Backflow Management Program « The City of Lakewood, Ohio -
Photo Credit: Aerial Agents /

Backflow Management Program

Backflow Management Program

The City of Lakewood Water Department is making some improvements to its backflow management program.  Beginning in 2023, the City will be utilizing BSI Online to manage notification letters, overdue letters, and test reports in an online web portal site.  Many neighboring water utilities use BSI Online as well. If you have a backflow device in your plumbing system, then you know that annually you are required to hire a plumber certified in backflow testing to test your device to ensure it is properly working. Instead of mailing it to the City of Lakewood, the certified tester can upload it into the web portal.

Most residential housing units do not have a backflow device.  But backflow can still occur.  Please read the below information to make you aware of practices that could be unsafe to your drinking water.  If you need additional information or have questions please contact the City of Lakewood Water Department at: 216-529-6820.

Cross-Connection Control/Backflow Prevention General Information

What is cross-connection?

A cross-connection is any actual or potential connection between the public or consumer’s potable water system and any non-potable source or substance that present a hazard to the quality of the public or consumer’s potable water system. Therefore, cross-connection control is the management or “control” of these cross-connections to protect public safety by preventing backflow incidents within the public or water consumer’s potable water system.

What is backflow?

Typically, water will flow from the public water supply to the consumer’s plumbing distribution system. Backflow is the undesirable reversal of this flow of water and undesirable substances from the non-potable source to the potable source.

Why do we need a cross-connection control/backflow prevention program?

As required by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Public Health, every drinking water system must have a cross connection control program, more commonly known as a backflow prevention program. Backflow prevention is designed to protect the public water supply from contamination from non-drinkable sources. For this reason, the City of Lakewood created a cross-connection control program with the goal of ensuring the quality of supplied water and protecting water customers.

What Can You Do
Cross-connections can occur every day but often go unreported. They can cause health problems ranging from gastrointestinal illnesses (often attributed to food poisoning) to much more serious health issues. Cross-connections can also negatively affect the overall quality of your water. As the water customer, you are the best resource in protecting or eliminating cross-connections and therefore, preventing backflow.

Helpful Tips

  • Recognize potential cross-connections in your home or business, i.e. fire systems and underground irrigation systems.
  • Protect all potential cross-connections with the appropriate backflow preventer.
  • Report to your water provider if water is discolored or has an unusual odor or taste.
  • If you have a backflow device, comply with annual testing.

Additional Resources