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Those interested in volunteering for a position on one of the many city boards or committees can fill out an application online here or pick a paper application in the City Clerk's Office.
A student application is available to download at: https://www.romi.gov/DocumentCenter/View/1278
City sewers can only handle a certain amount of flow, and when sewers are overloaded, they can back-up into residents’ basements. To avoid this problem, the city uses catch basin covers that limit how fast water can enter the sewer system. These restricted catch basin covers cause temporary ponding on residential streets during rain storms. The ponded water is typically less than 12 inches deep at the edge of the road. This allows vehicles to drive through the center of the road (with caution) where the water is less deep. Because the restricted catch basin covers have only two or four openings (slots), it is easy for leaves, grass clippings, debris, etc. to clog the openings and cause excess street flooding. If you see a clogged cover, you can help your entire street by clearing the debris! The DPS and Engineering Division also work their way through the city to help clear off clogged catch basins covers.
Naturally occurring mineral deposits that accumulate within the water main get stirred up and become suspended particles, thus producing the discoloration in the water. Discolored water is temporary, and while unappealing, it is not harmful.
SOLUTION:Residents should run the cold water faucet closest to the meter (usually located in the basement or outside hose bib) for several minutes until the water runs clear. If the water does not clear after 20 minutes of flushing, contact the Department of Public Service at (248) 246-3300. Residents should avoid running hot water or washing clothes while water is discolored.
In 2011 the city commission directed the engineering division to assess the conditions of the public sidewalks in the city and determine if deficiencies exist that could promote a hazard, or lead to conditions that could become hazardous in the future. The commission also directed staff to identify locations where sidewalks do not exist and make recommendations as to the feasibility of installing new sidewalks that would further the existing sidewalk network. After this review, the commission directed the engineering division to embark on a sidewalk improvement program to inspect and replace sidewalks in accordance with city code §650 over a six year period from 2012 to 2017. To establish an efficient and cost effective sidewalk program, the Engineering Division uses these selection criteria.
The property owner may contact the city’s contractor directly to arrange for the installation of any driveway or approach work; however this work cannot be added to the city’s sidewalk contract and shall be contracted directly with the contractor.
As stated in Royal Oak’s municipal code, the Historic District Study Committee (HDSC) was established to “provide for the establishment of historic districts in carrying out the public purpose of historic preservation in the City of Royal Oak, consistent with the State of Michigan Local Historic Districts Act” (§ 82-3). A historic district is “an area, or group of areas not necessarily having contiguous boundaries, that contains one resource or a group of resources that are related by history, architecture, archaeology, engineering, or culture” (§ 82-3).
There are currently 13 historic districts within the city of Royal Oak that have been designated as such by the HDSC. These districts are listed in the Royal Oak municipal code Ch. 82, Articles IV-XVI:
Properties in Royal Oak cannot be designated historic without owner permission.
“In evaluating the significance of historic resources, the Committee shall be guided by the selection criteria for evaluation issued by the United States Secretary of the Interior for inclusion of resources in the National Register of Historic Places, as set forth in 36 CFR Part 60, and criteria established or approved by the Bureau, if any” (§82-9).
