Frequently Asked Backflow Questions...

What is backflow?

    Backflow is the undesirable reversal of flow of non-potable water or other substances into the piping of a public water system or consumer's 
    potable water system.

What is a Cross-Connection?

    A cross-connection is any temporary or permanent connection between a public water system or consumer's potable (i.e., drinking) water system 
   and any source or system containing non-potable water or other substances. 

    Examples of a Cross-Connection:
        - a submerged irrigation system after a heavy rain storm
        - piping between incoming city water and an industrial mixing container
        - a garden hose submerged into mud on one end and connected to a tap on the other end
What causes backflow?

    Backflow is possible in two situations; backsiphonage and backpressure.

What is backsiphonage?

   When there is a sudden reduction in the water pressure in the distribution system, such as during firefighting or when a water main breaks, water 
   flow can be reversed.  This can create a suction effect, drawing the non-potable substance into the potable water system.

What is backpressure?

    Backpressure is created when pressure in a non-potable system, such as in a re-circulating system containing soap, acid, or antifreeze, 
    exceeds that in the potable system that provides makeup water to the system.  This can force the potable water to reverse its direction of flow 
    through the cross connection.  Non-potable substances can then enter the potable water system.

How can backflow be prevented?

   Backflow prevention devices including:

    -Air Gap
    -Double Check Valve Assembly
    -Reduced Pressure Principal Assembly
    -Pressure Vacuum Breaker Assembly

The type of protection required is based on the degree of hazard to the potable water supply.
What is a backflow prevention assembly (BFPA) and why do I have one on my property?

    A BFPA, is a type of automatic valve, that allows the water to flow through it only one way. The purpose of the BFPA is to prevent contaminated 
    water or chemicals from flowing back into the public water supply network. Many home appliances for example are directly attached to your 
    water line, such as ice makers, dishwashers, wash machines, water filtration/softener systems, irrigation lines, water fountains, ponds, and pools. 
    These are potential sources of water that do not meet clean drinking water specifications, and should be isolated from the public network with the 
    adequate backflow prevention assemblies.

Why does my device need to be tested every year?

    BFPAs have rubber components, seals, gaskets, springs, and valves that are subject to deterioration over time. On average, 20% of the valves tested 
    yearly fail and need repair. This means that the average valve will fail about once every 5 years. For this reason, the manufacturers of BFPAs, most cities, 
    counties, and states require owners to test the devices yearly.

Copyright 2008-2010 Backflow Prevention Services, LLC.