New Berlin initiative aims to keep drinking water clean
City will look for cross-connections during meter work
New Berlin - In an effort to guard the purity of municipal drinking water, New Berlin will start inspecting for cross-connections when the city replaces water meters at homes and businesses.
Cross-connections allow potentially contaminated water from private wells or even utility sinks in home basements to get into municipal water systems, said Jim Hart, supervisor of the New Berlin water utility.
"We're trying to protect the municipal water supply," Hart said.
A hose that supplies water to a basement sink could be considered a cross-connection if it hangs below the rim of the sink, he noted. Whatever is in that sink - soap suds, cleaning chemicals - could be sucked up through the hose just like a straw and into the drinking water if there is a strong draw for water to fight a fire, flush fire hydrants or if there is a water main break.
A cross-connection of that nature could be fixed by just cutting the hose off so it doesn't reach into the sink and securing it so that it doesn't fall into the sink, he said. Residents also can get vacuum breakers that screw on, he added.
Ferreting out cross-connections is being pushed by the state Department of Natural Resources and the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District, Hart said, and many other communities already inspect for them.
While Hart said he has no idea how many of these kinds of connections will be found, he doubted that inspectors will find many wells connected to municipal water.
For those who do have to disconnect wells, it would mean a service call charge by a plumber but not much more, Hart predicted.
- Jane Ford-Stewart
Your link to the biggest stories in the suburbs delivered Thursday mornings.
Enter your e-mail address above and click "Sign Up Now!" to begin receiving your e-mail newsletter Get the Newsletter!
- News and Notes
- Police Notes: May 20
- Walmart is now in the zone for development in New Berlin
- Police report: May 20
- Carp shoot May 25 on Little Muskego Lake, two carp worth $500 each
- Newsweek names New Berlin schools to 'America's Best High Schools' list
- Waukesha Police Report
- Stumbling block cleared for proposed New Berlin Walmart
- News and notes
- New Berlin schools try to get students ready for work