A property may be designated historic if it is a “publicly or privately owned building, structure, site, object, feature or open space that is significant in the history, architecture, archaeology, engineering, or culture of the City of Royal Oak, the State of Michigan, or the United States” (§82-2). More specifically, the HDSC applies criteria from the US Department of Interior,
National Park Service: “the quality of significance in American history, architecture, archeology, engineering, and culture is present in districts, sites, buildings, structures, and objects that possess integrity of location, design, setting, materials, workmanship, feeling, and association, and:
A. That are associated with events that have made a significant contribution to the
broad patterns of our history; or
B. That are associated with the lives of significant persons in our past; or
C. That embody the distinctive characteristics of a type, period, or method of
construction, or that represent the work of a master, or that possess high artistic values, or that represent a significant and distinguishable entity whose components may lack individual distinction; or
D. That have yielded or may be likely to yield, information important in history or
The most important benefit is preserving Royal Oak history, both in neighborhoods as well as downtown (and perhaps spurring cultural heritage tourism). According to the Michigan Historic Preservation Network’s report published in 2016, there is also less of a possibility of demolition, as well as some economic benefit, such as higher actualized resale value. The Local Historic Districts Act of 1970, which allows cities to establish ordinances to “regulate the construction, addition, alteration, repair, moving, excavation, and demolition of resources in historic districts within the limits of the local unit,” describes the following as reasons for historic preservation:
(a) Safeguard the heritage of the local unit by preserving 1 or more historic districts in
the local unit that reflect elements of the unit's history, architecture, archaeology, engineering, or culture.
(b) Stabilize and improve property values in each district and the surrounding areas.
(c) Foster civic beauty.
(d) Strengthen the local economy.
(e) Promote the use of historic districts for the education, pleasure, and welfare of the citizens of the local unit and of the state.” (§399.202)
The State of Michigan discontinued tax incentives for historic properties, but it is possible these incentives may be reinstated in the future.
Quite a bit of research, verification, and writing go into designating city properties as historic. The State requires a great deal of information and adherence to specific guidelines. (Consult the link to Local Historic Districts in Michigan manual for more information regarding everything that must go into the reports.) However, the HDSC cannot designate properties in Royal Oak as historic without owner permission. This is the first step. A property owner must first contact the HDSC and attend a meeting to request a study on the property, should they have a reasonable belief that their property meets a criterion/criteria for designation. The HDSC then conducts some research into the property to establish facts, and if enough is available, committee members visit the property to take measurements, photos, and observe documents or specific
features of the property. Research continues by the committee, who write a preliminary report following State guidelines. This preliminary report is sent to the State, City Planning Department, Mayor and City Commission. The State Historic Preservation Office must review the report (which could take six to eight weeks) and the HDSC must address any comments, and make additions or corrections before publishing the final report that is once again distributed to the State and City members. The Planning Department reads the report and meets with the HDSC to determine whether it recommends or disapproves of the study. If approved by the Planning Department, the report is forwarded to the City for their review at a City Commission meeting. When the City approves the historic designation, the property owner must be present at the meeting to verify their acceptance. Following this, the City Attorney prepares an ordinance regarding the property and the owner receives a copy of the final report for their records.
The HDSC charges a modest cost to cover the clerical work (primarily printing costs) involved in preparing the preliminary and final reports. If a property is designated historic, the property owner may choose to purchase approved official signage through the HDSC.
Changes to the interior, unless they affect the integrity of the exterior, do not require review, or approval by the Historic District Commission (HDC).
Changes to the exterior need to be addressed as follows:
• The request for change is taken to the Building Department at City Hall along with any contracts.
• The Building Department contacts the HDC chairperson.
• The HDC chairperson convenes its members, sets a date for review, and notifies the Building Department, who in turn, notifies the property owner of the date to attend this review. Contractors should be included.
• Following review and discussion, the HDC will vote to
2. Not approve
3. Partial approval
• Notification is given to the Building Department within the next business day.
• The HDC reports are the methods for noting changes in the historically designated properties for future reference.
Please contact our chairperson, Ruth Cleaveland, at 248-547-6217.
Successful candidates are ranked on the eligibility list in order of their final score in the examination.
For all positions, 5 extra credit points will be given to those people who meet veteran status requirements and provide proof thereof; typically by means of a DD-214 form.
Police officer and firefighter candidates also receive 1 extra credit point for each 30 college credit hours in excess of the minimum requirement of 60 credit hours.
Police Officer candidates receive 5 extra points if they are either enrolled in, or have completed the police academy.
Promotional eligibility lists are valid for 1 or 2 years, depending on the bargaining unit agreement covering the position.
