.
  • Once the device has been installed, the assembly must be tested to show it’s in working order. Question 05 - (Annual Backflow Assembly Testing Reminder above lists the testing requirements.

If you are the current owner and or operator, send the new information to

Be sure to include the site address, facility / business name, your name as the owner, and contact information.  Also, include the EMD owner record number (e.g. “OW0000123”) listed on the second page of the notice.

If you had the assemblies tested, repaired or installed, contact your backflow tester and verify the test report was sent to EMD. Electronically submitted test reports will list the date the tester entered your test reports.

If you have not had your assemblies tested, repaired or installed, you need to do so. Please refer to Questions 05 through 07 for details.

EMD may take administrative enforcement action against the owner and/or operator including civil penalties up to $1,000.00 per violation for each day that the violation(s) occur.

Additionally, your water provider may discontinue service for non-compliance.

​​Also see Cross Connection (Backflow Tester) Data Entry Portal FAQs