The town drinking water supply can potentially become contaminated in a number of different ways. One fairly common way contamination can occur is from backflow. In this article, we’ll be taking a closer look at what backflow is, how you can prevent it and why you need a backflow endorsed plumber on the Sunshine Coast.
What Is Backflow Contamination?
Backflow contamination is when water used at a premise somehow finds its way back into the town water supply, rather than being harmlessly distributed off through wastewater pipes and channels. The water in the pipework flows in the opposite direction to what it’s supposed to and any contaminated water that backflows into the town drinking water is going to cause serious problems.
Contaminated drinking water can lead to sickness, serious illness and, in a worst-case scenario, even death.
If backflow occurs on your premises, it won’t only potentially affect the people in your home or business. Backflow can put an entire community at risk. If the main potable drinking water supply becomes contaminated, that’s a serious issue that could affect many peoples’ lives.
Possible backflow contamination sources include:
- Swimming pools
- Irrigation systems
- Vehicle washing bays
- Manufacturing and commercial processes
- Backyard ornamental ponds
- Air conditioning towers
- Motor vehicle maintenance pits
- Commercial kitchens
- And more…
Backflow is most likely to happen when a premises has what’s known as a cross-connection, where two pipes connect. This is where a second water system is connected to the town water supply. Back siphonage and back pressure can lead to contaminated or used water to siphon back into the clean drinking water supply.
Backflow Prevention Devices
Backflow prevention devices are the answer. What this device does is prevent the accidental reverse flow of wastewater, stopping it from being able to enter the main drinking water supply. Not only do these backflow prevention devices protect your premises from backflow issues, but they also protect the entire town water system. The more devices that are installed on different premises, the safer the town water supply becomes.
A backflow prevention device solves the problem of cross-connections and other ways that backflow can occur. Basically, it’s a one-way valve that only allows water to flow in its intended direction. There are different backflow devices depending on the hazard rating of the premises and this is something you’ll need to check with a backflow endorsed plumber.
View the Sunshine Coast council’s video on backflow prevention:
As a property owner you have responsibilities if you have backflow prevention:
“Property owner’s responsibilities
The owner of a testable backflow prevention device must:
- have all devices installed by a licensed backflow endorsed plumber
- register the device with the council by providing a copy of the initial test report
- have it inspected or tested by an endorsed licensed plumber yearly
- ensure that there is adequate access to devices for testing and maintenance.
Types of testable devices include:
- reduced pressure zone
- double-check, and
- some single check valves.
Non-testable devices; including dual check valves, do not need to be registered or tested annually.”
A Backflow Endorsed Plumber
As mentioned, only a backflow endorsed plumber will be able to help you with installing a backflow prevention device and the right device for your premises. Not all plumbers are endorsed or educated in backflow prevention, so it’s vital you choose a plumber that is.
Your endorsed plumber will be able to determine the correct backflow prevention device and install it on your behalf.
Backflow can be a potentially very serious issue, so do your part in helping the community and ensuring a safe drinking water supply by having backflow prevention devices installed on your property.
Refined Plumbing Sunshine Coast is a backflow Endorsed plumber.
Contact Izaak now: 0405 142 154
Original article by Refined Plumbing Sunshine Coast