Keeping Water Clean and Safe
Our customers expect their drinking water to be safe. The Water Division of Mishawaka Utilities is committed to providing the safest, highest quality water. Our division is responsible for inspecting commercial and industrial water customers for potential cross-connection and backflow violations. Our goal is to eliminate all cross connections in Mishawaka’s public water system and help our customers comply with backflow prevention practices and regulations.
What is a Backflow?
Drinking water normally flows in one direction, although in certain circumstances it can flow in the opposite direction or backflow. When backflow occurs, water runs backward through your pipes and into the public drinking water system. When this happens, the water flowing backward could contain something that could contaminate the drinking water supply.
A cross connection is any connection between piping that carries drinking (potable) water and the piping or fixtures that carry other types of (non-potable) water or substances that are not safe to drink.
Mishawaka Utilities tries to maintain positive pressure in our system at all times, but events such as main breaks and firefighting can contribute to unexpected backflow conditions.
How Can Mishawaka Residents Help?
There are things you can do to help us prevent contamination of the public water system due to backflow. Lawn irrigation systems, swimming pools and hot tubs are common residential cross-connection points. When the sprinklers or irrigation systems are nested underground, contaminated water can flow into the sprinklers. In swimming pools and hot tubs, a cross connection can occur if water inlets are submerged.
- Irrigation systems: Ensure that an approved assembly is installed, is in good working condition and is tested annually.
- Swimming pools and hot tubs: Ensure that if a water hose is used to fill these units, it is protected with a hose bib vacuum breaker installed on the faucet.
- Residential boilers: Ensure that an approved backflow assembly is installed, is in good working condition and is tested annually.
- Private wells: Ensure that well systems are not connected to the public water system.
Commercial/Industrial Backflow Testing Information
The Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) requires that all installers and testers be licensed in the state of Indiana. They must be licensed under the University of Southern California training program.
Hydrant permits are required before any water may be used for construction or any other purpose. A hydrant permit may be obtained by contacting the Business Office at (574) 258-1636 or (574) 258-1646. Any unauthorized use of a Mishawaka fire hydrant is considered theft and will be subject to fines and/or criminal prosecution, according to the Mishawaka Utilities Water Division Terms and Conditions, Section 18-3.3.
The Cross-Connection & Backflow form (or an equally approved form containing this information) must be completed in triplicate. The customer whose device is tested and the testing entity are to retain one copy each, with the third copy submitted within five working days of the installation or repair to Mishawaka Utilities, 100 Lincolnway West, Mishawaka, IN
- Applicable State Law – Title 327, Rule 10 (327 IAC 8-10)
- Testing Requirements – Rule 10, Section 8 (327 IAC 8-10-8)
- For information on upcoming backflow schools in Indiana, contact the American Backflow Prevention Association.
- IDEM website
- For water quality questions or to report a problem, contact us at (574) 258-1652.
- For information concerning meter and backflow requirements in Mishawaka, contact Meter/Backflow Supervisor Brian Galletti at (574) 258-1732 ext. 1 or fax (574) 258-1711.
- For tap quotes and new construction, contact Construction Supervisor Fabian Chavez at (574) 258-1653 ext. 1.