Suitability for the position may be determined using a multitude of ways, including additional application requirements such as a cover a letter or questionnaire, as well as practical and personality testing and one or more rounds of oral interviews.
We kindly request that you contact human resources at x3070 or send us an email ahead of a visit to our office. Prior notice will allow us some time to research and prepare a proper response your question.
Please note that any requests for copies of pay stubs, annual tax statements such as W-2's, or retiree pay information must be directed to the Finance department.
Human resources is happy to answer any questions you may have about your exit payment (the final payout you receive following the last day of employment) or post-retirement benefits.
Retirees must contact the finance department instead. IRS Forms & Publications
Contact the organization you work or have worked for with any questions pertaining to employment there.
MDHHS is headquartered in Lansing and provides public assistance, child and family welfare services, and oversees health policy and management. Additionally, the MDHHS oversees Michigan's child and adult protective services, foster care, adoptions, juvenile justice, domestic violence, and child support programs. The MDHHS also licenses adult foster care, child day care and child welfare facilities.
For contact information to the different MDHHS offices, please visit the link below. Michigan Department of Health & Human Services
Questions directly related to your retiree benefits, medicare reimbursements, etc. can be directed to human resources.
You need to have official identification showing your name and permanent address. We won't make copies of it, but we do need to see the following:
If you are under 18 years of age and are not an emancipated minor, you must have the signature of your parent or guardian on the application cards in order to be issued a card. If your parent or guardian is not a current ROPL library card holder, they must show the same proofs of residency listed above.
You can get a jump-start on the process with our online application here: https://www.romi.gov/FormCenter/Library-6/Library-Card-Registration-Form-48 and then bring your proof of address when you stop by to get your card.
Yes! Bring your Troy card and your photo ID to the check out desk and you may check out up to 10 items and place up to 3 on hold.
You may use your card at any of the 50 libraries in the TLN network: https://tln.lib.mi.us/md. There are also some "standalone" libraries where you can use your card: Baldwin, Bloomfield Township, Canton, Clarkston, Dearborn, Farmington Hills, Grosse Pointe, Howell Carnegie, Northfield Township, Orion Township, Pinckney, Plymouth, Rochester Hills, Royal Oak Township, St. Clair County Library, Saline, Southfield, West Bloomfield Township, Westland, and Ypsilanti. We have a reciprocal borrowing agreement with Troy Public Library as well. But wait, there's more! If you ask for a MI Library Card sticker for your card, you have access to even more libraries in Michigan: http://milibrarycard.org/partcipating.html. Please call or visit any of these libraries if you are interested in utilizing these great resources.
You may have up to 100 items checked out at any time.
You may have up to 15 unfilled holds on your account. Any holds that are waiting for you on the shelf do not count towards your limit of 15. Also, your holds will stay on the shelf for seven (7) days, so make sure you get them before they're gone!
The 2018 Royal Oak Area Preschool and Child Care Directory provides information on over 40 area facilities which includes area preschools, child care programs, K-8, educational approaches, special needs programs and specialty programs.
2018 Royal Oak Area Preschool and Child Care Directory (PDF)
We offer story times for a variety of ages. Please see our calendar and Story Time flyer (PDF) for specific offerings.
• New Years Day• Memorial Day• Independence Day• Labor Day• Thanksgiving (delayed Thursday and Friday only*)• Christmas Day*Thursday waste is picked up on Friday, and Friday waste is picked up on Saturday. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday are picked up on the scheduled day.
When the city was first approached by Jeffrey Surnow, about three years ago, he expressed his vision for a mixed-use office building and/or hotel fronting a downtown park. The city was attracted to his history as someone who always looked to harmonize the commercial elements of a development with urban green spaces. At the time, the city had not decided where it would relocate current city and police operations, although the city was moving forward under the assumption that municipal buildings were not the best use for this site.
