You may or may not have realized, but there are up to 30 million cases of illness linked to waterborne bacteria and contamination documented every year.
Having clean water at your worksite, commercial building, or residential center is essential to good health. In order to keep your water clean and safe, you need to implement a few simple backflow prevention testing practices.
Backflow, the inadvertent flow of contaminated water back into your pipes, can happen in a couple of ways. If there is a lot of pressure originating from a drainage line, water may be pushed up into your lower-pressure system. Or, when there is negative pressure or a partial vacuum in the pipe, this could draw water back into the system and contaminate your water lines.
If you want to avoid illness or legal ramifications from this phenomenon, you should engage in regular backflow prevention testing. Here are 5 facts about what backflow prevention entails.
1. You Need to Check Your Connections
Your first step needs to be to find every cross-connection in your system (the location where two pipe systems cross, for example, water and sewage). Examine them to uncover any signs of backflow. If backflow is occurring, it means these two systems have begun to hazardously exchange fluids.
If you’re not experienced enough with your system to identify your cross-connections or you’re unfamiliar with the signs of backflow, a certified professional or a representative from your local water purveyor should be able to help.
Finding obvious visual evidence will keep you from having to do intrusive work.
2. You Need to Know Your Risk Areas
If you have areas that are at higher risk than others, then those will need to be prioritized. When you’re at risk of backflow, the areas most threatened need to be reinforced first.
By making some small preventative changes, you can keep backflow from becoming a problem. This starts with installing a backflow preventer mechanism.
3. Types of Backflow Preventers
There are a few types of backflow preventers that will meet your needs differently. The most common backflow preventers are a pressure vacuum breaker (PVB), reduced pressure zone (RPZ), and double check assembly (DCA).
4. It’s Not Just Plumbing
Your pipes aren’t the only things in your building that can cause backflow problems. Your water supply could be impacted by something as simple as a garden hose. If you’ve got your hose connected to chemicals or cleaning solutions, it needs to have a built-in backflow preventer. If those chemical elements get into your water supply, someone could get very sick.
Additionally, sprinkler system supply mains that don’t get inspected or flushed regularly could contain stagnant water or bacteria that could potentially become very dangerous. Take a look before your fire inspector finds any problems.
5. Regular Checkups Make a Difference
Having your facility inspected regularly will catch any problems before they become costly or dangerous. A certified inspector can tell you all about your backflow prevention options.
Backflow Prevention Testing Keeps People Safe
When you implement a regular pattern of backflow prevention testing (at least once every year), you can maintain safety at your facility. Negligence can be dangerous or in extreme circumstances, even criminal. The last thing you want is to be responsible for the illness of your residents, neighbors, employees, or their families.
If you’ve been putting off testing your sprinklers and their supply lines, check out our list of reasons why you should get that done today.