Cross Connection/Backflow Prevention Program

General Program Information

As part of its on-going responsibilities under Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) regulations, the Village must maintain an active cross connection program to prevent backflow. This page answers some of the common questions the Village receives about cross connections and the role they play in our water system. 

What is backflow?

Backflow is the reserve flow of water from an individual water customer’s private system to the public distribution system. This can occur any time there is a pressure change in the system (from a water main break, etc.). If the pressure in the private system becomes higher than in the public system, it can cause water to be suctioned back into the public system. 

While in some cases backflow is not a major concern, it can be in any case where the water in a private system could be non-potable (i.e. non-drinkable). For example, some fire sprinkler systems add anti-freeze to the water in their system to prevent pipes from freezing. If this water was to be drawn back into the public supply, it could contaminate it. 

What are cross connection programs?

A cross connection program is designed to identify potential places where backflow can occur and secure them by means of installing a special backflow prevention device. These devices work by preventing water that has already flowed through the device from reversing course. In Illinois, these programs require that utilities oversee the annual submission of testing certifications for each testable backflow device in their service area and conduct periodic surveys to identify any previously unknown devices or places where a device is required but not currently installed.

Who is Backflow Solutions, Inc.?

Backflow Solutions, Inc (also known as BSI Online) is a backflow device data management firm that has been contracted by the Village to manage its cross connection program. If you have one or more backflow prevention devices, you will receive notices directly from BSI Online regarding when your annual tests are due. Additionally, you will also receive notices from BSI Online about the periodic backflow surveys that the Village must conduct. These notices are legitimate. If you have any questions about notices, please contact BSI Online directly or, if you’re not sure if a notice is legitimate, contact the Public Works Department at 847-272-4711.

Testing

Do I have a backflow prevention device?

Residential and commercial properties with irrigation systems, autofilled pools/hot tubs/spas, or fire sprinkler systems are required to have a backflow prevention device. Certain commercial properties may also have additional devices depending on their operations.

For help determining if you have a backflow device, please contact Backflow Solutions. For questions regarding if you need a device, please contact a licensed plumber.

If I have a backflow prevention device, what do I need to do?

If you have a device, under state regulations, you must have it tested annually. Testing must be done by a certified plumber and be submitted to the Village after the tests are complete. Failure to test a device can result in daily fines until the device is tested.

When do I need to have my device tested?

All devices must be tested on an annual basis, regardless of use. The due date will be the same date each year for each individual customer. When BSI Online mails your first notice, it will include the date of your last test as well as the name and contact information for the plumber who last completed it.

I want to permanently disconnected my device. What should I do?

If you would like to permanently disconnect your device, please contact the Development & Planning Services Department at 847-664-4050 for information on obtaining a plumbing permit. Once the device has been disconnected, you will no longer need to complete the annual testing. However, please note that if a device is reconnected, the annual testing requirement will resume. 

I do not plan on using my device this year. What should I do?

A property owner may request an exemption for a single year at any time if they do not plan to use the device that year. However, no device can be granted two consecutive exemptions.

Where can I learn more about backflow?

At the bottom of this page are some important documents regarding backflow and cross connection programs.

Cross Connection/Backflow Prevention Documents