Our Homepage Donation to Forum Overhead Smoke Signals Magazine Welocme Merchandise Associations Purchase Subscription Amazon Affiliate
Go Back   The BBQ BRETHREN FORUMS. > Discussion Area > Catering, Food Handling and Awareness > Food Handling General Discussion


Food Handling General Discussion General and open discussion for food handling and safety.

Thread Tools
Old 05-29-2006, 11:18 AM   #1
bbqjoe's Avatar
Join Date: 01-16-06
Location: Wikieup Arizona
Default Group discussion #6 Water backflow & cross connection

This is not so much a food issue as it is a health issue, but it does apply to cooking etc.

This is something that most people wouldn't think about.
In commercial applications it is health code, in some communities it is addressed by building codes.
But either way it is still very easy to contaminate your home or even your communities water supply.
The eaisest way to to do this is by "Cross connection." And I am willing to bet 100% of us are all guilty at one time or another of setting up the potential for it.

Cross connection is when used water is permitted a route to sanitary water.

The simplest and most common method is your garden hose.

Imagine this scenario: You fill up the kids wading pool.
The kids all play in it. The neighbors kids join in. Even the family dog plays with the kids in pool. We now have a nice "Bacteria soup, sitting at optimum temperatures for rapid growth. The garden hose is left dangling over the side into the pool.

Any number of things can now happen, and probably won't, but the possibility is there.

Your foot valve (one way valve) on your well gives up, or maybe the local fire dept. opens a hydrant close by for some reason. Either way a drop in water pressure occurs and creates a vaccumm.
The water in your wading pool is sucked backwards into your home plumbing system, and maybe down into your well.

Or what if you had a garden hose sprayer with fertilizer or insecticides hooked up when the incident occurred.
This is really only one example, and I'm sure there are many more, such as a sink sprayer left in dirty dish water.

The best protection against this is a simple backflow preventer that is attached to your outdoor hose bibs. (Available at your local hardware for about 5 bucks.) These are required at all food handling facilities.

Do you have them at your home?
Do you think you need them?
Will you be getting any soon?
bbqjoe is offline   Reply With Quote

Old 05-29-2006, 08:07 PM   #2
MilitantSquatter's Avatar
Join Date: 09-17-05
Location: Mooresville, NC

Thanks for the insight Joe... The garden hose fertilizer spray opened my eyes up.... It's probably the only time I'd have any concern regarding my outdoor connection. I'm surprised that this is not mandatory for residential everywhere.

I'll check into buying the backflow preventer next trip out. $5 won't hurt.
XL BGE (#2) & Performer Platinum

Former owner: Jambo Backyard, Klose BYC, Lonestar Vertical offset w/ Insulated Firebox, Medium Spicewine, Pitts & Spitts, XL BGE (#1) & (2) Medium BGE's, 22" WSM & (2) 18" WSM's, 18" & 22" Weber Kettles
MilitantSquatter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-29-2006, 09:07 PM   #3
Grand Poobah and Site Admin
BBQchef33's Avatar
Join Date: 08-11-03
Location: Long Island, NY
Name/Nickname : Phil

Does this apply when your hooked up to municipal or city water with constant pressure? i cant se how a negative pressure can result and cause a syphon from my pool(or whatever). It would have to get thru the valves to the hose. Does this only apply to wells?
Site Administrator and
Grand PooBah

CBJ with a Fuzzy Blue Hat, 18 Foot Competition Trailer, Customized Klose BYC, Custom Built Shirley built to feed our Veterans(A.K.A "Abrams"), 1 Double Barreled Lang 84, 1 Heavily Modified Bionic Bandera, 1 Custom Super Medium Stickburning Spicewine w/stoker, 2 XL BGE, 1 Mini BGE, 2 Pit Barrel Cookers, 3 WSMs, 3 Weber Kettles, an NB Hondo, A Modified Brinkman Horizontal, DCS 48" Grill, a Broilmaster P3, a Blackstone 36 and 17, a covered, pellet pooping FEC100, and our duck died. :(

News Flash:
"A mans worth is judged by the weight of his integrity "

