Magnolia homeowners with underground lawn sprinkler systems will soon experience full enforcement of inspection requirements.

Magnolia Water System general manager Robert Baxley said the city has had "Cross Connection Program Ordinance 6-02" in place since May 2006, but that it hasn't been fully enforced.

Baxley said in a statement that he had a meeting with the Arkansas Department of Health's cross connection program administrator, and was advised to enforce its rules.

The cause for concern is that faulty sprinkler systems may permit "backflow." In other words, the clean water that emerges from lawn sprinkers picks up whatever may be on the lawn, and seep back into the general water supply through the sprinklers.

Baxley said the Magnolia Water System will, upon request from a water customer, come out and help a customer determine if his system complies with state plumbing codes.

It is the responsibility of the water customer to contact a certified backflow assembly tester to inspect and/or test a system's backflow device.

It is also the responsibility of the water customer to provide, or have the backflow assembly tester provide, the Magnolia Water System with proof of inspection and testing of the backflow device before September 1 of every year.

Some backflow devices cannot be tested. These types of devices still require a certified backflow assembly tester to verify that it is operating properly. Once this type of device fails, it must be replaced by an approved device the covers the hazard at that site, Baxley said.

Notification of device failure and/or replacement must be sent to the Magnolia Utilities.

Any new backflow installations must be tested by a certified backflow assembly tester within 10 days.

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