Cross-connections & Backflow prevention


Everyday, the City of Ripley, Tennessee proudly supplies an average of 2 million gallons of water to its citizens as well as exceeding the requirements by the Tennessee Department of Environmental and Conservation and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Before the water is pumped to your home or business, it has gone through careful treatment and numerous tests to ensure its quality. RGWW follows strict standards to ensure the public water supply is clean and safe.

Again, all costs associated with the installation, operation, maintenance, testing, and/or repair of backflow prevention devices are the responsibility of the customer.

Congress established the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) in 1974 to protect human health from contaminants in drinking water and to prevent contamination of existing groundwater supplies. This act and its amendments require actions to be made to protect our resources. One of these actions is the installation and maintenance of approved backflow prevention assembly at the water service connection whenever a potential hazard is determined to exist in the customer’s system.

Our Responsibility:
  • Enforcing the Cross-Connection Control Program or Backflow Prevention Program in order to ensure compliance with all state and federal standards.
  • Our office does not test backflows.
  • Once a backflow device has been properly installed, the customer is responsible for coordinating the proper testing and certification on an annual basis with a licensed plumber.
  • A Copy of all backflow test results should be sent to RGWW.
  • If the test indicates that the backflow device requires repair, RGWW will notify you in writing of the problem, and you will need to coordinate any repairs and retests.
  • If your device is working properly, then your backflow device is approved for use for another year and you will not receive any notification
Your Responsibility:
  • Protecting the water on your property.
  • The responsibility starts at the water meter and includes your entire property’s water system.
  • Again, all costs associated with the installation, operation, maintenance, testing, and/or repair of backflow prevention devices are the responsibility of the customer.
  • If you receive notice that your backflow’s test failed, there will be additional instructions in the notice with regard to the time frame you have to make the repair and submit the properly certified documentation to RGWW.
What is a Cross-Connection?

Cross-connections are connections between drinking water and other water or fluids of unknown quality. Our program is designed to help identify and prevent cross-connections. A backflow preventer is required, if the potential for a cross-connection exists.

If your water piping is connected to a source of non-potable or undrinkable water, a direct cross-connection has occurred (sprinkler system).

Indirect cross-connections can be made by garden hoses and temporary connections that may be connected for only a few minutes

What is Backflow?

Backflow is when water flows backward into the public water distribution system. This is usually caused when pressure in a home plumbing system is higher than the pressure in the distribution system (back siphonage).

The difference in pressure could be due to a pressure drop in the distribution system. For example, if there is a main break in your area or if water is drawn from a hydrant near your home, the pressure in the distribution system could be less than that in your plumbing system.


Monday–Thursday: 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Friday: 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.


116 Church Street, Ripley, TN 38063
(731) 635-1212