You know your getting older when you choose your cereal for the fiber, not the toy

Smoke on KC.
BBQchef33 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-29-2006, 09:14 PM   #4
bbqjoe's Avatar
Join Date: 01-16-06
Location: Wikieup Arizona

I found this while searching your question:

Without proper protection devices, something as useful as your garden hose has the potential to poison your home's water supply. In fact, over half of the nations cross connections involve unprotected garden hoses.
What is a "cross-connection?" A cross-connection is a permanent or temporary piping arrangement which can allow your drinking water to be contaminated if a backflow condition occurs.
What is "backflow?" It's just what it sounds like: the water is flowing in the opposite direction from its normal flow. With the direction of flow reversed, due to a change in pressures, backflow can allow contaminants to enter our drinking water system through cross-connection.
A potentially hazardous cross-connection occurs every time someone uses a garden hose sprayer to apply insecticides or herbicides to their lawn. Another cross-connection occurs when someone uses their garden hose to clear a stoppage in their sewer line.
Without a backflow prevention device between your hose and hose bibb (spigot or outside faucet), the contents of the hose and anything it is connected to can backflow into the piping system and contaminate your drinking water.
This hazardous situation sometimes can affect more than a single home. In 1977, an entire town in North Dakota had to be rationed drinking water from National Guard water trucks while the town's water distribution system was flushed and disinfected following contamination by DDT. Investigation determined that two residents spraying DDT had made direct cross-connection to their homes. A backflow condition had occurred, sucking the DDT through the home piping systems andout into the town's water system.
Backflows due to cross-connections are serious plumbing problems. They can cause sickness and even death. However, they can be avoided by the use of proper protection devices. Each spigot at your home should have a hose-bibb vacuum breaker installed. This is a simple, inexpensive device which can be purchased at any plumbing or hardware store. Installation is as easy as attaching your garden hose to a spigot.
bbqjoe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-29-2006, 10:43 PM   #5
Full Fledged Farker
midnight's Avatar
Join Date: 10-17-03
Location: small town South Dakota

I used to work in the Plumbing field years ago and we had a news article cliped from a paper that we had hanging on our bulitin board.

It was a story about a school that had a red tint in the water coming out of their faucets and their drinking fountains. They had a local plumber come and check out their water lines and he couldn't find what the problem was. Luckily the school called the health dept to come test the water, they were worried it was rust or contained lead. The health dept. began investigating the problem.

What they found: A funeral home about a block away had an embalming table with a sink at the end for catching "fluids" from the dead bodies. They would rinse out the sink with a small length of garden hose attached to the sink faucet. The hose was never disconected and was long enough to touch the bottom and all the "fluids". When the school was in session all the water it used created a negative preassure and caused the fluids to be sucked up and back into the water supply where it was thinned out with all the fresh water leaving just a trace of pink in the water, and right on out the drinking fountains at the school!!

All it took to fix the problem was a backflow preventer and a shorter piece of garden hose.
Some people are like Slinkys, they are good for nothing but can still bring a smile to your face when you push them down the stairs.

Down to one lonely ol' Bandera.
midnight is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-30-2006, 12:10 AM   #6
bbqjoe's Avatar
Join Date: 01-16-06
Location: Wikieup Arizona

Thank you Midnight for that "Colorful" verification.
bbqjoe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-30-2006, 09:59 AM   #7
somebody shut me the fark up.
Arlin_MacRae's Avatar
Join Date: 04-14-04
Location: Choctaw, OK


I've never even heard of a "backflow condition". Thanks for starting this thread, Joe!
Arlin MacRae

Primo Oval Junior, Traeger Model 075 Pellet Pooper, Big Chief, Kingfisher Kooker 14" gas/wood combo, PBC Brethren Edition, Pit Boss NASCAR Tailgater
Home Brewer, Murderer of Squirrels, Armadillo Inspector
Flaming Pig Head Mod
Certified KCBS Master BBQ Judge
Arlin_MacRae is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-30-2006, 12:24 PM   #8
is one Smokin' Farker
CharlieBeasley's Avatar
Join Date: 09-12-05
Location: Owego, NY