Sadly, Mr. Surnow passed away that spring, and there were no developments on the project until later that summer, when Mr. Surnow’s sons, Sam and Max, partnered with the Boji Group to try and bring the plan back into fruition. This new partnership, Central Park Development Group, is the entity of which most of the public is now familiar. They came back to the city with a much larger plan, incorporating the office and park elements of Jeff Surnow’s initial proposal, with a solution for the city’s needs: a new police station and a new City Hall, which would be located in the office building. This marriage of public and private was based upon a similar structure used for the State Senate offices in Lansing.
As discussions with this developer became more serious, the city retained Plante Moran CRESA (PMC) as its real estate advisor to vet the details of the proposal. Plante Moran has a long and distinguished history with large scale development projects, and in particular, municipal projects. They’ve been side-by-side with the city, not only examining the details of this particular project, but offering guidance to alternatives when the project would hit a roadblock. PMC was also tasked with performing a feasibility study on the city’s current City Hall and police station. Was it a viable alternative to invest in our current facilities instead of pursuing new ones? Their conclusion was no, citing that both buildings were functionally obsolete.
Locating City Hall within a speculative office building presented many legal and, to some extent, financial challenges, and we - the developer and the city - made the mutual decision to pursue a standalone building for City Hall operations. When this decision was made, the city also decided shortly thereafter that it was in its best interest to assume management and control of the city-owned portions of the project. That decision was made in April, and that is where the project currently stands.
The city is pursuing the development of a new police station (which is very deep into the design development process - nearly complete), a new City Hall, a downtown park, which hasn’t entered any stage of the design development process, and a parking structure. It is anticipated to close on its bond financing for the project in late 2017 or January 2018 A comprehensive overview of the project can be found here .
The private office building is solely being developed by CPDG.
On June 26, 2017, the commission released outside counsel to draft a development agreement that memorializes these terms into a development agreement. This development agreement was presented to the commission on August 28, 2017 and unanimously approved.
As summarized at the commission’s June 21, 2017 public work session, CPDG’s involvement with what has become known as the Royal Oak Civic Center (ROCC) project has drastically changed since the first public special meeting dedicated to the ROCC proposal was held on April 18, 2016. The city is no longer contemplating contracting with CPDG to perform the master development obligations for the city-owned projects in the ROCC (a new city hall, a new police department, a new parking deck and a new downtown park), nor is the city contemplating placing its operations into CPDG’s proposed private office building. As it stands today, CPDG’s sole responsibility would be construction of its proposed $37.8 million, 128,000 sf (rentable) office building, and the city would be responsible for the construction of the new police station, city hall, parking deck and downtown park. This structure is reflected in the proposed term sheet.
A term sheet was provided and presented to the public on June 26, 2017. The term sheet seeks financial assistance from the city and outlines a schedule by which the city and/or Downtown Development Authority (DDA) would recoup this investment. Given that a significant gap exists between the cost of construction of new office buildings in Southeast Michigan and the market rental rates the region commands, the request was expected. It is anticipated that the market rental rate for CPDG’s proposed building is approximately $30/sf, a rate has been verified by numerous commercial real estate firms in Southeast Michigan, as well as the city’s real estate consultants on this project, Plante Moran CRESA (PMC).
PMC analyzed CPDG’s design development package and verified to the extent possible the accuracy of the assumptions represented therein to determine the financial gap between what the building would cost and what rents the building could reasonably command. That gap was identified between $5 million and $10 million.
The chief difficulty with constructing a speculative office building is financing, and city discussions with CPDG and its lender focused upon the minimum amount the city could provide that, in addition to CPDG’s equity, would secure financing. That figure was identified at $5.5 million, the low end of CPDG’s financial gap and the request made in the proposed term sheet.
A summary of the financial investment being asked of the city is as follows:
In return, CPDG has agreed to the following in return for the city’s investment:
On June 26, 2017, the commission released outside counsel to draft a development agreement that memorializes these terms into a development agreement. Upon completion of this development agreement, the commission will be asked to provide the final vote in the affirmative or negative for the project. It is anticipated this agreement will be before the commission in late August or early September 2017.
