Everything You Need to Know About Backflow Testing

The Importance of Backflow Testing

Imagine you’re running a bath after a stressful day in an attempt to relax. But, just as you are about to step in, debris is floating in the water. Your day suddenly gets more stressful.

You discover, with disgust, that a water line break has effectively pulled dirty water from a nearby irrigation system into your water supply. While this situation is unpleasant, the real danger lies in invisible bacteria that could be entering your water system through a backflow issue.

Avoid the stress of worrying about the contaminants present in your household's water supply by regularly investing in backflow testing services. Read on to learn about the importance of backflow testing and why it should be on your list of home improvement projects.

The Dangers of Undetected Backflow

Backflow can be dangerous when chemicals, bacteria, and germs enter a household's water supply. These substances can pose serious health risks by contaminating drinking water. Backflow is even more dangerous if you live close to factories related to the following industries:

  • health risksChemical Plants
  • Insect/Pest Control Businesses
  • Flower/Garden Nurseries
  • RV Parks
  • Paint Manufacturers

These are just a few examples of businesses that increase the dangers of backflow exponentially as the chemicals used can be fatal if ingested. If you live close to any of these businesses, backflow testing is a necessary investment.

There is a severe risk to public health if there is cross-contamination between your water supply and a contaminated source. In the past, backflow has resulted in:

  • Typhoid, Dysentery, and Amoebiasis
  • Infectious Hepatitis
  • Salmonella Outbreak
  • Chemical Burns

If a household does not take proper precautions, the dangers of backflow can present a serious health problem and can lead to illness and even death.

How You Can Prevent Backflow

Backflow most commonly occurs due to two factors: back-siphonage and backpressure. Back siphonage is the reversal of water flow due to a drop in pressure on the water supply side. A water main break most commonly causes this. When this occurs, substances can be sucked into and distributed throughout the potable water supply.

Backpressure occurs when the pressure from the downstream pipe rises above the supply pressure of the system, pushing downstream substances into the water supply.

prevent backflow

Backflow testing works to detect if backflow is present and also to determine what is causing the issue. A plumber will perform the test by opening and closing water valves on a testing device to look for changes in the gauge movement, which indicates backflow.

Prevention often involves installing a valve known as a "backflow preventer valve" in locations where the potential for contamination is high. However, these valves are never foolproof, which is why yearly testing is necessary.

How to Stop Backflow

water valveBackflow can occur through altered pressure in your city's main water line or somewhere in your home. When it occurs in the home, it is usually because a pipe is near an unvented heating system where thermal expansion increases the pressure.

Signs that backflow is present in your water supply include:

  • Discolored Water
  • Water That Tastes and Smells Odd

If you notice backflow in your water supply, stop using the polluted water immediately. Find your home's water shut off valve and shut off all water, so no one in your household risks exposing themselves to contamination. Finally, call a plumber.

Backflow prevention is needed to keep your home safe and give you peace of mind. Because backflow is not necessarily visible, your water could be contaminated without your knowledge. Do not wait, schedule backflow testing for your home today.

Let the Experts Help

E.R. Services serves clients in and around Mathews, NC. With fair and upfront pricing and offering 24/7 emergency services, E.R. Plumbing Services are the pros residents trust. Whether you need a backflow prevention system installed in your home or require backflow testing, E.R. Services is here to help with all of your plumbing needs.

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