University of Wisconsin-Madison

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Interdisciplinary Professional Programs

Cross-Connection Control and Backflow Prevention See upcoming dates

Course Overview

  • Fulfill backflow prevention tester training requirements
  • Understand cross-connection and backflow hazards
  • Select the right backflow prevention assembly for each application
  • Test and repair backflow prevention assemblies hands on

Who Should Attend?

Practical training for plumbers, sprinkler fitters, facility maintenance personnel, and utility workers focusing on procedures for cross-connection control, backflow prevention, and testing of backflow prevention assemblies.

Additional Information

Fulfill Registration and Certification Requirements 
Participation in this course and successful completion of the hands-on and written examinations qualifies for 40 professional development hours (PDH) or 4.0 continuing education units (CEU). 
Wisconsin: Successful completion of the Cross-Connection Control and Backflow Prevention course and exam fulfills the training requirements in Wisconsin for Cross-Connection Control Tester registration and is also approved for 40 Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services continuing education hours for many plumbing and fire sprinkler related credentials.

Minnesota and Michigan: ASSE certification is required. To earn ASSE Backflow Prevention Assembly Tester certification, you must register for the ASSE Backflow Prevention Assembly Tester course and exam.

Course Outline

Day 1

Introduction to Cross-Connection Control and Backflow Prevention

Cross-connection basics

  • Hazards to public health
  • Causes of backflow

Backflow Prevention Methods

  • Air gap
  • Barometric loop

Backflow Prevention Assemblies—Double Check Valve Assembly (DC)

  • How the Double Check Valve Assembly works
  • Appropriate application of the Double Check Valve
  • Assembly limitations

 Testing of Backflow Prevention Assemblies

  • 3-valve and 5-valve test gauges
  • Care and maintenance of test gauges
  • Calibration requirements


  • Demonstration of proper testing practices
  • Demonstration of Double Check Valve (DC) assembly test procedures
  • Hands-on practice with DC testing


Day 2


Backflow Prevention Assemblies

  • Reduced Pressure Principal Assembly (RPZ)
    • How the Reduced Pressure Principal Assembly works
    • Appropriate application of the RPZ
  • Pressure vacuum breaker (PVB) and Spill-resistant vacuum breaker (SVB)
    • How the PVB and SVB work
    • Appropriate application and limitations of the PVB and SVB


  • Test procedures for reduced pressure principle (RPZ), spill-resistant vacuum breaker (SVB), and pressure vacuum breaker (PVB) assemblies
  • Hands-on Practice – all testable assembly types


Day 3

Backflow Prevention Devices

  • Appropriate device applications
  • Limitations of devices

 Cross-Connection Program Authority, Responsibility, and Liability

  • Federal authority
  • State responsibilities
  • Municipality or water purveyor responsibilities
  • Designer, installer, and manufacturer responsibilities
  • Facility owner responsibilities
  • Liability issues


  • How to minimize hazards for testers
  • Personal protective equipment
  • Confined space, lockout/tagout, fall-prevention



Day 4

 Wisconsin Rules and Codes

  • Rules and regulations
  • Requirements for new and existing services

 Municipal and Utility Cross-Connection Programs

  • How to establish a utility cross-connection control program
  • Cross-connection survey programs
  • How to manage cross-connection programs—documentation, tracking, and follow-up

 Troubleshooting Reduced Pressure Principle Backflow Preventers

  • How to relate malfunction symptoms to cause
  • Repair of backflow preventers
  • Hands-on troubleshooting and discussion

 Troubleshooting Workshop—Hands-On Practice Classroom

 Review Session

 Individual Hands-On Practical Exams


Day 5

Individual Hands-On Practical Exams Continue

Manufacturer Presentations

  • Discussion of backflow prevention assemblies from various manufacturers

Written Exams


"Phenomenal class! Should be mandatory for everyone... went above and beyond my expectations. I will be a stronger asset to my company because of this class."

"One of the best classes I have been to in the last 20 years."

"Every journeyman or master plumber should attend the class."

"Great course, very informative, a lot of fun, instructors did a great job of keeping me involved and comfortable."


Benjamin Jordan

Benjamin J. Jordan, PE is a program director with Interdisciplinary Professional Programs in the transportation sector. He has over 35 years of experience in civil engineering and public works. He earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign and a Master of Public Affairs degree with a Certificate in Public Management from the University of Missouri-Columbia. He is a Licensed Professional Engineer in the State of Illinois.

Charles Kraege-Soechting

Scott Walter

Upcoming dates (2)