Residential Cross Connection

Beginning in the fall of 2021, the City of Brighton, with the help of HydroCorp, will begin its Residential Cross Connection Program in conjunction to its already-established Commercial Cross Connection Program, both of which are mandated by the State of Michigan.

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What is a Cross Connection?

A cross connection can be described as a connection or arrangement of piping through which “backflow” of non-potable water could flow directly into the public drinking water supply. Backflow is a reversal of flow in a public supply that allows water of questionable quality, containments, and wastes to enter the distribution system.  There are two types of backflows, backsiphonage and backpressure.  Backsiphonage can occur during water main breaks or during firefighting activities.  Back pressure can occur if pump starts and creates a higher pressure area than the downstream pressure. Both types of backflows are real concerns for water operators and can occur in commercial and residential plumbing.  State regulatory agencies require all public water suppliers to maintain an on-going Cross Connection Control program involving public education, onsite inspections, and possible corrective actions taken by building and homeowners, if required.


Below are frequently asked questions and expectations regarding the Residential Cross Connection Program.  If you have any questions, please contact the water department at 810-844-5115.


Why is the City of Brighton/HydroCorp inspecting my Home?

  • HydroCorp has been contracted by the City of Brighton to assist with their Residential Cross-connection Control Program. The Program includes two parts: (1) onsite inspections and (2) testing of backflow prevention assemblies. HydroCorp inspectors will be conducting a visual inspection of the water uses outside of your home (outside spigots, lawn irrigation system, secondary sources of water, pools, etc.) to identify cross connections that could possibly contaminate your drinking water or the public water supply.

I’ve never had an inspection before. Why do I need one now?

  • The City of Brighton has had a Cross Connection Program for a number of years, which began with inspections of all of the commercial and industrial accounts. As a natural progression of our program, we are now inspecting residential customers as required by the State of Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE).

Are these inspections mandatory?

  • These inspections are conducted in order to ensure compliance with state and local regulations, but more importantly, to maintain the safety of your drinking water.

When will inspections begin

  • Inspections will begin in the fall of 2021 and progress to each district until all inspections are complete. District 1 will be the first area inspect.  It is anticipated to have all residences inspected by the spring 2024. Please see the map and schedule below or view as a PDF here:
Residential Cross Connection Districts

Tentative Inspection Schedule

  • District #1- Fall 2021
  • District #2 – Spring 2022
  • District #3 – Fall 2022
  • District #4 – Spring 2023
  • District #5 – Spring 2024
  • District #6 – Fall 2024

Do I have to be present for the inspection?

  • These inspections are for the exterior of your home only. HYDROCORP WILL NOT BE ENTERING YOUR HOME AT ANYTIME DURING INSPECTIONS and they will only require access to your front and backyard.

How long does the inspection take?

  • An average inspection normally takes from 10 to 20 minutes, depending on the size of your property and the number of backflow devices.

Does HydroCorp inspectors carry identification?

  • All HydroCorp inspectors wear photo ID badges during inspections and are prepared to provide appropriate documentation verifying their identities.

What happens if I refuse to have the inspection done or to correct any problems it identifies?

  • These inspections and repairs are required per the State of Michigan and City of Brighton Ordinance. Residents who do not allow the inspection or who do not make the necessary repairs will be issued two separate warnings. If a resident does not comply after these two notices, a final shut off notice will be issued. If the resident still chooses not to allow the inspection or make the repair, it could result in water service interruption until compliance is met.

 Who is responsible for completing the repairs for backflow devices if necessary?

  • Homeowners are responsible for any needed repairs; however, renters may need to refer to their lease agreements in order to determine if they are responsible for these repairs.


Why do I need to test my backflow prevention assembly?

  • Just like any other mechanical device, backflow prevention assemblies are prone to wear and tear, and do break down from time to time. Regular testing is required in order to ensure that your device remains in proper working order.

Who is responsible for paying for backflow device testing?

  • Homeowners are responsible for any costs associated with required testing for backflow devices. Renters may have to refer to their lease agreements in order to determine if they are responsible for the costs of backflow device testing.

Why doesn’t the City pay for the testing of my backflow preventer?

  • A lawn irrigation system is not a required component of the water system. Homeowners who choose to install a lawn irrigation system as a convenience are responsible to ensure the backflow preventer is properly installed and maintained in accordance with State laws and regulations. It would be unfair for the City of Brighton to require homeowners who choose not to have a lawn irrigation system to absorb the financial burden of maintaining your privately owned system.

Who can test backflow prevention devices?

  • HydroCorp does not perform testing on backflow devices when they are conducting inspections. Only certified testers (plumbers) can perform backflow assembly testing on public water systems. Test results are only valid if performed by a tester certified in accordance with ASSE Standard 5110.  A list of local backflow testers can be found at Michigan Plumbing and Mechanical Contractors Association website -

I received a test notice, but your inspector was just here and said everything was fine.

  • There are two parts to the Cross Connection Control Program. The first is an onsite inspection by a cross connection control inspector to ensure that the proper backflow prevention devices and assemblies are in place to protect your drinking water. Some of the assemblies the inspector finds or asks you to install are testable assemblies, which are mechanical and can malfunction. The testing notice refers to testing the operation of these backflow prevention assemblies. These tests must be performed by a certified tester.

How often should I test my backflow prevention assembly?

  • The Residential Cross Connection Program requires that all testable backflow preventers are tested every three years. If you are injecting chemicals into your lawn irrigation system, most State regulations and plumbing codes require the backflow preventer to be tested on an annual basis.

Is any older, legacy equipment “grandfathered” in?

  • “Grandfathering” is not permitted due to the high importance of maintaining drinking water safety. Just like any other mechanical device, backflow prevention assemblies are prone to wear and tear, and do break down from time to time. Regular testing is required in order to ensure that your device remains in proper working order.

Additional information for homeowners can be found on HydroCorp’s website by clicking HERE.

Please follow the links below to review previously-published Brighton Bulletin articles regarding the Residential Cross Connection Program.

Hose Bib Vacuum Breakers
Cross Connections
Pressure Vacuum Breaker Devices
Residential Cross Connections

For more information on Cross Connection:

Cross Connection 101
  Video Explaining Residential Cross Connection, the Inspection Process, and Backflow Devices


Questions? Contact Us:
City of Brighton Water Department