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How to Prevent Backflow and Protect Your Water Supply

Backflow Preventer diagram

What is Backflow Prevention and Why is it Important?

Ever wondered what backflow is and why it’s such a big deal? Imagine turning on your tap and getting a mix of clean water and potentially harmful contaminants. That’s backflow in action, and it can seriously degrade your water quality. Contaminated drinking water is a major health risk, with the World Health Organization (WHO) reporting over 485,000 deaths annually due to waterborne diseases like diarrhea and cholera. So, keeping your water supply safe from backflow is absolutely necessary.

Install Backflow Prevention Devices

Let’s talk defense. The first step in battling backflow is installing backflow prevention devices. These gadgets are your water supply’s security guards, stopping contaminants from sneaking in. Here are three common types:

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) highlights the importance of backflow prevention devices in keeping public health intact by blocking contaminants from entering the water supply through cross-connections.

Regular Testing and Maintenance

Installing these devices is just the beginning. To keep them in top shape, regular testing and maintenance are necessary. Annual testing, recommended by the American Water Works Association (AWWA), involves inspecting the valves and checking for any leaks or defects. Maintenance includes cleaning the devices and replacing any worn-out parts.

Research shows that regular maintenance and timely repairs can reduce backflow incidents by up to 30%, keeping your water supply clean and safe.

Avoid Cross-Connections

Cross-connections are like open invitations for contaminants. These occur when there’s a direct link between your potable water and potential contaminants. Common sources include garden hoses left submerged in pools, irrigation systems without backflow prevention, and improperly installed sprinkler systems. To avoid these, always use backflow prevention devices and regularly inspect your plumbing systems.

Educate Your Household or Employees

Knowledge is power. Make sure everyone in your household or workplace knows about the signs of backflow, such as discolored water, strange odors, or a sudden drop in water pressure. Encouraging regular reporting of any issues can help catch and fix backflow problems early.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) emphasize the role of public awareness in preventing waterborne diseases, suggesting that informed communities are better at maintaining safe water supplies.

Implement Proper Lawn and Garden Care

Improper irrigation practices can lead to backflow. Here are some specific steps to prevent it:

Proper lawn and garden care can significantly reduce the risk of backflow, contributing to overall water safety.

Maintain Your Plumbing System

Regular plumbing maintenance is perhaps the most important way of preventing backflow. Here are some detailed steps:

According to the AWWA, up-to-date plumbing systems are less likely to experience backflow issues.

Contact Water Worx

Keeping backflow at bay is key to protecting your water supply and the health of your family and your community. Water Worx is here to help you with all of your backflow questions and service needs in The Triangle. Conveniently based in Clayton, NC, the plumbing and water utility experts here at Water Worx are standing by to respond quickly and work efficiently to keep your water supply consistently clean and pure.

Call 919-917-7579 or contact us online for professional backflow preventer installation and maintenance in the Clayton, NC, area.