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An air gap is a vertical, physical separation between the end of a water supply outlet and the flood-level rim of a receiving vessel. This separation must be at least twice the diameter of the water supply outlet and never less than one inch. An air gap is considered the maximum protection available against backpressure backflow or back siphonage but is not always practical and can easily be bypassed.
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Pasco County Utilities provides an annual Water Quality Report also known as a Consumer Confidence Report (CCR). This report is designed to inform customers about the quality of water and services delivered every day. Pasco County Utilities’ constant goal is to provide customers with a safe and dependable supply of drinking water. This report is provided to better understand the efforts made to continually improve the water treatment process and protect water resources. You can find the most recent CCR's on our website.
All of the county's potable water is primarily disinfected using chloramines (a combination of chlorine and ammonia) which is a proven, safe method used throughout the country. For more information on chloramines, please contact Pasco County Utilities Environmental Lab at 727-847-8902, or visit the website.
The Pasco County Regional Water System’s primary water source is groundwater from several deep wells, located throughout Pasco County. The groundwater comes from porous, water-bearing underground geologic layers of sand, gravel, or rock that have the capability to produce water. These water-producing layers are called aquifers. The Alafia River, Hillsborough River, C.W. Bill Young Regional Reservoir, and the Tampa Bypass Canal are the primary sources for the regional surface water supply. Hillsborough Bay is the primary source of seawater for the regional desalinated supply.
Call Pasco County Utilities Customer Information and Services at (727) 847-8131 during business hours or (727) 847-8144 during non-business hours to report any water quality issues.
Hydrants are sometimes opened in order to “flush” water from utility lines. This is typically done in order to maintain the highest standard of drinking water quality for our citizens. Water that has remained in the pipes for an extended period of time may begin to degrade in water quality. In addition, the gradual breakdown or loss of the disinfecting agent from the water can eventually require that the water be flushed from the system in order to maintain regulatory required standards.
Pasco County Utilities constantly monitors water quality to comply with Federal and State safe drinking water standards. Water is tested on a daily basis. Samples are collected throughout the County and brought to our Environmental Laboratory. Pasco County Utilities' water meets or exceeds all Federal standards for safe drinking water.
Sewage has a natural tendency to produce odors. All sewers have some odors. The plumbing system in your home is designed to prevent these odors from entering the house. If you are experiencing odors indoors, it is likely that there is a problem with the vapor trap.
Blockages can occur for two reasons. The first is the accumulation of material inside of the line. Draining unsuitable substances through the sewer, such as kitchen fats and greases or sand, clay or mud, can cause a buildup and blockage in otherwise properly constructed sewers. However, the proper operation of a sanitary sewer line requires that the line be constructed "on grade", that is with a consistent slope. High or low areas along a line will cause small amounts of greases soap scum and other material to accumulate, eventually causing a blockage. "Clean Outs" provide the homeowner or sewer drain contractor an access point for sanitary sewer line maintenance.
All houses have plumbing vents that extend through the roof. These vents allow air to flow both in and out of the house plumbing system, helping water to flow through the pipes. Working in combination with the vapor traps, gases from the sanitary sewer system are vented safely through the roof.
Every water fixture in your house has a vapor trap. This "U" shaped pipe is clearly visible under sinks, and is present in some form on all lines draining to the sanitary sewer system. The "U" shape holds water, preventing gases from backing up from the sewer into the house through the drain.
Any crack or break in the building sewer allows ground water to enter the sewer. These leaks not only create blockages for the homeowner, but allow clean water to enter the sanitary sewer system. Once in the system, this clean water becomes sewage and must undergo all of the expense of sewage treatment and disposal. Similarly, the discharge of water from a water to air conditioner contributes a large amount of otherwise clean water to the sewer system. A single water to air unit can contribute an amount of water equal to 40 single family homes. For these reasons, the discharge from a water to air unit into a sewer drain is prohibited. Homeowners with cracked or broken sewers, or deteriorated pipe may be required to repair or replace the sewer line to eliminate these potential problems. You can contact the Environmental Protection Agency for more information.
Pasco County's reclaimed water is highly treated wastewater produced through an advanced wastewater treatment process. This process eliminates harmful byproducts while retaining beneficial elements, such as nitrogen and phosphorus that are useful as fertilizer when reclaimed water is used for irrigating landscapes and can even lower your utility bill.
Pasco County produces reclaimed water that meets all the state requirements for utilization of reclaimed water for irrigation of residential lawns and other public access areas, such as parks, playgrounds, school sites, golf courses, etc.
