Site Accessibility Information Access Key 1 to Skip to Top Navigation Access Key 2 to Skip to the Three One One link Access Key 3 to Skip to City of Winnipeg Main Menu Access Key 4 to Skip to Left Navigation Menu Access Key 5 to Skip to Content area Access Key 6 to Skip to Right Sidebar content area Access Key 7 to Skip to Footer Links

Cross-Connection Control and Backflow Prevention

Licensed backflow testers
What is a cross-connection?

A cross-connection is a plumbing arrangement that physically connects the public water system with a source of potential pollution or contamination. It is vital to remove or protect cross-connections in order to prevent backflow into potable water.

What is backflow?

Backflow is the undesirable reversal of potential pollution or contamination through an unprotected cross-connection and into the City's water system. An example would be a hose attached to a pesticide spray bottle. If a drop in water pressure occurs, the hose could act as a siphon and suck contaminants into your water supply.

Ultimately, backflow has the potential to cause the contamination of the entire public water supply, posing a risk for anyone using the water for drinking, cooking, bathing, or other purposes.

Backflow and cross-connections are regulated by the City’s Water By-law, which is mandated through Manitoba’s Drinking Water Safety Act.  The Act directs the City to protect the public drinking water system from source to tap.

The City’s Water By-law requires property owners to remove cross-connections from their plumbing system. If that is not possible, property owners must install backflow prevention devices, which prevent water from flowing backward into the public drinking water system. Failing to comply with the by-law could lead to fines and turning off water services until the property is in compliance.

Backflow Prevention Program

The City has a Backflow Prevention Program to protect the public drinking water system from contamination by unprotected cross-connections. In this program we:

  • review plans submitted by professional engineers at the preliminary design stage to ensure backflow prevention devices are included in the plans
  • receive backflow permits and inspect new or replaced devices for compliance with backflow and cross-connection control requirements
  • confirm testing requirements are satisfied when property changes hands as part of the backflow and cross-connection control record search
  • perform cross-connection control inspections when requested
  • license backflow prevention device testers
  • confirm that backflow prevention device testing is up-to-date
  • track and confirm annual calibration of backflow prevention device test kits
  • monitor the use of public water outlets and fire hydrants
  • enforce the City’s Water By-law

In addition to the City’s Backflow Prevention Program, there are things that you can do to in your home and business to protect against cross-connections and backflow.

Last updated: April 15, 2024

Was this information helpful?

How can we make this web page better?

Information collected will be used to improve our website. Do not use this form to submit a request for service or information because it will not be forwarded to departments for response. To submit a request for service or information, contact 311.

This form is not intended to collect personal information; however, any personal information you choose to include in your comments is collected by the City of Winnipeg under the authority of section 36(1)(b) of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act for the purpose of improving our website and will not be used or disclosed for any other purposes, except as authorized by law. Contact the Corporate Access and Privacy Officer by mail (City Clerk’s Department, Susan A. Thompson Building, 510 Main Street, Winnipeg MB, R3B 1B9) or by telephone (311) if you have any questions about the collection of this information.

Ces renseignements sont-ils utiles?

Comment pourrait-on améliorer cette page Web?

Les renseignements recueillis serviront à l’amélioration de notre site Web. Prière de ne pas se servir de ce formulaire pour soumettre une demande de service ou de renseignements, car la demande ne sera pas transmise au service en question. Pour soumettre une demande de service ou de renseignements, veuillez communiquer avec le 311.

Le présent formulaire ne vise pas à recueillir des renseignements personnels. Cependant, les renseignements personnels que vous choisissez d’inclure dans vos commentaires sont recueillis par la Ville de Winnipeg en conformité avec l’alinéa 36(1)b) de la Loi sur l’accès à l’information et la protection de la vie privée dans le but d’améliorer son site Web et ne seront ni utilisés ni divulgués pour d’autres raisons, sauf dans les cas où cela est autorisé par la loi. Communiquez avec l’agent de l’accès à l’information et de la protection de la vie privée de la Ville par courrier au Bureau du greffier, immeuble Susan-A.-Thompson, 510, rue Main, Winnipeg (Manitoba) R3B 1B9, ou par téléphone au 311 si vous avez des questions sur la collecte de ces renseignements.