Each of the buildings has numerous problems that could be repaired. However, the work required is so extensive as to approach the cost of replacement according to a study commissioned from Plante Moran Cresa which is available on the city’s website. They found both buildings “functionally obsolete.”
Neither building was designed for the kind of use the city needs from it today and in the future. They were built for a time when manual typewriters and carbon paper were considered high tech. This is especially problematic in the police department which simply doesn’t have room for the equipment it needs today.
City Hall wasn’t even designed to be a City Hall, or even an office building to begin with. The architect modified a plan he already had for a school building. According to one of our local historians, the plans were given to the city free of charge. One look at the overall design of the building -- the extra wide hallways and stairwells -- and it’s clear it was modeled after a school. It’s broken up into a lot of small spaces separated by load bearing walls. It even has a central clock system which quit working after the most recent flood.
Unfortunately, what makes for a good school design does not make for a good City Hall. This building simply does not work well and it never did. Renovating it would make it look better and might solve the heating, cooling, and electrical problems but it wouldn’t make it work better. It would still be an extremely poor design.
There is a logistical problem too. Renovating would require moving all of the employees to another location while the renovations are done, then moving them back. There isn’t a suitable facility in Royal Oak to serve as a temporary City Hall. The city would probably end up renting portable office trailers and putting them in the parking lot.
Finally, the aspect of this project that seems to have the most overwhelming public support is the downtown park. It’s also the amenity that makes the private office development most attractive. The park is planned for the location of the current city hall and police building. If City Hall operations don’t move, there is not a place for the park.
Improved customer service
The site under consideration would front a new downtown park, located directly east of Troy St. Once the decision was made to pursue a standalone building, many alternatives were considered on the overall site. There isn’t a portion of the site that wasn’t considered. The city even (briefly) looked at placing it in the proposed parking structure.
Ultimately, the commission voted in January on its current placement, which adds a dynamic element to the park while reinforcing the civic aspect to the overall site plan.
With approximately 100 people in the ROPD and another 100 people in the City Hall departments, the building would need to be approximately 65,000 to 75,000 square feet.
Given the limitations of horizontal space on city-owned sites without taking up too much parking, a combined building would have to be vertical and a minimum 4 to 5 stories tall. Due to the requirements of separating public and police activities, for security reasons, this type of building would require additional square footage and have multiple stairwells and elevators above and beyond what would be required by code, adding significant cost of the project. This is why two separate buildings types are being proposed for the city of Royal Oak. All the operation efficiencies the city is hoping to achieve will be lost if it starts adding levels.
A combined location works much better in a rural environment where land is available and you can go horizontal instead of vertical.
The idea of a new civic center campus isn’t new. Over the years, the city has explored sites inside and outside of the central business district (CBD), including but not limited to the former school administration building and the senior center site. In the end, the preferred option by multiple city commissions and stakeholders has been to create a civic center area in the downtown.
There are many reasons why a downtown civic center is attractive in a traditional city:
There is no such thing as free parking. It will cost the city about $25,000 per space to build a parking structure, and that is without adjusting for the spaces that were already there. In Royal Oak, parking has always been paid for with parking system revenue. The city does not use city tax revenue for parking. One way or another, the city will need to increase parking revenue. That can be done by increasing fees, or it can be done with a special parking assessment on properties in the Central Business District, which are not required to provide their own parking, or with a combination of the two. The city has always used parking fees in the past to finance parking in Royal Oak. Birmingham uses both fees and special assessments.
The DDA serves as the city’s parking committee, and it has created a subcommittee to look at how the city should be paying for parking. That could lead to the use of special assessments in the future.
Current rates are extremely low. Anyone who spends anytime in downtown Detroit is well aware of this. The rate in the garage at Woodward and State Street is $5/hour. The city of Royal Oak charges .75/hour and the first two hours are free.
