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Posted on: April 9, 2018

Backflow Prevention: Protecting Water, Protecting Yourself

Backflow tests due before July 31st.

The District requires all cross-connections to be protected by customer installed backflow prevention assemblies and be tested on an annual basis before July 31st of each year.  These tests can be completed and submitted to the district any time after January, you do not need to wait until July to complete this test.  Many testers are very busy the closer you get to the due date, we encourage you to schedule your test early to allow the test to be completed prior to the due date to avoid any fines.


Why it’s critical to test these devices.

For potable water, life is a series of one-way streets. Safe drinking water depends on all “traffic” within a water system to move from source to use. Normally, fresh drinking water flows one way. It isn’t supposed to turn around and travel in the other direction.

In a perfect world, the flow of water would always follow the rules. But in reality, there are several situations that can cause backflow, such as a broken water main pipe. Backflow is an accidental and unwanted reversal in the flow of water within a piping system.  When this happens, any contaminants within the piping system can flow back into the source of fresh water, which could mix with drinking water and potentially contaminate the water supply.

Consider this example: A home irrigation system with below ground sprinklers is running as usual when a neighborhood water main is damaged during road construction. Suddenly, the pressure that keeps potable water flowing into the system is gone and the water flow changes directions. Water from the irrigation system flows backward taking with it any pesticides, fertilizer, or animal waste that it may have come in contact with. This contaminated water can then mix with the potable water supply potentially making the homeowner and his neighbors sick.

The danger of this kind of contamination exists wherever there is a “cross-connection” or link between potable and non-potable water. This is where backflow prevention comes in. Appropriate backflow prevention devices keep non-potable water from flowing backward toward the potable water supply.

Visit our website for more information.

For more information about cross-connections and backflow prevention assemblies, please check out the Operations Tab and Select: Cross Connection Program or contact the District’s Cross-Connection Control Specialist at 253-867-0944. 

 

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