What is a Backflow Prevention System & How Does It Work?

What is a Backflow Prevention System & How Does It Work?

According to the World Health Organization, the consumption of contaminated water results in thousands of diarrheal deaths each year. This dirty water may result from toxins present in the irrigation system or the lack of an appropriate water supply infrastructure. But, another major cause of greywater supply in pipelines is backflow.

The water distribution systems in homes, offices, and restaurants are designed to supply water in a particular direction, i.e., from the source to the consumer. However, malfunctions can cause the water to flow in the opposite direction—this is known as backflow. A backflow prevention device is a protective unit that’s installed in plumbing systems to prevent water backflow.

This article comprehensively addresses the most frequently asked questions regarding water backflow and backflow prevention systems.

What Are The Causes of Backflow?

Factors like vacuums and gravity induce opposition forces, which causes water to flow in the opposite direction. Opposition forces can be of two types:

Back Siphonage: This is low water pressure from the source to the consumer. A sudden spike in water demands, broken or undersized pipes are leading causes of this issue.

Back Pressure: This is caused due to gravity when water flows upwards in a tall building. Excessive pumping and water expansion also result in backpressure.

How Does a Backflow Preventer Work?

Hazardous chemical compounds and toxins contaminate water when it travels away from the intended direction. This device acts as a one-way gate for water. It halts the reversal of clean water back into the valve.

Ensure that you purchase an authority-approved backflow preventer. Governmental regulations require the installation of a backflow prevention device to prevent cross-contamination of potable water.

Where is a Backflow Prevention Device Located?

A backflow preventer is usually installed at the cross-connection control point. It’s the barrier between pure drinking water and contaminated water sources.

Ensure that your property’s fire protection system is on stand-by before installing a backflow preventer to maintain a static pressure.

Why Do You Need a Backflow Prevention System?

The SDWA ensures the supply of pure water as established by the EPA. However, once the water is supplied, the consumer is responsible for preventing its contamination. The backflow preventer not only mitigates the risk of water contamination but also protects your area and property.

How Can We Help?

Johnson Plumbing is a full-service plumbing company that offers solutions to all kinds of plumbing issues across Reno, Nevada. Contact us for licensed and quality backflow preventer installation in your residential, commercial, or industrial property.

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