What is Backflow Prevention?
In 1974 Congress established the Safe Drinking Water Act to protect our health from contaminants in drinking water and to prevent contamination of existing groundwater supplies. One of the requirements of the Act and its amendments is the installation and maintenance of an approved backflow prevention assembly at the water service connection, since without proper protection devices, cross connections can occur. It's important to perform backflow testing and make sure it is prevented in your home.
What is backflow? Backflow is when the water in your home piping (after it passes the water meter) flows backwards (the opposite of its normal flow). Here are two situations that may cause this to happen:
- Backpressure - occurs when the pressure in your house or building is greater than the incoming water pressure, such as can happen with the normal thermal expansion caused by your water heater.
- Backsiphonage - occurs when one of the pipes develops a negative pressure, such as when the utility must temporarily stop your water service for an emergency repair somewhere along the water main.
What is a cross connection? Any connection between your drinking water and another source of water that allows the two to mix should a backflow condition occur. When this happens your drinking water can become contaminated.
What Causes Cross Connection and Leads to Backflow?
Cross connections that lead to backflows can cause sickness and even death in some cases. Even in your own home you can unwittingly create a cross connection by:
- Placing your garden hose in a swimming pool in order to fill the pool
- Putting the garden hose in a pets water bucket, livestock water trough or into a fish tank
- Putting the garden hose down a clogged or slow moving drain in an effort to flush out debris
- Connecting your garden hose to a plant fertilizer or bug sprayer unit
- Sprinkler systems can allow standing water to flow back into a home or businesses' water supply if the water main is turned off for any reason
Responsibility: While your water utility is tasked with protecting the water entering your home or business, it is your responsibility to protect the water within your system and on your property. Depending on where you live, most homes and businesses are required by their water authority to have their backflow prevention device tested and certified annually by a certified and licensed backflow testing company to ensure that the occupants are safe from contamination from cross connections. That's where Blue Sky Plumbing can help. From residential to commercial backflow testing, we've got the expertise to ensure that you and the people in your life are kept safe.
Types of backflow devices: The names and types of devices required varies (examples are Reduced Pressure Zones (RPZ), Atmospheric vacuum Breakers (AVB), Pressure Vacuum Breakers (PVB), Double Checks (DC) among others) but you don't need to be an expert on the type or size of your prevention device. Blue Sky's professional backflow testers will take the time to help you understand your device and how best to ensure that it continues operating properly.
Blue Sky Plumbing employs backflow certified plumbers who are experienced to work on most all brands of devices including Watts, Wilkins/Zurin, Ames, Febco, Hersey, and many others.
Denver Backflow Testing & Prevention
Whether you need help with installing, repairing, or testing and certifying your backflow device, call Blue Sky Plumbing today at 303 816-8124. We perform backflow testing in Denver and the surrounding areas including all mentioned on our service area pages.