What is a Backflow Plumbing System?

Water that flows out of a hose or a pipe does what it is supposed to do, but some conditions can make it flow backward and go the wrong way. A lack of pressure in a supply line can cause it to draw standing water into it unless preventive measures are in place. Backsiphonage or backflow draws water back into a distribution system as a result of vacuum suction, allowing dirty or polluted water to contaminate a safe water supply. A backflow prevention device can prevent it, and Alvarez Plumbing in Salinas specializes in installing them.

Keeping the Water Supply Safe

Water that comes from a public water supply is safe for consumption, but contamination can spoil it for everyone. With the suction that draws water back into a line when the pressure is off, standing water that is dirty or polluted travels upstream to its source. Consumers who have no way to know that germs and bacteria have entered a water supply until they get sick are victimized by the actions of others. Threats to public safety are a concern that lawmakers have addressed, and businesses are now required to use an effective backflow prevention system.

Understanding Causes of Backflow

The reduction in pressure in the pipe line that is lower than atmospheric pressure creates a vacuum and accidental contamination can occur. Such conditions can occur when fire protection draws an exceptionally large amount of water, when a water main breaks or when a water system is under repair. Irrigation and sprinkling systems provide many entry points for contaminated water.

The risk of contamination is high whether the water source is a well, a recycling system, a pond or a lake. It is easy to see how a combination of events that occur simultaneously can create a hazard in the public water supply. A location that is lower than the surrounding terrain acts as a collection basin for water that runs off of adjacent properties. Street runoff contains lead and other dangerous elements, and ordinary landscape maintenance contains chemicals. Fertilizers and animal feces contribute to the contamination in standing water.

Examining Cross Connections

A water distribution contains many interconnected lines that deliver it to consumers, and a cross connection occurs when one or more of them connects potable water to contaminated water. Backflow prevention devices make it impossible for polluted water to contaminate municipal systems, specialized systems for medical and dental uses, food processing plants and many other industrial applications. Since 1974, the Safe Drinking Water Act has local governments responsible for protecting drinking water. Alvarez Plumbing is a leading provider of backflow systems for businesses that require them.

Avoiding Waterborne Disease

The Centers for Disease Control lists many negative outcomes of drinking contaminated water, including diarrhea as the most common. Typhoid, while rare in the United States with an estimated 5,700 cases annually, is transmitted through contaminated water. Avoiding conditions that lead to health problems is the duty of every responsible property owner.

Preventing Backflow

Backflow prevention devices use mechanical valves to block the flow of contaminated water into the potable supply. Internal parts open and close to allow clean water to flow while preventing contaminated water from backing up. Backflow prevention devices that Alvarez Plumbing installs can automatically sense the presence of water or sewage that attempts to flow in the wrong direction. By completely closing the line when necessary, the devices prevent contamination of the water supply.

Alvarez Plumbing has a reputation for providing superior plumbing services to residential and commercial properties in the Salinas area. Technicians receive rigorous training in the installation of backflow prevention systems so that property owners can comply with the law and prevent health hazards to consumers of the public water supply.

Do you live in Salinas, Watsonville or the surrounding Monterey County area?
Need assistance with a Backflow Plumbing System?
Call Alvarez Plumbing: (831) 757-5465

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