Backflow is when contaminated water has reversed flow and entered clean water lines. The water supply is kept at a high pressure so that water can easily flow out of any faucet in your business or home. However, the sewage system is not pressurized, it depends on gravity to remove waste from the business or home. If anything happens to increase the pressure of the sewage drain or to decrease the pressure of the water supply, backflow may occur.
How Does Backflow Happen?
Backflow happens when contaminated water has reversed flow and entered clean water lines. It can occur at any cross-connection between clean and dirty water lines and is typically caused by a significant change in water pressure. If the pressure changes in the pipes, the sewage water can flow backwards and enter the main water supply line. The pressure can change when the water main breaks or there is a sewer line blockage. When the pressure is lost, water is no longer being pushed forward and will flow backwards into the city water lines. The dirty water can contaminate the public drinking supply with:
- Human waste
- Chlorine from pools and spas
- Fertilizers and pesticides
- Soap from sinks, dishwashers and showers
How to Prevent Backflow
Backflow preventers are the best way to protect the water supply from contamination. They provide an air gap or physical barrier that prevents wastewater from polluting the clean water. Most backflow preventers have check valves that only allow the wastewater to flow in one direction.
Backflow Prevention and Testing
The safety device to prevent backflow from occurring must be properly installed and tested to ensure that the clean water remains free of contaminants. Municipal codes require backflow prevention devices to be tested every year to ensure that they are functioning properly. If the testing isn’t completed on time, fines or the water supply to your business or property may be cut off.
Call Fire Control Systems for all your backflow prevention needs. Schedule testing or installation for your property today.