Here in the desert, we need our properties and establishments to have a potable, or drinkable, water supply and it needs to be reliable. Unfortunately, this water supply can become contaminated through a process known as backflow.
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Backflow is the undesirable reversal of the flow of water in a pipeline, which draws contaminants and pollution into the potable water supply. Backflow always occurs through a cross connection. To use a common example, placing the hose in a bucket of soapy water for washing the car can create a cross connection and contaminate the water supply. Backflow also commonly occurs in properties with pools, hot tubs, and fountains.
There are two types of backflow:
1. Back siphoning: When public pipes are broken or blocked, a loss in water pressure occurs. When this happens, contaminates in trapped water are easily siphoned back into the building from anything that is connected to its water supply lines, turning once potable water into a potential health hazard.
2. Back pressure: This is the reverse of back siphoning. When the building water supply's pressure becomes greater than the public supply's pressure, the building's water and any contaminants are pushed back into the public water supply. This usually occurs in properties that are at a lower elevation than the public water supply and use a pump to transport water to the top.
Preventing backflow is simple and can be done in a variety of ways. For example, an air gap can be placed between any devices that open into the plumbing, such as the faucets. There are also simple devices that can be installed to prevent backflow. These include hose bibb vacuum breakers for outdoor hose bibbs, and anti-siphon assemblies for toilet tanks.
Rainforest Plumbing & Air technicians are trained to handle backflow problems and prevent them from happening to your property or establishment. Give us a call today at (480) 615-7766 to schedule service!
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