Laypeople are curious about backflow prevention device testing, and want to know if there really is a need for a periodic checkups. In our experience, the answer is a very strong “yes”. Below is a quick rundown as to why backflow prevention is important for the health of the community.
First of all, what is backflow?
Put simply, backflow is the reverse flow of water in a plumbing system. An example of water flowing in the reverse direction could be something as simple as the recycled water at a car wash flowing back into the community’s potable water supply. If people were to consume drinking water containing backflow, it could cause severe health problems.
A sudden reduction in pressure can also cause backflow issues.
What is a backflow prevention device?
A double check valve (DCV) or a reduced pressure zone (PRZ) are put in place in order to prevent the potable water supply from being contaminated from backflow. The DCV and PRZ are installed in plumbing systems to protect the community’s drinking water.
Why backflow prevention is so important
There are many situations where backflow prevention will protect your potable water source, and here are a couple of reasons why it’s so important.
Do you have a swimming pool or spa?
In the middle of summer, your pool or spa is likely to lose a lot of water through evaporation. If you’re like most Aussie households, you most likely top up the water level in your swimming pool or spa using your garden hose. A standard practice in the warmer months for Aussies who own a pool, can only be carried out thanks to the backflow prevention devices installed around the neighbourhood on commercial and residential properties.
If you were to be filling your pool and the fire department used a hydrant to put out a blaze in your neighbourhood, this may cause water pressure to drop, and your hose to begin sucking water out of your pool. As a direct result, the contaminated water in your pool can then be siphoned back into the public drinking water supply.
Typically, public infrastructure such as fire hydrants will be fitted with a backflow prevention device to stop the drop in water pressure and resultant reverse flow of contaminated water into the potable drinking water source.
Do you use sprinklers to water your lawn and garden?
A long and hot summer in Australia is enough to kill even the most hardy of native gardens. Like other WA households, you stick to your watering days and apply wetting agent to help your lawn and garden get through the warmer months.
In the situation where your reticulation malfunctions and a sprinkler heads does not rise properly, water will start to pool. This pooling can contaminate the community’s potable water source if a water main in the area bursts and water pressure suddenly reduces, and your sprinkler head sucks the contaminated water back into the drinking water supply. The soil, wetting agent, fertiliser and other contaminants can cause severe health problems.
Backflow prevention testing is crucial
Periodic backflow device testing is a legal requirement. The Water Corporation website specifically states that “Only licensed plumbers who are qualified to install, test and certify backflow prevention devices are permitted to carry out such works.”
With regular testing, backflow prevention can protect your water source and the health of people living and working around you.
Contact Jewelbic Plumbing & Gas for assistance today
We are always here to help. Reach out to us if backflow prevention device testing is on your agenda for 2022 and beyond.