Our current cost estimates are as follows:
Police building: $14-$16 million
Furniture, fixtures, equipment and technology (FFE&T): $2.4 million
City Hall: $9-$10.5 million / FFE&T: $1.575 million
Parking Structure: $14-14.5 million
Park and site improvements: $9.75-10.75
The city will spend another $900,000 on construction management and about $581,000 on bond issuance costs.
All of these numbers are estimates. No portion of the project has been bid yet. That said, the numbers for the police building are based on detailed plans, whereas the numbers for City Hall are based on standard construction costs per square foot. The city does not have plans for City Hall yet. The parking structure is very similar to the one the city currently has under construction, and the city has recent bids on it that verify the standard cost estimate.
The parking system will bear the full cost of the parking structure and receive all of the revenue it earns. The city will probably use revenue bonds as with the new structure at Center St and 11 Mile. Revenue bonds only pledge the revenue of the parking system, not tax revenue, as security to the bond holders.
The annual debt service on the other three components is estimated at $2.4 million per year for 25 years. The city manager is recommending the DDA pick up the debt service on the park, which is estimated at $737,000. That leaves about $1.6 million to the general fund for City Hall and the police building. That sounds like a lot of money, and it is, but the city’s OPEB and pension bond issue is saving the city $2.5 million per year, the new buildings will have lower utility and maintenance costs, and will reduce staffing needs.
The type of bond the city will issue is called a “limited tax general obligation bond.” That means bondholders have a claim on existing (already authorized) taxes and other revenue, but the city cannot issue any additional taxes to pay the debt service. In other words, there will be no tax increase as a result of this project.
The construction will be bid, as with every city project. The city has taken full control over the construction of the police building, city hall building, parking structure and park. It no longer has a developer involved in the city portions of the project. The developer is only building its office building, not the city facilities. With the city in control, Royal Oak will follow its normal processes for bidding construction work.
When it became clear that this project was a serious possibility, the city retained Plante Moran Cresa, whose wealth of knowledge in this arena supercedes any of city staff’s. PMC has worked on dozens of municipal projects in SE Michigan, and it is currently coordinating the District Detroit arena development in downtown Detroit. PMC has been the city’s eyes and ears in not only vetting the current proposal, but also bringing alternative ideas, footprints, floor plans, etc. As this project has evolved over the course of the last three years, every decision that has been made has been made publicly, and usually followed by significant media coverage. Certainly, the city was aware of the feedback of many in the community when it was evaluating whether to locate future operations into an office building.
A landscape architect has just been hired to solicit feedback from our community – focus groups, town halls, etc. – so that the park represents what the entire community wants. This public engagement process should begin sometime this fall.
The park will be built using bond money. The city is asking the DDA to agree to pay the debt service costs on the park.
The city does not have a design for the park yet. It has just selected a landscape architect who will design this park and Normandy Oaks. It is impossible to speculate what amenities will be placed in the park. Unless we install something requiring very high maintenance -- a swimming pool or ice skating rink with ice making equipment -- basic costs will be mowing and landscape maintenance.
This development is projected to result in a net increase in available parking spaces because the project includes a parking structure with 450 new spaces. (See table below.)
The office building tenants will use a great deal of those spaces between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. However, they will use very few in the evenings and weekends, which is when the city has a parking shortfall in the area. The city will gain parking during the hours that it needs more parking evenings and on the weekends.
All of the city’s parking lots and garages provide handicapped parking spaces in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
The ADA does not require existing facilities to be modified to meet the current act requirements until changes are made. That is why the city can have a current City Hall and police building that do not meet ADA standards. The new buildings will at least meet current standards.
