Home plumbing pipe dripping with backflow

What is the Best Way to Prevent Backflow? A Guide to Keeping Your Water System Safe

Backflow is a major concern for homeowners and businesses as it can lead to cross contamination. Backflow occurs when there is a drop or complete loss in water pressure, causing water to flow in the opposite direction and enter the public water system. When non-potable and potable water come in contact with each other cross contamination ensues, causing potable water
to become undrinkable contaminating the public drinking water supply with harmful chemicals and pollutants. To prevent such incidents, Texas legislation has implemented Rule 344.50, which mandates testing of backflow prevention assemblies by licensed professionals.

Backflow prevention devices are available in five forms – air gaps, reduced-pressure principle, pressure vacuum breakers, spill-resistant pressure breakers, and double check valve assemblies. Choosing the right device depends on the degree of hazard, and licensed professionals at Quarter Moon Plumbing, AC and Heating can assist you in determining the best option for your home.

Here are the five backflow prevention devices and their functions:

1.Air Gaps:

Physical separation between the water supply and potential sources of pollution. Often used in toilets and faucets.

2.Reduced-Pressure Principle:

Two check valves, relief valve, test cocks, and isolation valves provide the highest protection from hazards.

3.Pressure Vacuum Breaker:

Regulates freshwater supply in residential irrigation systems and prevents backflow of chemicals.

4.Spill-Resistant Pressure Vacuum Breaker:

An advanced version of the PVB with a spill-resistant feature to avoid water spillage.

5.Double Check Valve Assembly:

Used for low hazard applications and installed underground, but insufficient for industrial use.

Not having proper backflow prevention in place can have severe consequences.

The most significant of these consequences is the contamination of the public drinking water supply. If backflow is not prevented, pollutants such as fertilizers, pesticides, human waste, chlorine from pools and spas, and soap from sinks, dishwashers, and showers can enter the public water supply, putting the health of individuals who consume this water at risk.

signs home water is contaminated

This can lead to outbreaks of waterborne diseases and other health problems, which can have long-lasting impacts. Financial consequences can also result from backflow contamination, such as fines and penalties imposed by the state, damage to the plumbing system and property, and loss of business due to a tarnished reputation. This is why it is crucial to have proper backflow prevention in place to protect both public health and financial wellbeing.

If you’re unsure whether your home or business has a backflow prevention device, call Quarter Moon Plumbing, AC and Heating at (210) 651-5899. Staying vigilant about backflow prevention is crucial to keeping your water system clean and safe.