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Why Backflow Prevention Is Necessary

A backflow usually occurs when water from your property flows backwards into the pipes. The water may carry contaminants that can harm people’s health. Backflow is more like to happen when there is a drop in pressure in the main especially during the main break or when the water pressure around the property is higher than at the main mostly if a pump is being used on the site.

Backflow prevention services look to prevent such occurrences by installing backflow prevention devices to ensure that your water supply is not contaminated. Different types of devices are installed depending on the threat level, but basically, these devices prevent flow of water back into the main system.

Protecting Water Quality

Backflow prevention primarily aims at protecting the quality of our water supply and making it safe enough for use. This helps ensure that harmful contaminants such as noxious chemicals, micro-organisms, gases, bacteria, heavy metals and other potentially dangerous pollutants don’t enter into the portable water system. Backflow prevention at best helps prevent the spread of an epidemic from life-threatening diseases that can and in most cases have resulted in deaths.

There are many well-documented cases of pollutants spreading through the main water supply. Since many people have access to the contaminated water this has led to serious illnesses leading to death just because there was a backflow into the main water system. Such incidents have come a long way but with the availability of backflow prevention devices, they can be forestalled.

Maintaining and Reporting Backflow

As a consumer, you are responsible for reporting backflow cases to the Water Purveyor or other relevant authorities. After periodic testing, malfunctions within the main water supply system can be rectified.

As a business owner then again you are responsible for eliminating or protecting all cross-connections on your premises. You have to install, maintain, test or have tested all backflow preventer assemblies on your premises. However, the Water Purveyor first has to approve the devices before they can be installed.


Where there is a backflow preventer, you are also not supposed to install a by-pass device around it unless there is a backflow preventer of the same type on the by-pass. If you have a private well cross-connections may be approved and sometimes even denied. You may also be required to install a preventer at the service entrance if you are maintaining a private water source even if it is not connected to the main water supply system used by other consumers.

If you wish to install a plumbing system to provide portable water for domestic purposes, you will also require your own backflow preventer installed if the plumbing system is on the side of the Water Purveyor’s backflow preventer. Non-compliance attracts penalties because allowing contaminants into the water supply system puts everyone’s life at risk.

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