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Program Information and Course Descriptions


NEWWA offers specialized training and certification in cross connection control surveying as well as backflow prevention device inspector/testing. Individuals who have little or no knowledge in cross connection, plumbing, pipefitting, or waterworks should consider taking the Fundamentals of Cross Connection control training or the Cross Connection Surveyor Training and Certification courses first. NEWWA utilizes the U.S.EPA Cross-Connection Control Manual, and Recommended Practice for Backflow Prevention and Cross-Connection Control M14, Fourth Edition, which is available through the AWWA bookstore. 

Questions and inquiries about NEWWA's backflow prevention and cross connection control programs should be directed to Nelson Cabral, NEWWA’s cross connection control coordinator. Questions regarding your current or expired certifications should be directed to Linda Smith.

Course Descriptions

The Fundamentals of Cross Connection Control

This course will cover the basic information needed to understand the concepts and fundamentals of cross connection control. It will prepare students for training in testing backflow prevention devices or conducting cross-connection surveys. The course will cover topics on: cross connection terminology; where they are found and why do they exist; how cross connections affect public health; the roles of the U.S. EPA, states, local government, public water systems and others to control cross connections; types of protection programs; six methods of protecting a cross-connection; the basic hydraulics of backflow; the two types of backflow; how to identify backflow prevention devices; how backflow prevention devices are used; and basic installations of backflow prevention devices. Students will receive supporting materials.

Cross Connection Surveyor Training & Certification 

This 3-day course will allow students to learn the professional skills required to become a NEWWA Certified Cross Connection Control Surveyor. This course includes both classroom-based as well as field instruction and a written examination. Topics covered include terminology; where to look for cross connections; how to assess the degree of hazards; how to set up a cross connection control action plan and conduct a survey; how to review drawings and plans; the roles of the public water system, plumbing inspectors, states, local government, and others; how to utilize the six methods of protecting a cross connection; a review of the basic hydraulics of backflow and devices; and how to complete the common survey report forms. Each participant will receive pertinent plumbing code information by state, sample survey sheets, and other handouts such as segments of as-built drawings and plans.

Backflow Prevention Device Inspector/Tester Training & Certification 

This course will help students understand cross connection control and provide them with the knowledge to test backflow prevention devices. Written and practical exams for students to become a NEWWA-certified Backflow Prevention Device Inspector/Tester are given on the last day of the course. Classroom and hands-on instruction will cover cross connections and their health hazards; backflow and its many types; how to test three types of backflow prevention devices; how to choose the appropriate device for a facility; troubleshooting; and regulations and codes. Note that NEWWA certification is universally accepted (except with Aqua America in Pennsylvania), however, some states such as Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New York require their own certification, separate from the NEWWA certification. This will be discussed during the course.

Backflow Prevention Device Inspector/Tester Recertification Review Training*

This course blends refresher information with hands-on testing and covers key areas of cross connection and backflow prevention control. It also incorporates a thorough hands-on review of testing procedures on various devices from different manufacturers. Students may opt to take just this course, just the practical exam, or both the course and exam (although the course is recommended for anyone wishing to take the practical exam).

*This training and examination is required to become recertified to test devices in New York state.

Advanced Testing and Diagnostic Procedures for Backflow Prevention Devices 

This course will begin with a review of test procedure fundamentals, designed to refresh skills and provide a platform for advanced instruction. Students will learn specialized field-test procedures, diagnostic techniques in small groups, and how to solve actual field operational problems through troubleshooting. Hands-on testing will be performed on 1/2 - 4-inch double check valves, reduced pressure principle, and pressure vacuum breaker backflow preventers.