- $30 - If the claim you are filing is for $600 or less. - $50 - If the claim is for between $600 and $1,750. - $70 - If the claim is for between $1,750 and $6,000. NOTE: The maximum will increase to $6,500 January 1, 2021 - $10 - If you want us to mail the papers by Certified Mail. - $20.00+ - If you want our Court Officer to personally serve the papers. This fee varies depending on where the defendant lives. Note: If the Judge/Magistrate rules in your favor, then costs (including those listed above) will be added to your claim at the time of the Judgment and the Defendant will be responsible for reimbursing you for those costs.
Summer property taxes are due in the Treasurer’s Office by 4:30 p.m. on July 31. Winter property taxes are due in the Treasurer’s Office by 4:30 p.m. on February 14. Please verify the due date on your current tax statement, as the City of Royal Oak does not accept postmarks.
There is also a 24-hour drop box located to the right of the Royal Oak City Hall front entrance. However, drop box payments received after 4:30 p.m. on the last business day of July will be considered received on the first business day of August. All unpaid taxes belong to Oakland County as of March 1.
or e-mail a scan of both the form and a voided check to Water Billing. Water Payment Enrollment Form (PDF).
or e-mail us at Water Billing. Address Change Request Form (PDF).
A cross-connection is a connection of a potable water system to a non-potable system or a system of questionable water quality.
Backflow, within the context of the drinking water industry, means the reversal of water flow from its normal or intended direction of flow. Whenever a water utility connects a customer to its water distribution system, the intention is for the water to flow from the distribution system to the customer. However, it is possible, and quite common, for the flow to be reversed and the flow from the customer’s plumbing system can back up into the public water distribution system. If cross-connections exist within the user’s plumbing system when backflow occurs, then it is possible to contaminate the public water system.
Backflow may occur simply because the public water system lost pressure. Backflow, reversal of flow from its normal direction, is usually caused by a back pressure or backsiphonage. It is a condition that manifests itself when the water pressure within an establishment’s plumbing system exceeds that of the water distribution system supplying it. This back pressure might be caused by a difference in elevation, a pump, a steam boiler or other means.
Back pressure or Backsiphonage may occur when the water pressure within the distribution system falls below that of the plumbing system it is supplying. This may happen due to a fire department pumper truck as it needs to pump water out of the distribution system faster than the water treatment plant equipment can replace it. Also, the water rushing downhill due to a broken water main might create a partial vacuum on some plumbing systems connected in the vicinity of the break and cause a backsiphonage or, perhaps, simply flushing the water pipes to clean them may cause this phenomenon.
Where backflow occurs and cross-connections are present you have all of the necessary elements for contamination of the plumbing system and subsequently contamination of the public water system:
Backflow Occurrence = Link + Force
Yes, in the old days many disease epidemics were caused by cross-connections between potable water systems and raw river water or lake water piping systems. Epidemics of typhoid and cholera were often caused by backflow occurrences from these sources. People died or became very ill as a result of these outbreaks. A few of the contaminants caused by cross-connections are:
Untreated river, sea or lake water, pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, propane gas, worm treatment for poultry, boiler water with chemicals, anti-freeze, blood and body fluids from funeral homes, chemicals, water from car washes, dyes, sewage, Freon, worms, heavy metals such as arsenic, petrochemicals, water from flush toilets, bacteria cultures from laboratories and others.
This is only a partial list of documented cases of potable water contamination by virtue of cross-connections and backflow occurrences. They still happen, somewhere, every day.
Modern technology has provided us with new tools to prevent backflow from non-potable sources into our public water systems. They are called backflow prevention assemblies; reduced pressure (RP) or double check valve (DC)-type. Unlike the older accepted, non-testable hardware for preventing backflow such as swing check valves, dual check valves and atmospheric vacuum breakers (which still have their applications), the RP and DC-type backflow prevention assemblies are testable to assure they are in proper working order. Placed at the site of the cross-connection they can protect the plumbing system from contamination. Placed just downstream of a water meter to an establishment, they can protect the public water system from any contamination that may occur within the entire establishment’s plumbing system.