What is backflow?
When you turn the faucet on you naturally assume that the water flowing from it will be clean and healthy. However, there are certain situations that can result in potentially unhealthy and unclean water. One of these is the occurrence of backflow, which is pretty much what it sounds like.
What causes backflow to occur?
It has to do with water pressure. The proper amount of water pressure keeps water flowing in the right direction through the pipes. If, for some reason there is a drop in water pressure in the distribution system, the flow may reverse itself. A suction effect may then pull harmful substances into the potable, or clean, water system. This type of backflow is called backsiphonage. Another type of backflow is caused by backpressure which occurs when the pressure in a non-potable system becomes greater than the pressure in the potable water system. This can cause the potable water’s direction to reverse and the two systems mix and substances in the non-potable water contaminate the clean water.
Can backflow be prevented?
Fortunately, the answer is yes, backflow can be prevented. The City of Tallahassee recognizes four methods of backflow prevention: 1) air gap; 2) double check valve assembly; 3) reduced pressure principal assembly; and 4) pressure vacuum breaker assembly. These basically use a system of valves to prevent contaminants from flowing into the potable water supply.
The degree of hazard that the property poses to the potable water supply is determined by the Cross Connection Control Section of the Water Quality Division and this establishes what type of protection needs to be used.
What you need to know about backflow systems
Here in Florida all services such as domestic water systems, irrigation systems, and fire suppression systems are required to have backflow prevention assemblies installed. They are also used in places such as office buildings, hotels, restaurants, condominiums, and apartment buildings.
- There are both federal and state mandates that require backflow systems be inspected on an annual basis. Generally, an inspection will include:
- determining whether any water service will be impacted to the property during the testing;
- flushing out the system;
- connecting a testing gauge to the system which takes readings;
- supplying a certification report to the customer (whether or not the system passes the inspection);
- if the backflow system does not pass inspection, the customer is given the opportunity to either repair or replace the system and it will then be retested;
- applying for any necessary permits or applications; and
- submitting certification report(s) to the proper municipality.
McNeill Plumbing will handle all your backflow preventer issues:
McNeill Plumbing is a state-certified backflow preventer company. Our licensed technicians are experienced and competent installers, testers, and certifiers of backflow systems. We will install your system using only top-of-the-line products. When you call us for the annual inspection we will handle all the details including completing all necessary paperwork and filing. With our attention to detail and customer service we are recognized as one of the most respected testing services.
Contact us as for installation of a backflow preventer system, maintenance, and inspections at 850-562-5504. We look forward to working with you to help keep our public water clean.