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How Is Water Protected From Backflow?

How Does Backflow Affect Water Quality and Safety? 

One of the things that people don’t realize about the water supply in modern society is that it is subject to threats that can contaminate it and cause illnesses. Clean water is so ubiquitous that people take it for granted when clean water is just a twist of the tap away. One of the problems that is unique to the plumbing system is a condition called backflow. 

Backflow has traditionally been a common problem and is now controlled by certain practices and devices. Without these procedures and backflow preventers, the water supply could be contaminated with biological agents or chemical contamination. Here is a quick guide from local plumbers that can educate property owners about what backflow is, how it is prevented, and backflow testing.  

Understanding Backflow 

Once water leaves the treatment facility, it is free of biological agents causing human diseases and safe for consumption. In order to stay clean, water pipes have to be sealed off from anything that may allow contamination. This means that water has to flow in one direction until it is used and enters the sewer system. When water flows in the opposite direction, backflow occurs. 

The problem arises when water flows through pipes, and backflow causes a siphon. The siphon pulls water backward through the pipes, and the subsequent suction pulls contaminants into a water line. In a home, this most often occurs in running irrigation systems. Water is pulled backward through the water lines, and the siphon pulls contaminated groundwater into freshwater lines, causing water contamination and safety risks. 

Preventing Backflow 

backflowBackflow prevention methods and devices, such as air gaps or backflow preventers, are the solutions for preventing the hazards that backflow presents. Backflow preventers or air gaps are installed in certain places around the plumbing system and in the water grid to prevent and mitigate the effects of backflow. 

In most homes and businesses with elaborate irrigation systems, a backflow preventer is required at the beginning of the system. If there is any doubt that a backflow preventer or method is present on the property, enlist the assistance of a plumber to help identify and test these devices. 

Testing Backflow Prevention Devices 

backflowBackflow preventers virtually eliminate the threat of backflow and contamination in water pipes. However, to maintain their effectiveness, they must be tested every year by qualified experts. Every backflow tester is a plumber, but not every plumber is a certified backflow tester. When backflow testing services are needed, make sure the plumber is qualified. 

During backflow testing, plumbers use pressure gauges to ensure the device works properly. If a problem is found, most plumbers will fix it on the spot so the backflow preventer is ready to protect the home’s clean water for another year. Backflow testing is essential to prevent backflow and protect families from contaminated water. 

About Pride Plumbing

Pride Plumbing is a family business serving Mt. Gilead and the surrounding areas since 1965. They offer upfront pricing, on-time service, and fast turnarounds. Call them today for backflow testing and repair in Mt. Gilead, NC.

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