Cross Connection/Backflow Prevention Program

2019/20 Residential Survey Link

For those completing the 2019/20 residential cross connections survey, you can find the online survey at this link. More information about backflow prevention and the survey can be found below.

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.

2019/2020 Residential Survey Information FAQs

General Information

In December 2019, the Village's contractor, Backflow Solutions, Inc (BSI), will begin the 2019/2020 residential survey. The purpose of this survey is to help verify the Village's current information on backflow devices and identify previously unknown backflow prevention devices in the community or places where a device is needed in order to protect the public water supply. Your participation in the survey is highly appreciated. . 

Why am I receiving the survey?

Under IEPA regulations, the Village must survey all of its residential and commercial customers on a regular basis, regardless of whether or not they have any backflow devices.This is to verify the Village's existing backflow device information as well as identify previously unknown devices or places where a device is needed but does not currently exist.

How do I respond?

You can respond by visiting BSI Online's website or filling out the sheet enclosed in the original survey you received and mailing it back using the pre-addressed, pre-stamped envelop included with your survey. Please note that if you are responding online, you will need your water billing account number to complete the survey.

How long will the survey take?

The survey should take less than five minutes to complete.

What happens if I don't respond?

If a residential property does not respond to the survey, BSI Online will conduct a visual survey of that property from the street or sidewalk in the coming spring or summer. Again, this survey is to verify the Village's existing backflow device information as well as identify previously unknown devices or places where a device is needed but does not currently exist. If you need a device and currently a device is not on file, you will receive a notice with next steps to take. Please note: BSI inspectors will not step onto your private property. 

How can I get my water billing account number for the survey?

Your water billing account number can be found on the survey introduction letter and the survey itself (see highlighted examples of the introduction letter and survey for assistance). If you do not have either notice, you can check your most recent water bill. If you do not have your most recent utility bill, please contact the Public Works Department at 847-272-4711. 

Property Owner FAQs Regarding Backflow Devices and Annual 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.

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 fines of up to $750 per day.

When do I need to have my device tested?

All devices must be tested on an annual basis, regardless of use. The due date each year is exactly one year from the previous test date. 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.

Where can I learn more about backflow?

Below are some important documents regarding backflow and cross connection programs.

Cross Connection/Backflow Prevention Documents