We offer Backflow testing, installation, and repair along with multiple device discounts.
The following contains more information on the purpose of backflow prevention.
What is Backflow?
Backflow refers to the flow of water in a direction opposite to the normal flow, or the introduction of any foreign liquids, gases, or substances into the public water system. Backflow can occur under a variety of hydraulic conditions where the system is not protected by an approved backflow assembly.
It is a logical assumption that because water is always under pressure, it can only flow in one direction but this is not true. When backflow occurs it can have disastrous results. If a main line in our public water system breaks the pressure in our public water could drop dramatically causing a reversal of flow (or vacuum effect). Water will always flow toward the point of lowest pressure. Contaminated water from a mop sink (where a hose is left in used mop water), fertilizer surrounding a sprinkler system, or carbonated water from a soda fountain could be sucked back into the public water system. Carbonated water in a soda fountain is a particularly common and severe hazard. Caronic acid is created when soda water touches copper and can make someone extremely sick. Since many water lines are made of copper this could be a potential problem, but with an approved backflow device in place the hazard is easily avoided. The potential for this reversal of flow is why public water departments are concerned about the possibility for backflow of contaminates into our water system. Annual required tests ensure that the device is working correctly and that any worn or broken devices are repaired or replaced.
What is Cross-Connection?
A cross-connection is any physical arrangement where the public water system is connected (directly or indirectly) to any apparatus that may cause a substance other than the city's drinking water to enter the public water system.
Cross-Connections at Home
Cross-connection and backflow can occur at your home. A garden hose submerged into a hot tub or swimming pool, inserted into your car's radiator to flush out the antifreeze, or attached to an insecticide sprayer could siphon hazardous material back into our water system. An underground sprinkler system could cause a problem if the piping used is not drinking water quality, if the water stagnates in the system, or if pesticides or herbicides are used in the irrigation system in any way. Some cross-connections are necessary and cannot be eliminated. Examples include the water line connected to a fire sprinkler system, to a solar heating system, or to many industrial uses.
The Dangers of Cross-Connections and Backflow
Many cross-connection incidents have been documented throughout the country. A high school in Oregon had ethylene glycol antifreeze from an air-conditioner backflow into the water sending eight teachers to the hospital. Many incidents have occurred where a car wash cross-connected their plumbing and pumped dirty, soapy water through several city blocks. Although actual backflow incidents are rare, don't allow yourself to become a victim of cross-connections. Prevent backflow from occurring.
Prevention is Key
Fortunately, the remedy to cross-connections and potential backflow is simple. You, the home or business owner, may be required to have an approved backflow prevention assembly. Homeowners should utilize an assembly when an underground sprinkler system is installed or when a swimming pool is added. Commercial and industrial water consumers should utilize an assembly when they are using any substance besides drinking water in the plumbing system in any way. We will help to identify potential cross-connections and suggest ways to eliminate them or recommend the proper backflow prevention measures to ensure the protection of the public water system.