Penalties for cross connecting culinary and irrigation waterlines have been increased to lessen the risk of a health hazard.
The City Council voted unanimously Tuesday night to approve an ordinance that allows the city manager to shut off all water service to a house that interconnects potable and non-potable water systems until the irrigation system is permanently disconnected.The new provision that prohibits cross connections also requires property owners with dual systems to make distinctive color markings on all exposed portions of non-potable water systems, install potable and non-potable lines in separate trenches, place key valves on all hydrants and sprinkler controls so they can't be operated by a non-authorized user and keep all non-potable systems outside buildings except greenhouses and plant and animal production buildings.
At least five West Jordan subdivisions have pressurized irrigation systems that allow homeowners to use inexpensive irrigation water outdoors rather than using more expensive treated drinking water. But health problems can result when lines are cross-connected and a pressure imbalance draws the raw water into culinary lines.
As recently as the July 24 holiday weekend, the city received a call about a cross connection in the Browns Meadow subdivision, near 92nd South and 27th West, where homeowners have a dual water system, said Joel Kertamus, water utilities supervisor.
A caller to the city noticed the drinking water was cloudy.
"We had to put them on a boil order," Kertamus said.
The city then had to flush all of the culinary waterlines through fire hydrants until test samples were clear. "Then we took the boil order off but kept the whole irrigation system down for an additional four days."