In 1974 the United States Congress passed the Safe Drinking Water Act which protected American citizens from pollutants in their drinking water. Although the law has been amended twice since the 1974, it still upholds regulations which ensure our drinking water is of the utmost quality and public water sources are also safe drinking water resources.
How Do We Ensure Safe Drinking Water?
One for the many requirements congress demands in the Safe Drinking Water Act is that backflow prevention must be implemented. What this means is that a backflow prevention assembly must be used to protect the water supplies in homes, businesses and buildings from contamination due to backflow.
What is Backflow?
Backflow is defined as the detrimental flow of water as it travels backwards from its intended and originally flowing direction through a plumbing or pipe system. The reversal flow of water through pipes can cause severe damage to drinking water and result in illnesses, contamination and in some cases even death. An example of backflow in action is when a hose is left in a pool or even when a hose is attached to a lawn chemical sprayer. Both instances cause the water flow to back up through the hose (with new pollutants such as the lawn chemical or chlorine,) resulting in backflow and contamination. To keep plumbing systems in line with the Safe Drinking Water Act and prevent water pollution via backflow, many states require backflow testing and prevention systems to be put in place.
Backflow Testing and Prevention Methods
Every year there are roughly 10,000 cases of water pollution caused by backflow contamination. States like Arizona require annual testing of public water to ensure drinking water is free of backflow waste and San Antonio in Texas has a law that insists lawn irrigation systems implement a backflow prevention device and that device be checked each year by a Backflow licensed (and certified) technician.
A backflow prevention device is an important method of backflow prevention in drinking water as they can safeguard against most water contaminant issues. Backflow assembly can typically include shut off and check valves as well as reduced pressure principle and double check devices. Other backflow prevention systems can also include a mandated air gap to assist in blocking backflow issues.
The Importance of Backflow Testing
Backflow testing and proper backflow assemblies can help save lives and ensure clean drinking water. Without the Safe Drinking Water Act and state requirements, our drinking water could suffer severely, resulting in extreme backflow contamination and illness in American citizens. As you can see it is important to have annual backflow testing as well as a complete backflow assembly