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Why Backflow Preventers Are Important

When you turn on the faucet, you expect water that is safe and clean to drink. However, potable water (also called drinking water) can be contaminated if it comes in contact with other sources. Keep reading to learn how backflow systems protect your drinking water from contamination.

To learn more about how to protect potable water from backflow, Fire Pros recommend reaching out to a local fire protection contractor near you.

What is backflow?

When water travels from the water treatment center to your faucet, it has to pass through many connections that branch off into non-potable water. Water is supposed to move directly from the water treatment center before entering your main water line and coming out through the faucets in your commercial building. However, changes in pressure can cause water to flow backwards of its intended path in what is called backflow. Backflow can reverse the flow of non-potable water from your building to contaminate the public water supply, making it unsafe to drink.

What causes backflow?

Backflow is caused by changes in pressure. For example, a water main break creates a vacuum in the system that causes water to move opposite of its intended direction. If your commercial building has a sprinkler system, you’ll want to install a sprinkler backflow preventer. Otherwise, you may discover rust, debris, and even parasites in your drinking water after a backflow event.

How can I prevent contamination from backflow?

As a commercial building owner, it is your responsibility to make sure backflow is prevented. Not only do we recommend you install a backflow device, but you should also hire a fire protection company to conduct backflow testing. Backflow testing ensures that everything is working properly.

If you have a fire sprinkler system, you know that it draws water from the water main to put out fires. In order to prevent this non-potable water from breaching the public water supply, you’ll want to install a backflow prevention device.

What is a backflow preventer?

A backflow preventer is designed to make sure non-potable water doesn’t contaminate the public water supply. Likewise, a sewer backflow preventer stops sewer water from backing up into your building. A fire protection contractorcan help you find the right backflow prevention for your commercial building.

Like the name suggests, an air gap is a physical gap between the water supply outlet and the receiving vessel. That way, if the non-potable water tries to flow backwards, it won’t be able to breach the public water supply. An alternative to the air gap might be a backflow valve.

Why are backflow preventers important?

Drinking contaminated water can make you sick, which is why it’s important to install a backflow system. Backflow preventers not only protect your health against pollutants and parasites, but they also protect your neighbors who draw from the same public water supply. If you are a commercial building owner, you are held legally responsible for maintaining safe living and working conditions. This is why we always recommend our customers install backflow preventer systems for their buildings.

The fire protection contractors at Fire Pros are dedicated to making sure you have clean drinking water in your commercial building. If you are interested in our backflow prevention service, give us a call at 800-968-2871.