Irrigation System Designer
A qualified irrigation designer or irrigation consultant shall design the system for efficient and uniform distribution of water. “Qualified” means certified by the Irrigation Association of America:

  • Certified Irrigation Contractor (CIC)
  • Certified Landscape Irrigation Auditor (CLIA)
  • Certified Landscape Irrigation Manager (CLIM)
  • Certified Irrigation Designer (CID)
  • Certified Water Conservation Manager – Landscape (CWCM)

System Design
The system shall be comprised of either:

  • Drop/micro-irrigation components that allow for higher distribution uniformity and lower evaporation and runoff.
  • The design and layout of the emission devices provides for zero overspray across or onto a street, public driveway or sidewalk, parking area, building, fence or adjoining property. Overspray may occur during the operation of the irrigation system due to the actual wind conditions that differ from the design criteria.

System Controller
The system should use a controller that has multi-program capability with at least four start times (for multiple repeat soak cycles) and run time adjustments in one-minute increments. The controller programming (scheduling) should be managed to respond to the changing need for water in the landscape.

Design Features

  • Follow all ordinances relating to irrigation systems including the installation of backflow devices.
  • A design that results in uniform and efficient coverage. Sprinkler head spacing should be a minimum of “head-to-head” (minimum 50% of diameter) unless the coverage is designed for wind de-rating. Wind de-rating should be based on average nighttime wind speed. Design to avoid overspray onto hardscapes, fences, buildings and adjoining property.
  • Have separate station/zones (hydrozones) for areas with dissimilar water or scheduling requirements.
  • Have a minimum of a rain sensor to suspend irrigation during wet weather conditions.
  • In addition to the rain sensor, use any or all water-conserving devices such as:
    • Check valves to minimize low-head drainage
    • Pressure regulators or pressure compensating screens, stems or nozzles to control high pressure.
    • Environmental sensors that can actively measure weather conditions to determine daily plant water need.
    • Soil moisture sensors to monitor soil moisture and suspend irrigation if the moisture reserve in the root zone is significantly above the allowable depletion limit.
  • For commercial installations: a water meter dedicated to measuring only landscape water use. A meter with a flow rate output signal for interfacing with the controller is recommended as it can help detect leaks and manage water use.
    Install a master valve to stop unscheduled flow of irrigation water.

The State of Indiana requires that public water systems implement, monitor and enforce a cross-connection control program (Title 327 IAC 8 Rule 10.) The City of Nappanee, in ordinance (§ 50.75) adopted the following regulation regarding cross-connection control within the Nappanee Water System.

All backflow and cross-connection control devices must comply with the above-mentioned regulations in regard to installation and testing requirements. Approved devices shall be those listed as approved by the Foundation for Cross-Connection Control and Hydraulic Research of the University of Southern California. The only exceptions are that Nappanee does not let Atmospheric vacuum breakers be used and we still test reduced pressure backflow devices every six months.

Without proper protection devices, something as useful as your garden hose has the potential to poison your home’s water supply or the public water supply. Over half of the nation’s cross-connection involve unprotected garden hoses.

What is a cross-connection?
A cross-connection is a permanent or temporary piping arrangement, which can allow your drinking water to be contaminated if a backflow or backsiphonage condition occurs.

What is backflow?
It’s just what it sounds like: the water is flowing in the opposite direction from its normal flow. With the direction of flow reversed, due to a change in pressure, backflow can allow contaminants to enter our drinking water system through cross-connections. A potentially hazardous cross-connection occurs every time someone uses a garden hose to clear a stoppage in their sewer line. Other cross-connections can occur when someone uses his or her garden hose to clear a stoppage in their sewer line; fill a pool while leaving the hose in the water and having an automatic timer set on their hose.

Without a backflow prevention device between your hose and hose bib (spigot or outside faucet), the contents of the hose and anything it is connected to can backflow into the piping system and contaminate your drinking water.

What harm could that cause?
Plenty. When water is delivered to your property it is exposed to many different types of fixtures, including sprinklers, washing machines, hose-bibs, kitchen faucets, tubs, showers, and toilets. For industrial users, the system may be attached to boilers, photo processing equipment, chemical mixing tanks, chillers, water towers, pressure pumps, healthcare and laboratory equipment, etc. Connections between the potable water system and potential sources of pollution, or contamination, are called “cross-connections.” When backflow occurs through a cross-connection, there is a chance that contaminants can be drawn into the public water system.

When does my backflow device need to be tested?

