Prevent Lawn Irrigation Backflow This Summer: Tips from a Plumber in Fremont, NE

March 29, 2018 Published by Leave your thoughts

“Backflow” is a plumbing term that describes an undesirable flow of water in the opposite direction it is supposed to be running. When it becomes a problem, it can contaminate potable water and be a major issue requiring the services of a professional plumber in Fremont, NE.

Backflow might not be at the forefront of your mind when working on a landscaping project or setting up irrigation systems in your yard, but the use of backflow preventers can and should be an integral part of any residential or commercial irrigation system.

In fact, there are some federal laws that mandate effective backflow prevention. In 1973, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency enacted the “Safe Drinking Water Act” primarily to protect public water systems from pollutants or any other potentially harmful contaminants that could enter the system through backflow or back siphoning.

The American Backflow Prevention Association also has a vested interest in preventing drinking water from being contaminated by backflow from irrigation systems.

These rules and efforts are important because anyone who connects their sprinkler to a municipal water supply must use a backflow preventer. With summer right around the corner, it is important for property owners all over the country to test their backflow preventers and make sure they are in good working condition.

The importance of backflow prevention

Backflow prevention is important for more reasons than just ensuring clean drinking water. It’s also a safety issue. Old or faulty irrigation systems can be hazardous to people who live or work near them. This is especially true for old irrigation systems installed before these backflow requirements were enacted.

There’s also the potential for backflow to become a source of bioterrorism. Many office buildings in large cities have unprotected backflow devices, which means they could be compromised in efforts to purposefully make people ill. While the likelihood of something like this happening is exceedingly low, it’s just one more reason why backflow prevention is so important.

Using a backflow preventer

A backflow preventer keeps that contaminated water from finding its way back into the water supply. Examples of common contaminants that can make backflow so hazardous include fertilizers and pesticides that are often sprayed on or applied to lawns. The backflow often begins as a result of a drop in pressure, which is referred to as back siphoning. Back siphoning often results from water main breaks, the operation of a fire hydrant or other high-demand water device or a significant increase in pressure on the irrigation system in the area.

The backflow preventer works as a sort of one-way gate for water. Water is able to flow past it in one direction, but is incapable of coming back in the opposite direction. Think of it as a turnstile for your irrigation water.

This is just a brief overview of the concept of backflow and why prevention is so important. For more information, contact a skilled plumber in Fremont, NE at Wiese Plumbing & Excavating, Inc. with your questions. We look forward to assisting you!

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