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Welcome, let us help you understand backflow.

Backflow Basics

What is “backflow” and how does it happen? Is it something you need to be worried about as a homeowner?  Don’t worry, we’ll answer all these questions and more.

What is backflow?

Backflow prevention systems are devices installed onto a pipe that only allow water to flow in one direction. Think of it as a one-way gate that allows water from the city's public water supply to flow into your home's piping but stops water if and when it ever tries to flow backwards into the main water supply.  Do you need help identifying your backflow assembly? Click Here

How does “backflow” happen in the first place?

When water enters your home from the main water supply line, it should only ever flow in one direction: into your home.  Sometimes, due to pressure changes in the pipes, that water can actually flow backwards and seep back into the main water supply line.  

For example, backflow can happen when there’s a break in the main water line or when a fire hydrant is opened for use. Because pressure is lost during these events, water is no longer being pushed forward into your home and will flow backwards into the city water lines.

When this happens, backflow can contaminate the public drinking water supply with:

  • Fertilizers/pesticides

  • Human waste

  • Chlorine from pools/spas

  • Soap from sinks/dishwashers/showers

Is testing required?

Numerous state regulations require all backflow prevention devices to be tested annually. These devices are required to keep the water that passes through them and into the plumbing system beyond them from coming back into the water supply, while protecting the quality and safety of the drinking water system. Just like the individual parts of your car, backflow prevention devices have parts that can break down and wear out. Annual backflow tests can help to ensure the drinking water supplied to your home remains safe.

What is a cross connection?

A cross connection is any connection between piping that carries drinking water and piping that carries non-potable water. When a cross connection exists, a backflow device is required so that the water’s taste or odor is not affected and harmful chemicals do not enter the drinking water. Common cross connections include sprinkler and irrigation systems, hot tubs, pools, fire suppression systems, radiant heating systems, boilers, soda fountain machines, and auxiliary water systems (wells).  If you have any of these, please call us today. We can help to ensure your water is safe.

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