The wastewater treatment and disinfection process requires four steps:
Call (727) 847-8145 to obtain an application and information packet.
Yes. To ensure safety, the highest standards established by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection are followed. System controls utilized by Pasco County Utilities are among the most stringent in the nation. There are no documented public health problems associated with the reuse of properly treated and disinfected reclaimed water.
The level of treatment received by reclaimed water makes it acceptable for the following uses:
The degree of treatment required for the use of reclaimed water makes it unsuitable for the following purposes:
Backflow is the undesired reversal of flow of water and/or other substance into the potable water supply, via a cross-connection, due to a change in pressure caused by either Backpressure or Back siphonage. Backpressure is a type of backflow condition that exists when the pressure in the downstream side of the customer’s piping system becomes elevated greater than the supply pressure at the potable water system. Back siphonage is a type of backflow condition that exists when the pressure in the potable water supply system becomes lower than atmospheric pressure (14.7 psi).
Backflow into a public water system can pollute or contaminate the water in that system (i.e., backflow into a public water system can make the water in that system unusable or unsafe to drink), and each water supplier has a responsibility to provide water that is usable and safe to drink under all foreseeable circumstances. Furthermore, consumers generally have absolute faith that water delivered to them through a public water system is always safe to drink. For these reasons, each water supplier must take reasonable precautions to protect its public water system against backflow.
A backflow preventer is a means or mechanism to prevent backflow. The basic means of preventing backflow is an air gap, which either eliminates a cross-connection or provides a barrier to backflow. The basic mechanism for preventing backflow is a mechanical backflow preventer, which provides a physical barrier to backflow. The principal types of mechanical backflow preventer are the reduced-pressure principle assembly, the pressure vacuum breaker assembly, and the double check valve assembly. A secondary type of mechanical backflow preventer is the residential dual check valve.
An RP is a mechanical backflow preventer that consists of two independently acting, spring-loaded check valves with a hydraulically operating, mechanically independent, spring-loaded pressure differential relief valve between the check valves and below the first check valve. It includes shutoff valves at each end of the assembly and is equipped with test cocks. An RP is effective against backpressure backflow and back siphonage and may be used to isolate health or non-health hazards.
A PVB is a mechanical backflow preventer that consists of an independently acting, spring-loaded check valve and an independently acting, spring-loaded, air inlet valve on the discharge side of the check valve. It includes shutoff valves at each end of the assembly and is equipped with test cocks. A PVB may be used to isolate health or non-health hazards but is effective against back siphonage only.
A DC is a mechanical backflow preventer that consists of two independently acting, spring-loaded check valves. It includes shutoff valves at each end of the assembly and is equipped with test cocks. A DC is effective against backpressure backflow and back siphonage but should only be used to isolate non-health hazards.
A RDC is similar to a DC in that it is a mechanical backflow preventer consisting of two independently acting, spring-loaded check valves. However, it usually does not include shutoff valves, may or may not be equipped with test cocks or ports, and is generally less reliable than a DC. A RDC is effective against backpressure backflow and back siphonage but should only be used to isolate non-health hazards and is intended for use only in water service connections to single-family homes.
Mechanical backflow preventers have internal seals, springs, and moving parts that are subject to fouling, wear, or fatigue. Also, mechanical backflow preventers and air gaps can be bypassed. Therefore, all backflow preventers have to be tested periodically to ensure that they are functioning properly. A visual check of air gaps is sufficient, but mechanical backflow preventers have to be tested with properly calibrated gauge equipment.
A cross-connection is an actual or potential link between the potable water supply (water safe for human consumption) and a non-potable source (any other type of liquid, gas or substance not fit for consumption and that can affect water quality). A cross-connection can be avoided by eliminating the link between the two sources. If the link cannot be removed, then the potable water supply must be protected through the use of a backflow prevention assembly.
One excellent reference manual is the third (2004) edition of the American Water Works Association's (AWWA's) Manual M14, Recommended Practice for Backflow Prevention and Cross-Connection Control, which is available from the AWWA Bookstore; 6666 West Quincy Avenue; Denver, Colorado 80235; 800/926-7337; or visit the AWWA website. Another excellent reference manual is the ninth (1993) edition of the University of Southern California's Manual of Cross-Connection Control, which is available from the Foundation for Cross- Connection Control and Hydraulic Research; University of Southern California; KAP-200 University Park MC-2531; Los Angeles, California 90089-2531; 213/740-2032.