What You Need To Know About Backflow Prevention: An Accredited Plumber Explains | Buckhead, GA
The most perturbing thing is that most homeowners are still unfamiliar with the backflow problem. Well, since many don’t have information regarding this topic, one can thus be forgiven for lack of knowledge.
In this blog post, you’ll learn and find answers to most questions about backflow prevention. Continue reading to find out more.
So, What’s Backflow?
Backflow is the spontaneous, unintended reverse flow of wastewater from a residential or commercial property into a potable water supply. This usually happens when there’s a drop in the water pressure or the water pressure differential is higher at the property than at the water main.
Also, a backflow could occur due to plumbing cross-connections – this poses serious health issues should the potentially contaminated water come into contact with your drinking water.
Backflow Prevention Laws, Local Codes, and Regulations
To protect public health and ensure safe drinking water sources and their channeling systems, several backflow prevention measures are in place, set out in various standards, laws, and regulations. These standards differ from place to place, depending on who’s in charge of the water supply.
The Code of Federal Regulation spells out the need for safe water stores and supply systems to avoid backflow contamination. The law requires that user premises ensure that there isn’t any backflow from or cross-connection between the piping systems that convey sewage or wastewater from the building and those that channel water for food or food manufacturing.
Additionally, the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) entrusts the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) with the overall protection of drinking water. The agency outlines regulatory requirements and national health-based standards concerning public water supply systems.
The measures are enforced further at the state and local levels. Federal law grants enforcement powers to state and local governments so long as they adopt water drinking standards that don’t compromise federal regulations.
Generally, when designing and constructing buildings and facilities connected to the water mains in Buckhead, GA, the local water supply authority demands that the property owner, building consultant, and plumber comply with the laid down measures.
Backflow Prevention Devices
Due to the potential hazards of backflow, each property connected to the mains water should have a proper site containment backflow preventer placed and maintained immediately downstream of the home or building water meter.
A qualified and experienced plumber ensures that the backflow prevention device is neither installed in a chamber/pit nor buried underground to allow for easy accessibility for proper maintenance and testing.
A plumber fits the backflow prevention equipment on the freshwater supply line to prevent contaminated or used water from entering the water supply system. Typically, backflow prevention can utilize any of these three methods;
- One-way valve
In this method, a plumber will install a valve at specific points within your property’s plumbing system where there’s a risk of dirty greywater getting siphoned back into your drinking water supply.
- Break tank
The plumbing tech uses a closed, pressure-less water tank with an air gap. The break tank acts as a buffer between your plumbing system and the mains water supply to prevent any possible backflow into the water supply pipeline.
- An air gap
This involves creating empty spaces between areas where water could collect and the fixtures that a plumber connects to the plumbing unit, including faucets.
There are many types of backflow preventers within these categories, each with its unique applications, including but not limited to double-check valve, double-check valve detector assembly, reduced pressure zone device, and pressure-type vacuum-breaker.
What Backflow Protection Device Do I Require?
The kind of backflow prevention device installed on your property is determined by the hazard rating, which can be low, medium, or high.
The rating is assigned by an accredited person who inspects and assesses the risk of properties that connect to their water infrastructure. This is a requirement for most water authorities.
Plumbers who install and commission backflow prevention devices in Buckhead, GA must advise you on the maintenance and testing requirements for the installed device.
Backflow Testing and Commissioning
Backflow testing is conducted on a backflow prevention device installed on a property with a medium or high hazard rating. The initial testing is done after the installation and commissioning of the device. After that, it’s tested annually to confirm that it’s functional and complies with the relevant laws.
Backflow devices aren’t infallible; they have valves, seals, and moving parts, which are subject to wear and tear. Thus, testing is critical in backflow prevention to assure that the device remains operational – this is what the site professional wants to verify besides checking that all the water in your home is flowing in the right direction.
As a home or property owner in Buckhead, GA, you should properly maintain your backflow protection device and see to it that it’s tested regularly on an annual basis.
Who Can Commission and Test Backflow Prevention Devices?
As earlier mentioned, following installation, a licensed backflow plumber must commission and certify testable backflow preventers within that time as stipulated by the local law.
Again, the accredited plumber who tests the device and commissions it at its first installation must provide the local water authority with the test results.
Peach Plumbing & Drain: Accredited, Compliance Backflow Prevention Experts to Contact
Peach Plumbing & Drain is a licensed plumbing company delivering timely professional plumbing solutions to residential and commercial clients in Atlanta, GA, and the surrounding communities. We take credit for our unmatched services, with over 72 years of combined industry experience.
Besides backflow prevention, our trained and highly skilled plumbers also offer a range of home maintenance and plumbing offerings. These include tree root removal, trenchless sewer repairs, video camera inspections, drain cleaning, water softening and filtration, and emergency plumbing.
Need honest, on-time services? Request your appointment through our web contact form. Or, give Peach Plumbing & Drain a phone call now!