Why is Backflow Preventer Testing So Important?

If you just had a new sprinkler system installed you’re probably wondering, “what is a backflow preventer anyway?”

Simply put, it’s a device installed on your home’s water system that prevents your drinking water from being contaminated due to backflow. It allows water to flow in one direction, but never back in the opposite direction.

Think of it as a really important one-way gate that keeps your water safe, which means that making sure your backflow preventer is functioning properly is really important for your health, your family, and your community.

A properly maintained backflow preventer does the following:

  • Reduces the risk of contaminated water in your potable water supply
  • Ensures water is suitable for drinking and other uses
  • Maintains even water pressure to prevent backpressure in the irrigation system

What happens if the backflow preventer doesn’t work?

Backflow becomes a problem when there are cross connections within the water distribution system and you don’t have a backflow preventer installed.

Contaminants can enter an irrigation system from fertilizer or pesticides that are sprayed onto lawns. The backflow preventer prevents potentially contaminated backflow from entering the water supply.

In the event of a watermain break or a major power outage, a backflow condition can occur. Pressure is lost during such events, and water is no longer being pushed forward into your home and will flow backwards into the city water lines.

That means the impure water from your irrigation system and elsewhere in your home like sinks, showers, and dishwashers will be pulled into the potable side of your water supply and contaminate it. A backflow preventer is the key to keeping your family, community, and water supply safe.

Annual backflow testing is required in Missouri

To make sure the device is functioning properly, a certified backflow tester must test all backflow prevention devices annually.

State-certified backflow prevention assembly testers must perform the specific testing procedures required to verify the proper function of reduced pressure principle assemblies and double check valve assemblies.

The team at Professional Irrigation Systems is certified for the entire state of Missouri for backflow preventer testing.

If you don’t have your backflow prevention device tested annually, the water supplier will disconnect the public water system from the customer service line, so you really do need to have it tested every year.

What is involved in a backflow preventer test?

The backflow preventer inspection is to make sure it provides protection against a contaminated water supply and the health hazards that go along with it. Professional Irrigation System’s backflow test service includes:

  • All paperwork and tagging
  • Test information filed with appropriate water purveyor or county
  • Testing the backflow preventer
  • An estimate for repairs if necessary

Glossary

Backflow: The undesirable reversal of flow of a liquid, gas, or suspended solid in the potable water supply

Backflow Preventer: A device installed into your plumbing system to protect your drinking water and water supply from contaminants

Cross Connection: A physical link between a source of contamination or pollution with a potable water supply

Your backflow preventer is an extremely important device designed to keep you and your family safe. Call the experienced team at Professional Irrigation Systems for your annual test, so you can have peace of mind.

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