Frequently Asked Questions for the Water Services Department
Why does the City of Brentwood Water Department need to control cross-connections and protect their public water system against backflow?
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.
What is a backflow preventer?
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 permitted in the City of Brentwood are the reduced-pressure principle assembly and the double check valve assembly. A double check valve (DC) assembly is only permitted on Fire Lines, all others are to be protected by a reduced-pressure principle (RP) assembly only.
What is a cross-connection?
A cross-connection is any temporary or permanent connection between a public water system or consumer's potable (i.e., drinking) water system and any source or system containing non-potable water or other substances. An example is the piping between a public water system or consumer's potable water system and an auxiliary water system, cooling system, or irrigation system.
What is a double check valve assembly (DC)?
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 backsiphonage but can only be used on fire line installations in the City of Brentwood.
What is a Reduced Pressure Backflow Prevention Assembly (RP)?
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 backsiphonage and may be used to isolate health or non-health hazards.
What is an air gap?
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 backsiphonage but is not always practical and can easily be bypassed.
What is backflow?
Backflow is the undesirable reversal of flow of non-potable water or other substances through a cross-connection and into the piping of a public water system or consumer's potable water system. There are two types of backflow... backpressure backflow and backsiphonage.
What is backpressure backflow?
Backpressure backflow is backflow caused by a downstream pressure that is greater than the upstream or supply pressure in a public water system or consumer's potable water system. Backpressure (i.e., downstream pressure that is greater than the potable water supply pressure) can result from an increase in downstream pressure, a reduction in the potable water supply pressure, or a combination of both. Increases in downstream pressure can be created by pumps, temperature increases in boilers, etc. Reductions in potable water supply pressure occur whenever the amount of water being used exceeds the amount of water being supplied, such as during water line flushing, fire fighting, or breaks in water mains.
What is backsiphonage?
Backsiphonage is backflow caused by a negative pressure (i.e., a vacuum ~ or partial vacuum) in a Public water system or consumer's potable water system. The effect is similar to drinking water through a straw. Backsiphonage can occur when there is a stoppage of water supply due to nearby fire fighting, a break in a water main, etc.
What should the City of Brentwood do to control cross-connections and protect their public water systems against backflow?
Water suppliers usually do not have the capability to repeatedly inspect every consumer's premises for cross-connections and backflow protection. Alternatively, each water supplier should ensure that a proper backflow preventer is installed and maintained at the water service connection to each system or premises that poses a significant hazard to the public water system. Generally, this would include the water service connection to each dedicated fire protection system or irrigation piping system and the water service connection to each of the following types of premises:
premises with an auxiliary or reclaimed water system:
industrial, medical, laboratory, marine or other facilities where objectionable substances are handled in a way that could cause pollution or contamination of the public water system;
premises exempt from the State Plumbing Code and premises where an internal backflow preventer required under the State Plumbing Code is not properly installed or maintained;
classified or restricted facilities; and
Why do backflow preventers have to be tested periodically?
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 by a State of Tennessee Certified Backflow Tester. The City of Brentwood and State of Tennessee regulations require all backflow assemblies must be tested at least annually.
How can I pay my utility bill?
Payment methods include: Mail, drop box, in person, and by phone or website through third party processor(processing fees will apply). See the Water & Sewer billing page for details.
How do I establish Water / Sewer service?
Sign up for service online or by mail. A $25.00 setup fee for residential accounts or a $50.00 setup fee for commercial accounts will be added to the first bill.
With budget billing, your bill amount is based on an average of your prior year’s bills. The amount is calculated by taking your total billed amounts from November to October for the past year, dividing by 12, and adding 5%. This amount will be your bill amount for the next 12 months. At the end of the 12 months, you may have a settle up amount or a credit depending on if you use more or less water than the prior year. To qualify for budget billing, you need a year’s history and a letter to the water/sewer dept. by the end of September requesting to be put on budget billing.
What is my utility bill balance?
Account balances are available online using your Account ID. You may also contact the billing department at (615) 661-7061 or refer to your most recent bill.
What is my utility bill due date?
Bills dated the 6th of the month are due on the 20th of the same month. Bills dated the 21st of the month are due on the 7th of the following month.
What is winter averaging?
Some of the water that is used in the summer months for irrigation or pools does not go into the sewer system. To avoid charging for this type of water usage, the sewer portion of your bill is based on an average of your most recent winter consumption. For new customers that do not have a winters history, the sewer bill will be based on that months actual water consumption OR the route average, whichever is less.
Where are you located?
5211 Maryland Way, Brentwood, TN 37027 The building is located at the corner of Maryland Way and Westwood Place. Click here for a map.