Backflow prevention

Water Backflow Prevention, Humboldt County

Safe drinking water is vital to human survival.  Water districts and purveyors deliver water through a series of pipes and mains to the customers’ water meters.  Once the safe water is delivered through the water meters, the water purveyor does NOT want this same water to return back through the meters and out into the public water supply.  

It is common for users to contaminate the water they use.  However, this contaminated water usually passes on to the drainage system and out to the public waste water collection system.  There is always a possibility, though, for the water to reverse direction and travel back through the meter and into the public water system.  This reversal of direction is called BACKFLOW.  

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Backflow is caused by a sudden loss of pressure in the public water mains.  This loss of pressure can be caused by a broken water main, a fire nearby where the fire department is using large quantities of water, or simply by opening a hydrant for testing.  Any building near the break or the hydrant being used will experience a lowering of the water pressure.  This is when backflow can occur.  

When this backflow occurs, water from the nearby property(s) can reverse direction and enter the public system.  Contamination can be severe.  An example; a homeowner is watering the lawn with a sprayer that has a pesticide container attached, or is flushing the radiator in his/her car, or simply adding water to the swimming pool.  ANY CONTAMINANT in contact with the end of their garden hose CAN wind up in your water piping if there is a sudden drop in pressure in the water mains.

Thus, the requirement of backflow prevention devices on certain properties/businesses. Water Districts will also require that devices be tested and certified annually by a certified tester.  Mapleservice employs 2 certified testers.  

Submitted By Dale Maples

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