Air Gaps (AG) shall be inspected at intervals not exceeding one (1) year to ensure that they continue to meet the requirements.
Definition: A physical separation between the free-flowing discharge end of a potable water supply pipeline and an open or non-pressure receiving vessel. An approved air gap shall be at least double the diameter of the supply pipe measured vertically above the overflow rim of the vessel – in no case less than one inch and nor more than 6 inches unless around walls.

Reduced Pressure Principle Backflow Prevention Assembly (RP) shall be tested at intervals not exceeding one (1) year to ensure that both check valves are drip tight under all pressure differentials and that the pressure differential relief valve will open in pressure changes below two pounds per square inch below that of the inlet chamber.
Definition: A device composed of two tightly closing shut0off valves surrounding two independently acting pressure reducing check valves that, in turn, surround an automatic pressure differential relief valve, and four test cocks, one upstream of the five valves and one between each of the four check and shut-off valves. The check valves effectively divide the structure into three chambers, pressure is reduced in each downstream chamber allowing the pressure differential relief valve to vent the chamber to atmosphere should either or both check valves malfunction.

Double Check Valve Backflow Prevention Assembly (DC) shall be tested at intervals not exceeding one (1) year to ensure that both check valves hold pressure at 2.0 or greater under all pressure differentials.
Definition: A device or assembly composed of two tightly closing shut-off valves surrounding two independently acting check valves, with four test cocks, one upstream of the four valves and one between each of the four check and shut-off valves.

Double Check-Detector Backflow Prevention Assembly (DCDA) shall be tested at intervals not exceeding one (1) year to ensure that both check valves hold pressure and do not leak under all pressure differentials.
Definition: A specifically designed assembly composed of a line-size approved double check valve assembly second main line with backflow preventer before the meter containing a specific water meter and an approved double check valve assembly.

Pressure Vacuum Breakers (PVB) shall be tested at intervals not exceeding one (1) year to ensure that the air inlet opens fully when water pressure and the check valve holds closed under pressure.
Definition: A device or assembly containing an independently operating internally loaded check valve and an independently operating loaded air inlet valve located on the downstream side of the check valve for relieving a vacuum or partial vacuum in a pipeline.

Who can test these devices?
Testers are certified by the State of Indiana after attending a 40-hour training class, passing 2 written examinations, and successfully completing actual tests on prevention devices. When you need to contact a tester, we suggest contacting your irrigation contractor first. Many of the contractors and/or their employees are certified. Secondly, check the Yellow Pages under Backflow Prevention. The City of Nappanee Utilities does not recommend individuals to do testing.

New Commercial Construction

Domestic Water Services
The City of Nappanee’s Utilities requires a Backflow Prevention Device be installed on all commercial domestic water service lines. This device must be installed downstream of the water meter and upstream of any branch lines or plumbing. It is highly recommended that a “Y” strainer be installed before the device.

Automatic Fire Sprinkler System
The City of Nappanee’s Utilities requires that all fire sprinkler systems have a Double Check Valve Assembly installed upstream of the fire riser and Siamese (fire department) connection. If a chemical is used for winterizing or for fire suppression, a Reduced Pressure Principle Backflow Preventer (RP) must be used.

Irrigation Systems
Title 327 IAC 8-10 requires that in-ground lawn irrigation systems have a Pressure Vacuum Breaker (PVB) or Reduced Pressure Principle Backflow Preventer (RP) or a Spill Vacuum Breaker (SVB) installed.

Existing Commercial Structures
City of Nappanee ordinance A-69, states under what conditions existing facilities (those facilities existing prior to the adoption of the ordinance) must comply with cross-connection control requirements. Briefly, all existing buildings, which house a business activity and are operated as such, will be required to comply with this chapter upon the occurrence of any one of the following events: (a) new ownership of building; (b) remodeling; (c) change of occupancy; (d) installation of a new service line or upgrade of service (e) addition of machinery or chemicals; (f) designated a cross-connection hazard or (g) if backflow occurs.

Inspection of Cross-Connection Control Devices and Installation of Meters (Commercial Structures)
All backflow device installations must be inspected and tested by a certified tester and a copy of the test report sent to the City of Nappanee’s Utilities prior to starting service for a domestic or fire service line.

Prohibited Connections
No secondary source of water supply shall be physically connected on the customer service line to or into the facility.

Where do I send my test results?

Completed test reports for properties located in the City of Nappanee need to be submitted to:
City of Nappanee – Utilities
300 W. Lincoln Street
Nappanee, IN 46550

For any questions please email ggerber@nappanee.org

Failure to have your device tested in a timely manner could result in loss of water.

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