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Understanding Backflow

So much goes on behind the scenes to provide homes with safe water. Society is lucky to be able to simply turn on the tap and count on safe water entering their homes. Still, that safety is ensured by plumbers working behind the scenes on things most people don’t even know about. 

The only thing that allows safe water to be distributed through the grid is that it is in a hermetic system that is sealed off from threats that may cause contamination. One of the constant threats from the plumbing system is a condition called backflow

Backflow occurs when water is pulled back into the system. In most cases, siphoning causes used water to be forced backward, contaminating clean water resources. Special codes and devices are in place to combat this problem. The main instrument that protects against backflow is called a backflow preventer. Backflow preventers are one of the most important plumbing devices today, yet most people don’t know anything about them. Here is a quick guide to the importance of backflow devices and backflow testing. 

Why is Backflow Dangerous?

waterGroundwater has always been teeming with bacteria and parasites that harm human health. Before water is fit for safe consumption, it must be rigorously treated and transported through pipes to homes. If any point along the journey is compromised, the water is no longer safe. Once water is contaminated, the contamination can spread through the piping, making the problem much worse. 

Recorded backflow events have included threats like:

  • Extreme chemical contamination
  • Bacterial contamination
  • Exposure to human waste 
  • Exposure to bodily fluids
  • Parasitic and amoebic growth
  • Water contaminated with high amounts of fertilizer 

Backflow Testing

testingSince backflow prevention devices are so important for the health and safety of homeowners and their families, it’s essential to have professionals test them routinely to ensure that they are operating as intended. Businesses and some types of homes have backflow devices that are required to be inspected and tested annually to comply with local public health codes. When these tests are neglected, serious health consequences can occur, along with local fines.

However, even if backflow testing is not required for a home, the homeowner should have backflow testing done to protect their water from contamination. Plumbers must be certified to perform backflow testing. This certification also allows them to test water for contamination to ensure it’s safe. 

Importance of Backflow Testing For Safe Water 

Safe drinking water is one of the cornerstones of public health. Without safe water to drink, bathe in, and wash dishes with, waterborne diseases would spread rapidly, and people would quickly succumb to dehydration. 

While plumbing codes prevent most of the situations where backflow could occur, there are certain situations where only backflow preventers can provide protection. That’s why having them tested annually is essential to ensure the water is safe from contamination. 

About Jim Wagner Plumbing, Inc.

Jim Wagner Plumbing, Inc. has served residents of Lombard, IL, and the surrounding areas for three generations. They offer upfront pricing, personal attention, and fast turnaround times. Call them today for backflow testing and installation in Lombard, IL.