Alternative water is any water other than Austin Water’s potable drinking water. This includes, but is not limited to:
Cross connection prevention on alternative water systems has three (3) main elements:
- Ensure that new alternative water systems are not connected to the potable drinking water system without appropriate backflow protection.
- On all sites with alternative water systems, ensure that the public drinking water distribution system is protected by an approved containment backflow protection assembly located immediately downstream of all City water meters and City service lines to private fire lines.
- Perform periodic Cross Connection Tests (CCT) to verify that the private potable drinking water system and the alternative water systems are not connected without appropriate backflow protection.
After an alternative water system is reviewed, inspected, and approved, reoccurring inspections and CCTs are required as follows:
- Inspections and CCTs for black-water sourced alternate water systems shall occur annually.
- Inspections and CCTs at multi-family, industrial, institutional, or commercial sites with alternative water systems shall occur once every four (4) years.
- For residential sites, there is no requirement for reoccurring testing after the initial test.
- CCTs and inspections are required at any time the potable water system or alternate water system is substantially altered or when required by the authority having jurisdiction. Alternate testing requirements and procedures may be authorized by the authority having jurisdiction.
Inspection and CCT procedures are based on the adopted City of Austin plumbing code.
The CCT and required inspections must be performed by licensed testers registered with the Austin Water Special Services Division (SSD). For a list of Water Supply Protection Specialist (WSPS) and Customer Service Inspectors (CSI) authorized to perform the test, refer to the Active Water Service Technicians List.
For more information on how to become a WSPS or CSI with the City of Austin, review the Customer Service Inspector Eligibility Requirements.