More great information but 5 dollars for everyone on the public water you are on could get expensive. With all the BS regulations we have to protect us from our selves one would think the city \ public water sources would have a means of preventing this for us all "Dead Body Fluids I knew I did not like to drink water. More Beer!
Charlie Beasley
New Owner of old Bandera (8 years or so)
New Smokette 008 (Love IT)
CharlieBeasley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-30-2006, 12:31 PM   #9
somebody shut me the fark up.
chad's Avatar
Join Date: 08-13-03
Location: Clearwater, FL

There was a '70s or early '80s "made for TV" movie about a stadium that was having a lot of problems with people getting sick...lot's of polyester and blow dry hair-dos!! Turned out a utility sink with hose as the was backflowing wash water into the drinking system and one water cooler in particular...

Actually, from what I remember it was a pretty well done movie...
Southern Brethren BBQ Competition Team

"It's all about getting paid!" - Myron Mixon
"I love being hated in my hometown!" - David Hair

KingFisher Gator Rotisserie cooker (RIP), WSM (RIP), Stainless 5 burner with IR gas grill (RIP), Turkey Fryer, Weber JD Commemorative grill (RIP), Masterbuilt 40" insulated ELECTRIC smoker (new heating element),
Pit Boss Tailgater pellet pooper.
chad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2006, 02:15 AM   #10
Quintessential Chatty Farker
Sawdustguy's Avatar
Join Date: 09-14-05
Location: Vernon, Connecticut

I don't know about you guys but when I installed my lawn sprinkler system I found out that code was to have double check and anti-siphon valves to protect against this very thing. I also found out there was no such code for our domestic water system so I installed double check and anti-siphon valves on my domestic water supply at the entrance to my house just after the meter.
Guy (Pitmaster)
BBQ Team: Lawn Guyland Smokers

Stupidity for Dummies

…because sometimes, you just can’t dumb it down enough…
Sawdustguy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2006, 10:05 AM   #11
is Blowin Smoke!
ZILLA's Avatar
Join Date: 12-01-05
Location: Universal City, Texas

So could my homes water system be contaminated by my neighbors water system if they have a problem with back flow?
ZILLA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2006, 11:50 AM   #12
bbqjoe's Avatar
Join Date: 01-16-06
Location: Wikieup Arizona

Originally Posted by ZILLA
So could my homes water system be contaminated by my neighbors water system if they have a problem with back flow?
If you are on a public water system, the answer is yes.
bbqjoe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2006, 05:31 PM   #13
Babbling Farker
qman's Avatar
Join Date: 07-08-05
Location: Ocoee, Fl

City code in Orlando requires back-flow prevention on all outside bibbs, residential and commercial, and as Joe said, any hose bibb in a health regulated area.
Para Bellum
qman is offline   Reply With Quote

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Roll Call. Inside 30 days. Cross Points BBQ Contest, Shawnee, KS - Sept. 12 & 13, 2009 SmokeMeTender Competition BBQ 4 09-05-2008 11:47 AM
Group Discussion #1 Rubber gloves bbqjoe Food Handling General Discussion 73 08-29-2008 02:22 AM
Group Discussion #5 Cutting boards bbqjoe Food Handling General Discussion 31 08-02-2006 07:25 AM
Group discussion #3 The "Danger zone" bbqjoe Food Handling General Discussion 8 05-24-2006 02:30 PM
Group Discussion #2 Hats, hairnets, both or none? bbqjoe Food Handling General Discussion 15 05-22-2006 10:34 AM

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Forum Custom Search: Enter your Search text below. GOOGLE will search ONLY the BBQ Brethren Forum.
Custom search MAY not work(no display box) in some configurations of Internet Explorer. Please use compliant version of Firefox or Chrome.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:00 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
2003 -2012 © BBQ-Brethren Inc. All rights reserved. All Content and Flaming Pig Logo are registered and protected under U.S and International Copyright and Trademarks. Content Within this Website Is Property of BBQ Brethren Inc. Reproduction or alteration is strictly prohibited.
no new posts