A cross-connection is a connection between the drinking water plumbing system and any other source, which may contribute to the degradation of the quality of the drinking water.  Heceta Water People’s Utility District (HWPUD) works hard to provide the safest water possible to your home.  However, once this water enters your property, there are common problems that may arise due to improper changes in, or misuse of, your plumbing system.

Have you ever considered all of the places that you use water in your home?  You may be surprised how many different ways water can be used, and possibly misused.

SINKS, TUBS, TANKS – The faucets in your bathroom or kitchen must be located so that the end of the faucet is above the overflow level of the sink or tub.  Fill lines to water troughs or tanks must also be physically separated or “air-gapped.”  If there is no air-gap, the contents of the sink, tub, or tank may be sucked or “back-siphoned” into the water line during a loss of water pressure.

TOILETS – Toilets need water to flush the waste material into your septic system.  The water that flushes the toilet enters into the toilet tank from the small hose or pipe connected to the bottom of the toilet tank.  It is essential that the float-valve (or anti-siphon ballcock) inside of the toilet tank is the correct type so that the contents of the toilet tank don’t get back into the drinking water system in your house.  The anti-siphon ballcock and refill tube must be above the water level in the tank.

IRRIGATION – Irrigation systems make watering of your lawn or garden much easier, but if not properly constructed, contaminants may backflow into your drinking water.  Backflow protection may be provided with vacuum breakers: atmospheric (AVB) or pressure (PVB or SVB), or reduced pressure principle assemblies (RP).  Water pooling around sprinkler heads may be contaminated by chemicals, fertilizers, or animal waste.

HOSE BIBBS – Hose bibbs are part of our everyday life.  They allow us to hook up a garden hose to water the plants, wash the car, clean out the gutters, fill the swimming pool, etc. However, every time you connect a garden hose to a hose bibb, you are extending the end of the water line.  To make sure that no harmful materials are drawn back into the garden hose, a vacuum breaker should be installed on each hose bibb.

If you have questions or concerns about cross-connection or backflow issues on your property, call our Cross-Connection Specialist, Kyler Paselk at 541-997-2446 or by email

Take a look at our Cross-Connection Ordinance – Ordinance 2019-01 .

Find approved assemblies on USC website under Favorites List of Approved Assemblies.