Backflow refers to the flow of non-potable water and other substances via a cross-connection and onto the tubing of the public water system or the consumer’s potable water system. The backflow prevention assembly is a kind of mechanical device that is installed in your property just after the water meter. It functions to prevent water that is already in the pipes from back flowing into the city water system, potentially contaminating it.
According to industry leader perryplumbing.com, backflow devices serve to protect the water source from being contaminated by whatever the backflow devices is attached to. For obvious reasons, this is quite important especially if the water source is attached to hazardous equipment.
Back flow prevention devices are installed in order to ensure that if there is a fault or problem in the water line or in the cross connection, the drinking water would not be contaminated. The devices prevent water from flowing back to the water mains and so keep it clean and safe for drinking.
• Need for Testing
Mechanical backflow prevention devices feature internal seals, moving parts and springs that are subject to constant stress and wear. It is possible to bypass mechanical backflow preventers and the air gaps. It is for this reason that they need to be tested to ensure that they are in top working condition. The test is done using correctly calibrated equipment in order to ensure the integrity of the devices.
Normally, if the backflow preventer device is outside your home then you do not need to be physically present for the test. If it is inside, you will need to coordinate with the testing personnel to facilitate entry into your home. The backflow test is quite simple. Usually, every backflow preventer device features test ports that are constructed within it to allow for testing. The backflow technician will simply connect a test kit onto the device to determine if it is operating normally. All water downstream of the backflow preventer device needs to be shut down during the testing procedure.