Backflow Terminology for the Ottawa Business Owner
You may have received a notice in the mail from the city of Ottawa requiring your business to install a backflow preventer for their Backflow Prevention Program. We are sure that the terms used are not ones that the average small business owner are familiar with. So we at John the Plumber Ottawa thought we may write a useful blog for you to help explain.
Backflow prevention essentially is a blanket term for all things having to do with backflow. Essentially you want to protect the possible water system from having any dirty water backflow into it. There is more than one way to prevent this which we will go into detail another blog.
What is Backflow?
Backflow essentially means water going in the opposite direction of where it should be going in the pipes. Your internal plumbing system is designed to have water go in a specific direction; into the building (as potable water) or out of the building (as sewage water, storm and/or waste water. The water is generally under pressure and will flow in the direction from high pressure to low pressure. At times and under certain negative conditions, the water is forced in the wrong direction, causing backflow in your Ottawa business.
Back Siphonage Is a term that you may have read as well. Back siphonage is a term that means the normal flow is reversed, due to negative pressure in the supply. This means that there is a sure risk of contaminated water siphoning into the drinking water system.
Cross connection is another useful term to be aware. A cross connection is a connection between a public water system and a possible contaminated source of non potable water. Cross connections are common; some that can be seen are between a fire sprinkler and irrigation system or multiple connections in building for internal water such as drinking fountains and medical equipment in the same building. If the cross connections are not protected, backflow can contaminate the drinking water quickly.
Another key term for every Ottawa business owner should be aware of is a backwater valve; these are a type of check valve that is designed to only allow water to flow in one direction only. Different valves work in different ways, but in general, the valve is normally set in an open position. When the backflow occurs, the valve closes, preventing contaminated water to backflow into the potable water. Once the threat is over, the check valve opens once again.
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