The Dangers of Backflow and Ways to Prevent It

December 3, 2021

Buildings will never be complete if they do not have a plumbing system. A plumbing system is comprised of pipes and fixtures that are intended to distribute potable water and remove wastewater. With this system, the health and hygiene of the people inside the property will be maintained significantly.

Now, the pipes of this system play a huge role in ensuring that both the potable water and wastewater will be transported to the right places. Potable water must always be sent to taps and other fittings inside the buildings. Wastewater, alternatively, should be moved away from the buildings. Once the flow of the water moves away from its intended pathway, then an incident of backflow may have already happened.

Backflow is a plumbing system problem wherein the flow of water reverses. 

Main Types of Backflows

There are two main types of backflows. One main type of backflow is backpressure backflow. Backpressure backflow occurs whenever the downstream pressure of the wastewater source becomes higher than the pressure of the potable water source. This type of backflow happens whenever pumps or boilers operate, which are both known for increasing downstream pressure. Backpressure backflow also happens due to firefighting, line flushing, or damages in the main water line.

The other type of backflow is known as back-siphonage backflow. It occurs whenever the main water line has negative pressure, leading to the development of a full or partial vacuum. As back-siphonage backflow happens, it can lead the wastewater to the potable water source. Like the first type of backflow, this type of backflow may also occur due to firefighting, line flushing, and main water line damages.

The Dangers of Backflow

When left unchecked and untreated, a plumbing system with backflow issues would easily generate bad effects on the property.

Since the supply of potable water will be mixed with contaminants and other elements, people inside the property might get serious health issues as they use them. A contaminated water resource can likewise affect the operations and performance of appliances, devices, and other things. Worse, the water will contaminate everything that it will touch.

For businesses, the existence of contaminated water will surely lead to a significant drop in revenues. As for homeowners, contaminated water can surely affect their overall well-being.

Ways to Prevent Backflow

To date, there are two ways to effectively prevent backflow.

One way is to install air gaps. Air gaps can aid in maintaining the pressure in the plumbing system. These devices can be great for plumbing systems with enough room or space.

Another way to prevent backflow is by installing a backflow preventer. This specific device can be suitable for areas that are vulnerable to contamination as it removes cross-connection and generates a backflow barrier. To ensure, however, that this device can be effective for a long time, building owners should have them checked and maintained regularly.

To know more about backflow, you can call us at G. Brand & Sons.

 

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