Businesses and homeowners in Clearfield will soon be required to install backflow prevention devices on their culinary waterlines.

Following a public hearing earlier this week - during which nobody expressed opposition - the City Council approved an ordinance mandating that the city's water system be protected from backflow and cross-connection contamination.City Manager Jack Bippes said he and the Department of Public Works staff have yet to determine deadlines and a plan for enforcing the ordinance, which was required by a recent amendment to the federal Clean Water Act.

"But we'll start with commercial and industrial" water users, Bippes said, explaining that those users are in the "high-hazard" and "medium-hazard" classification. Residential water users are generally considered a "low-hazard."

Residents can expect to pay $35 for the device, which is attached to the line next to the water meter. The ordinance requires the device to be installed by a licensed plumber - an additional cost to the resident of about $50.

Bippes said the city might consider paying for the devices with city funds. With 4,200 water connections, the bill would be roughly $147,000.

"Our leaning is to pass (the cost) along to the consumer because the city doesn't have that kind of money."

The city might purchase the devices in bulk, however, and offer them to residents at cost. The city might also offer residents a group of plumbers who have agreed to do the job at a reasonable price.

Bippes said it may take several years before devices are in place on all the water lines.

Until then, all new construction will be required to have the devices installed.

The city manager said the staff will prepare an education program to let the public know why the ordinance is required and how it will affect them.