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Cross Connection Survey

The City of Mt. Vernon distributes thousands of gallons of safe drinking water to residents and businesses throughout the city each day.  This water meets all state and federal drinking water standards and has been tested to be sure it is safe to drink and is of the highest possible quality.  Our public drinking water can be put at risk by any person connected to the distribution system.  Contamination can occur because of backflow from an unsafe substance connected to the plumbing of a home or business.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why did I receive a water survey from the City?

The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) requires every water supply to develop and implement a cross-connection (backflow prevention) control program.

A requirement of the program is to send a survey to all residential water customers every two years.  Initial survey requests were sent out earlier this year. If you received another survey (a 2nd Notice), it is because your first response was never received.  All water customers are required to complete and return this survey, which takes only a few minutes.

How do I respond to the survey?

You can choose either the residential form or commercial form and download it to complete and return it to the Billing Services department at City Hall or email it to Or you can use the QR code below to submit your completed survey online.


Cross connection qr code

Cross Connection Survey Form

What is a cross-connection and a backflow preventer?

Cross connections are potential connections between a potable water supply and a non-potable source, where it is possible for a contaminant to enter the drinking water supply.  Cross connections should be protected by a valve called a backflow preventer.  A backflow preventer is a device that allows the water to flow only in one direction and prevents the piping or device hooked to the water supply line from flowing back into it.

Examples of potential contaminants include:

  • Fire protection systems
  • Lawn irrigation systems
  • Restaurant food preparation areas
  • Chemical processing & manufacturing operations
  • Medical waste
  • Meat processing facilities
  • Hoses connected to any unsafe source, such as home plant fertilizer sprayers, or submerged in ornamental ponds, swimming pools or stock watering tanks, or directly connected or submerged into any sewer.

Who has responsibility for installing backflow preventers?

Property owners are responsible for installing, annual testing, and maintaining backflow preventers. Water customers must contract with a licensed professional to perform the required annual tests and make any necessary repairs. Most plumbing contractors can install and repair backflow preventers and are certified to test them.

Where would a backflow preventer be found on a water customer’s piping?

Residential backflow preventers may be found on lawn irrigation systems, hot water heating (boiler) systems, swimming pool fills, water features, etc.

What happens if I do not fill out the survey?

All water customers are required to complete and return this survey. In order to not receive any penalties, fines, or service interruptions for not completing the survey, we encourage everyone to complete the survey to assist the City in compiling accurate records and meeting compliance with IEPA.

If you aren’t sure if you have or need backflow protection, or have other questions, please feel free to contact us at: 618-242-6850.