There’s a good chance you’ve never heard of a backflow service, but it plays a pivotal role in maintaining the safety and integrity of our water supply systems. Let’s delve into the details of what backflow services are and why they are so crucial.
What is Backflow?
The term ‘backflow’ refers to an undesirable reversal of the flow of water or mixtures of water and other undesirable substances from any source (like used water, industrial fluids, gasses, or any substance that is not potable) back into the distribution pipes of the potable water system. There are two types of backflow: backpressure backflow and backsiphonage.
Backpressure backflow happens when the pressure in a non-potable system, such as in a recirculating system containing soap, acid, or antifreeze, exceeds that in the potable system that provides make-up water to the system. Back siphonage occurs when there is a negative pressure in the supply piping.
Why is Backflow a Problem?
Backflow can contaminate our drinking water, making it unsafe for consumption. Imagine drinking water that’s been contaminated with chemicals from a factory, pesticides from a sprinkler system, or bacteria from a sewage line. Not a pleasant thought, right? That’s where backflow prevention comes in, and it’s a significant part of any backflow service.
What Does a Backflow Service Do?
A backflow service involves testing, repairing, and installing backflow prevention devices. These devices are designed to stop backflow at cross-connections – points where drinking water and non-drinking water can come into contact.
Backflow prevention devices need regular testing to ensure they’re working correctly. A certified backflow tester will use specialized equipment to check the device for proper operation. This testing is crucial because mechanical backflow preventers have internal seals, springs, and moving parts that can break, wear, or fail.
If a backflow prevention device isn’t working correctly, it must be repaired as soon as possible to ensure the safety of the water supply. A certified professional should handle these repairs since they involve intricate knowledge of water systems and the device itself.
Backflow services also include the installation of backflow prevention devices. These devices are installed at every cross-connection in a water system to protect the potable water from contamination due to backflow.
Backflow services play a crucial role in maintaining the safety and integrity of our water supply. Without proper backflow prevention, our drinking water could become contaminated with hazardous substances, posing severe health risks. By regularly testing, repairing, and installing backflow prevention devices, backflow services help ensure we always have safe, clean water to drink. So, the next time you turn on your tap, remember a lot is going on behind the scenes to keep that water safe!