Water should flow down the drain and not the other way around. If you are noticing water with a sulfur smell, a bad taste, or discoloration, it can a sign that backflow is occurring. Backflow happens when a potable water supply meets contaminated water. This is the result of water pressure dropping and a reverse in the water supply. Contaminated water then connects with the fresh drinkable water and enters back into the regular drinking supply. Backflow is most common commercial businesses and multi-family residences but can also occur in single family homes.
In Palm Beach, Florida, drinking water is protected through the county’s water utility department. Installation and maintenance of reduced pressure principle assembly for buildings greater than three stories and residential services with large water meters is essential. To prevent backflow, valves are used in multiple configurations that stop clean water from reversing. If customers do not follow the Palm Beach Water Utilities Department requirements for backflow prevention, their water service can be disconnected.
Why Water Pressure Drops
Changes in water pressure can result in backflow occurring. Common causes of water pressure shifts include issues within a water line. This type of issue is referred to as a siphonage. When water pressure is released, the water can potentially go backward. There are multiple reasons why pressure can drop, including a build-up of dirt and debris. Clogged and aging sewer lines can result in backflow occurring. It is vital for backflow preventers to be ready to stop the effects.
The Dangers of Backflow
Backflow occurs when a water supply is disrupted. When backflow occurs, clean water becomes contaminated. Clean water is essential to have. Despite modern plumbing techniques that utilize sanitation and waste removal, backflow is still possible. When backflow occurs, people can be at risk with their own health. The dangers posed by contaminated water include bacteria, chemicals, and diseases that can be transmitted.
In Palm Beach County, it is required by the water utility department that installation, annual testing, and maintenance of backflow prevention assemblies must be completed. Backflow prevention assemblies are placed on the side of water meters and installed following the standards of the Palm Beach County Plumbing code.
While it can be difficult to personally assess if backflow is occurring in your water system, consider calling in a backflow inspector to check your water source for contamination. A plumber can assist in installing certain devices that can prevent cross-contamination from occurring so even if the water flow changes, contaminated water will not enter the main water supply. Professionals can also assist in installing a backflow preventer that will work efficiently to keep contaminated water away and your home or business in line with health codes.
Using a Hose Bib
A hose bib is a backflow preventer that protects water outlets such as a faucet. This allows for water pressure to move in one direction. If water pressure drops, the spring will close, and a valve that prevents water backflow will open. The immediate action of a hose bib results in a continuously clean water supply.
Pressure-type vacuum breakers are generally inserted in the pipe that gives off water to sprinklers. A pressure device works to constantly monitor water pressure. If water pressure begins to shift, the device will detect the movement and close a valve to prevent backflow.
Flamingo Plumbing and Backflow
Since backflow can be harmful to your water supply, it is a priority to address the issue as soon as possible. Preventing backflow is imperative, that is why at Flamingo Plumbing and Backflow, we offer different types and sizes of backflow preventers. To better assist, we offer free estimates for installations. For more information, contact us today.