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Irrigation and culinary water systems tips, steps

Article Published 07/02/2009

July 2, 2009

LAYTON — If you’re thinking of installing an irrigation system for your home landscaping, take steps to prevent your irrigation system from contaminating the water you drink. Common causes of culinary water contamination stem from backflow and cross connections.


Reversal of flow in a piping system causing substances other than culinary water to flow back into the culinary water system. The Uniform Plumbing Code and the Utah Public Drinking Water Rules require that all cross-connections be eliminated or protected against backflow by installing an approved backflow prevention device.


Any actual or potential connection between a potable water system and any other source or system through which it is possible to introduce into the public drinking water system any used water, industrial fluid, gas or substance other than the intended potable water.

Cross-connection prevention

A cross-connection probably exists if your water supply is connected to a source that could potentially affect the water quality resulting in health or safety risks. Your water system should be protected with a properly installed backflow prevention device.

• Avoid cross-connection by keeping hoses from being submerged in buckets, animal watering troughs, utility sinks, or swimming pools which can result in siphoning contaminated water back into your culinary water pipes.

• Avoid using a spray attachment on the end of a hose to apply pesticides, and never use hoses connected to water lines to unplug backed up sewer lines.

• Avoid culinary and secondary water cross-connections which create a health hazard due to the existence of contaminations in the untreated secondary water. Your landscaping irrigation system must have a back-flow prevention device if using the culinary water supply.

Keeping culinary water safe may seem like a daunting task, but professional advice and instructions for correct installation are readily available.

Step 1: Visit Layton City Building Department at 437 North Wasatch Drive and obtain instructions and resources for properly installing an irrigation system.

Step 2: Obtain a Layton City sprinkler installation permit ($30).

Step 3: Call your water supplier to verify pressure – culinary water supplier if connecting to the culinary system or secondary supplier if connecting to the secondary water system. Your landscaping irrigation system should be set up to handle an average of 40 psi water pressure.

Step 4: Hire a licensed professional, or if installing the system yourself, seek advice from a company dedicated to selling plumbing or sprinkling parts and equipment.

Step 5: Call Layton City Public Works at (801) 336-3720 to schedule an inspection to confirm the installation has been done properly to prevent backflow and cross-connections.

For more information or to ask questions call: Utah Division of Drinking Water (801) 536-4200; or Layton City Public Works, Darrin Taylor or Greg Harrah (801) 336-3720.