Water supply systems are susceptible to contamination if water flows in the reverse direction of piping systems. This is known as backflow and can be prevented with proper cross connection equipment.
To keep Whistler's drinking water standards as high as possible and prevent backflow contamination, the RMOW has implemented a Cross Connection Control (CCC) Bylaw. A paperless testing and compliance system is in effect.
Cross Connection Control Bylaw No. 2233, 2019
Cross Connection Control Bylaw No. 2233, 2019 was adopted by Council on September 3, 2019. The primary objective of the Bylaw is to provide the RMOW with the ability to enforce compliance with the CCC Program that was established in 2014 and to ensure continued annual testing of backflow preventers.
The immediate focus of enforcement will be to bring industrial, commercial and institutional operators classified as high-hazard into compliance, then followed by those classified as moderate-hazard. At this time, the RMOW does not intend to regulate residential hazards. However, due to the presence of large numbers of irrigation systems and hot tubs in the Municipality, this is likely to be proposed in the future. Additional community engagement would be required at this time.
With the adoption of the Bylaw, staff have directed MTS to send out letters to all of the users with inspections that are over one year old and/or any users with outstanding high hazards. Users who are not in compliance will be subject to the timelines for compliance and/or penalties for non-compliance.
New testing and tagging system
Test reports will be submitted via (Apple or Android) electronic devices such as mobile phones, iPads, laptops, etc. There is a FAST Tester annual software user registration fee of $25.00 (plus taxes). For test reports submitted within the boundaries of the Resort Municipality of Whistler there will be a $10.00 administration fee per test report submitted. There are no charges when submitting failed device test reports, only passed devices. To register for FAST Tester, visit: https://www.fastbfp.ca/mobile
Registrars will need:
- Current supported version of Google Chrome (v74+); this must be used as the browser on your device.
- A valid credit card (MasterCard or Visa).
- Tester’s certification number
- Gauge calibration date
- Each tester must register with a unique email address that will be the username
Please direct all questions to MTS:
Testers must acquire an approved RMOW test tag from the Engineering Department at Municipal Hall to be attached initially to any backflow preventer that does not have the new tag already attached. These tags are meant to be filled out during each annual test date saving waste and prevent confusion.
Initial cross connection assessments
The RMOW contracted Maintenance Tracking Systems Inc. (MTS) to conduct assessments on the water system connections of industrial, commercial and institutional operators in Whistler from July to October 2014.
MTS assessed the following for the RMOW:
- Provided users with recommendations on how to improve their cross connection systems;
- Determined if a user’s existing backflow prevention device is in compliance with the British Columbia Plumbing Code; and
- Assign a cross connection hazard classification for the user’s operation in accordance with CSA Standard B64.10.
The RMOW has been working with industrial, commercial and institutional operators classified as high-hazard to address any potential cross connection issues. The RMOW values the community's cooperation and participation with this program to safeguard our drinking water supply.
Residential pools and hot tubs
Residential cross connection control types include items such as pools and hot tubs. Residents should be aware that pools and hot tubs that are permanently connected to the home plumbing system are direct cross connections and must be protected with a suitable backflow device. An unprotected cross connection could draw pool water and chemicals back into your household plumbing system and public water supply. When filling a pool or hot tub with a hose, never submerge the end of the hose as this is another cross connection. Always leave an air gap when filling pools, tubs, sinks or containers. Or use a backflow prevention device known as a hose connections vacuum breaker. This can be purchased at your local plumbing supply store.
- Council presentation – Cross Connection Control Program (February 5, 2013)
- Council report - Cross Connection Control Program (February 5, 2013)
- Council presentation - Cross Connection Control Bylaw (August 13, 2019)
- Council report - Cross Connection Control Bylaw (August 13, 2019)