A backflow preventer's main function is to protect potable water supplies from pollution or contamination due to backflow. Typically, in water supply systems, water is maintained at a significant pressure to allow water flow from the tap, shower, sprinkler system, etc. If the pressure is reduced or happens to fail, then such reduced pressure in the pipe could allow water from the ground, from storage or other sources could be drawn up into the system, causing damage. This can be caused by water main bursts, pipes freezing or another unexpected demand on the water system. Backflow preventers are required to be inspected at least once a year.
Service First Fire Sprinkler provides installation, inspections, testing and maintenance of backflow preventers in all of South Dakota, Iowa, and Nebraska. Call us today for further information.
What is backflow?
Simply put: "Used" water is pulled back into the main water supply. Technically: Water that has left the main water supply, then entered into your home or business to intermingle with numerous contaminents is no longer safe for drinking. Once this water is pulled back into the pipes in the wrong direction, it has the opportunity to mix with the clean drinking water, thus contaminating the entire town's water supply.
What causes backflow?
When there is a sudden drop in water pressure in your area (usually during the elimination of a fire, or concurrent use of large amounts of water by too many people at one time) the drop in pressure is what then pulls water that has already been expelled back into the main water supply.
How does backflow affect me?
Out of sight, all water pipes entering your home, the restaurant down the street, and your local hospital, are all connected to the same water supply. In your residence or business, any mechanically-controlled use of water (ie: lawn irrigation, fire sprinkler system, pop machines, pedicure bowls, etc.) a backflow preventer is a necessary accessory to your plumbing system. A "backflow preventer" is just what it sounds like. Once water pressure drops, the backflow preventer seals shut, not allowing any water to flow backwards in the wrong direction. The EPA mandates that all backflow preventers be tested and certified once, sometimes twice per year, depending on the geographical location of the backflow preventer. If a water customer chooses not to meet this requirement, that customer will eventually be faced with the termination of their water service until they are able to show proof that their device has been properly tested and maintained. This annual or semi-annual testing is what ensures the safety of your drinking water.
Thanks to Chicago Backflow Inc. for the above information.