Backflow Contamination Prevention – A Guide

A cross connection is a piping configuration that connects a potable water system to a source of possible pollution or contamination. To avoid backflow into potable water, it’s critical to protect against cross connections. Backflow will eventually contaminate an entire public water supply, posing a danger to anyone who drinks, cooks, bathes, or uses the water for some other reason.

The owner or occupant of the property will be held liable for damages if an event results in pollution of public drinking water (due to improper or unprotected plumbing connections causing backflow).

How To Prevent Backflow?

Property owners must take the following steps to avoid backflow:

  • Isolate the water supply from the public system by removing any unwanted cross connections.
  • Protect cross connections that can’t be avoided by using a backflow prevention system or assembly that has been approved.
  • Ensure that all backflow preventers are tested by a qualified tester at least once a year.

What are the testing standards for backflow prevention systems, and who is responsible for testing them?

Backflow prevention systems must be maintained and tested by the property owner or occupant.

At the time the backflow prevention system is installed, repaired, removed, or moved, and periodically afterwards, testing must be performed by a certified backflow tester using properly calibrated test equipment.

Why is it essential to monitor backflow prevention devices on a yearly basis?

Internal seals, springs, and moving parts in mechanical backflow prevention devices may become dirty and worn out. To ensure that they are operating properly, they must be checked annually with properly calibrated equipment.

Measures You Can Take At Your Own Home

You can consistently take action to protect your home’s water supply.

Swimming pools, washing tubs, and service sinks are all places where pollutants can enter your drinking water through the end of a hose. Allow at least a one-inch gap between the end of a hose and a source of potential contamination. Install a hose connection vacuum breaker on both indoor and outdoor threaded taps, and advise your neighbours to do the same.

For your backflow prevention needs and concerns, you may call us at 778-397-4850 or have an online appointment with one of our licensed plumbers. Here at Shaul’s, we are readily available to attend to all your plumbing needs and emergencies.