What is a Backflow Prevention Assembly?

November 12th, 2018 | by Vancouver Fire | in |    1   comments

backflow prevention device

A backflow prevention device protects potable water supplies from contamination or pollution due to exposed water working its way backwards through the system and reaching the potable water. In a water supply system, such as a shower or other similar fixture, water is maintained at a pressure to enable proper constant flow. If pressure is lost, such as if a water main bursts, contaminated water may be able to flow backwards into the system and contaminate the water sources.

What is Backflow?

Backflow is an undesired reversal of the flow of water or other undesired substance within a potable water system. Undesirable contaminants may include:

  • Used or dirty water;
  • Industrial fluids;
  • Gasses; or
  • Any other substance other than desired potable water.

How a Backflow Prevention Device Helps

A backflow prevention device is put in place on water supply lines to ensure that this contamination does not occur. The need for backflow prevention exists in all types of buildings, both residential and commercial to protect public safety by avoiding potable water contamination – especially in critical areas such as municipal water systems, food processing plants, and medical or dental water facilities.

For the reasons outlined above, ensuring that backflow prevention devices are in place on all water supply systems is incredibly important. Even at a residential level, many opportunities exist for backflow to happen – for that reason, it is crucial to be sure that all possible contaminant-causing sources such as pools, chemical applicators, and irrigation systems have proper backflow prevention assemblies installed.


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