What is a backflow prevention device?
Water normally flows from the public water system into your business, but backflow is the backwards flow of water from private plumbing systems into the public water system. Backflow can carry harmful contaminants and bacteria into the public water system, which can lead to illness, injury, in some cases, dealth. A backflow prevention device is used to protect public water supplies from contamination or pollution due to backflow.
Where do backflow devices get installed?
All educational, commercial, medical and industrial facilities will have at least one backflow preventer. They are required for pressurized systems carrying impure process water, caustics, acids, fertilizers, or other hazardous substances (i.e., boilers, fire sprinkler systems, and irrigation systems).
Who regulates backflow device installations, and is there required testing?
In the U.S., the EPA holds local water suppliers responsible for maintaining the water supply and regulating the yearly testing requirements.
What is involved in backflow device testing?
A plumbing technican will come onsite and hook up gauges to test the device. If it passes, the technician will document and tag the equipment. The local required paperwork is also completed and submitted to the local water supplier. If it fails, this is documented and a quote to repair or replace the unit is provided to the customer. Corrective action is taken. The device is retested and documentation submitted to the local water supplier.