For many communities, the start of summer is a time for enjoying the outdoors. Since homeowners tend to spend more time in their yards during the warmer months, a lot of areas experience spikes in water usage. Many people, however, don’t realize that these modern conveniences come with their own set of responsibilities—because everyone plays a role in keeping our water safe.
Maintaining a clean supply of city tap water isn’t just up to the water treatment plants. Your community’s residents and business owners all contribute to the safety of the local water supply. Public awareness is key, which is why it’s always good to review the importance of having the proper backflow prevention systems in place. When in doubt, contact your local water company to help you out.
A “backflow event” is the result of contaminated water getting drawn into our regular drinking water system. You can also think of backflow like a “reverse flow” of non-potable water (or other substances) going where they don’t belong in our public water supply. This can easily happen because of problems with water pressure. If communities aren’t careful and diligent about managing backflow prevention, there can be many risk factors to consider.
Here’s one possible scenario for a backflow event: Someone wants to mix up a bucket of fertilizer concentrate with water. They decide to leave their backyard hose in the bucket as it fills up with water. But what if the water supply gets shut off in the middle of their project? Or if a water main or supply pipe suddenly breaks? That could cause a severe shift in pressure and—without a backflow protection system in place—that fertilizer could reverse flow into the drinking water and then contaminate the water supply for everyone nearby.
Backflow events can be extremely dangerous and costly, which is why it’s so important to have the proper protocols in place. Understanding the safety measures and making sure your property is equipped with built-in backflow prevention is a great line of defense not just for your family, but your entire community.
In order to prevent backflow events, many homes are now equipped with vacuum breakers on their hose spigots outside. These devices are great for protecting our public water supplies from backflow issues, and they’re relatively inexpensive to boot! Backflow prevention is often necessary for in-ground sprinkler systems, fire sprinklers, and other commercial and industrial hazards. While these can be more complicated to manage, they are equally important for keeping residential and commercial sites free of backflow risks.
Assessing the current plumbing setup of your home or business is an important part of maintaining a safe public water supply. Backflow checks are often promoted during the spring and summer months because that’s when we tend to use more water outdoors. In many jurisdictions, property owners are required to have their backflow assemblies periodically checked by an approved backflow tester. This helps ensure that everything is functioning properly. Fortunately, many local plumbing companies and other backflow testers are available to help with these concerns.
Ensuring that your property has regular checks for backflow prevention means you’re doing your part to keep your community healthy. But these backflow tests are a lot easier to manage when you have the right tools in place. That’s why water utility companies across the country trust FormLink Systems. Our innovative process for paperless site surveys and backflow tests makes it easy to manage your area’s cross-connection control program.
FormLink gives organizations the ability to submit backflow inspection test results online, which eliminates the chance of duplicate entries or other errors. If you’re ready to streamline your process as a cross-connection control coordinator, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Our reliable and easy-to-use system can save you time as your inspectors and testers submit results. Together, we can help keep your water clean and safe for the long-haul. Check out our Backflow Testing overview to learn more!