Hamlet Looks to Protect Water Supply with Cross-Connection Control Ordinance

The Town of Hamlet is taking steps to protect its drinking water from potential contamination.

The Indiana Department of Environmental Management is requiring communities to adopt cross-connection control ordinances, according to Hamlet Water and Wastewater Operator Henry Ruiz. “[How] you get a cross-connection: The first example was your garden hose in your pool,” he told the town council Wednesday. “Say some clown went and opened the fire hydrant and the water pressure dropped, it would draw water back through that hose, and it would contaminate the water supply, everybody’s water supply.”

However, Ruiz says the main concern is businesses that use a lot a chemicals. “All that they’re requiring is that they have backflow preventers in their building, in their place of business,” he explained. “It’s usually just places of business like the co-op where they’re making fertilizer and all this other stuff. The funeral home – I don’t know what they do there. I don’t know if they embalm there or not. We have to be able to prevent anything from happening there.”

Ruiz presented a draft form of the cross-connection control ordinance to the town council Wednesday. Town officials plan to do a bit more research before taking any action, though.

Council President Dave Kesvormas wants to make sure the ordinance is fair to all of Hamlet’s water users, and that the town would be protected if contamination should come from an unexpected source. Clerk-Treasurer Kristina Pitts agreed to check out the ordinances that are already in place in other local communities, to see how they’re handling the issue.