Backflow Prevention Terminology for Nepean Business Owners
Hey Nepean business owners, John THE Plumber here! Today we’re checking in to see if all of you have a good understanding of the terminology used within the notice concerning The City of Nepean’s Backflow Prevention Program. These notices were sent out some time ago, yet we do still get an amount of concerned calls as to whether the requirements for ones business to install a ‘backflow preventer’ have been met. We fully understand not everyone is familiar with plumbing industry terminology, so we decided to write a blog on the various terms so you have a clearer understanding about what was asked of you so you are better able to assess whether you have met the City’s requirements.
EXPLAINING BACKFLOW AND BACKFLOW VALVES
The City’s objective main goal is to protect Nepean from dirty or contaminated water flowing backwards into its clean potable water system. The term ‘Backflow’ therefore is exactly what it sounds like. It refers to water flowing in the opposite direction of where it was directed. Regardless of whether it is potable water coming in to be consumed or waste water going out plumbing systems are designed to have water travel in one specific direction.
The ‘Backflow Valves’ that the notice mentions refers to a valve set in an open position, specifically allowing the water to only flow in one direction. The system is pressurized and the water flows from high to low pressure. At certain times however such as heavy rainfall, a pressure imbalance occurs and water can be forced to run in the wrong direction – and that’s backflow. At this point the valve will close, preventing any contaminated water from flowing backwards into the potable water. Once balance is restored within this pressurized system, the valve reopens and it’s business as usual.
Two other terms we receive calls about are ‘back siphonage’ and ‘cross connection’. As we actually speaking about a matter of health, it’s good to understand these terms as well so you can better understand if you may have a contamination issue.
‘Back Siphonage’ is a term you may have read within the Program’s notice; it is simply another term that is used to describe backflow. It is telling you that due to negative pressure within your water supply, the normal flow of water has reversed. You need to pay attention here is you are told you have back siphonage occurring. This means you are at high risk of contaminated water literally siphoning back into your potable water system.
Cross connection is another useful term to be aware of, especially as there are two ways of looking at it. Cross connections are known as positive things and are very common. They can often be found in buildings that host multiple water usages such as water fountains and flushing toilets, or between different systems such as irrigation and fire sprinklers. The worrisome cross connection is when a connection occurs between Nepean’s public water system and a contaminated water source; that type of cross connection can quickly contaminate your water supply.
If you have any further question on the terms mentioned in this blog or otherwise about keeping your water clean, or to learn more on our full range of plumbing and HVAC services offered by John THE Plumber Nepean give us a call today and once of our licensed professionals will be happy to assist you!