Caring for Our Children (CFOC)

Chapter 5: Facilities, Supplies, Equipment, and Environmental Health

5.2 Quality of the Outdoor and Indoor Environment

5.2.6 Water Supply and Plumbing Cross-Connections

The facility should have no cross-connections that could permit contamination of the potable water supply:

  1. Backflow preventers, vacuum breakers, or strategic air gaps should be provided for all boiler units in which chemicals are used. Backflow preventers should be tested annually;
  2. Vacuum breakers should be installed on all threaded janitorial sink faucets and outdoor/indoor hose bibs;
  3. Non-submersible, antisiphon ballcocks should be provided on all flush tank-type toilets.
Pressure differentials may allow contamination of drinking water if cross-connections or submerged inlets exist. Water must be protected from cross-connections with possible sources of contamination (1).
Short hoses are often attached to the faucets of janitorial sinks (and laundry sinks) and often extend below the top edge of the basin. The ends of a hose in a janitorial sink and a garden hose attached to an outside hose bibs are often found in a pool of potentially contaminated water. If the water faucet is not completely closed, a loss of pressure in the water system could result in the contaminated water being drawn up the hose like dirt is drawn into a vacuum cleaner, thus contaminating the drinking water supply.

Vacuum breakers may be installed as part of the plumbing fixture or are available to attach to the end of a faucet of hose bib.

Center, Early Head Start, Head Start, Large Family Child Care Home, Small Family Child Care Home
  1. International Code Council (ICC). 2009. 2009 international plumbing code. Washington, DC: ICC.