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What is Backflow Prevention and Why is it Important?

28 January 2021

The plumbing system is comprised of pipes, valves, plumbing fixtures, tanks, and other elements that can effectively transfer fluids from one point to another. This system handles the movement of potable water from a reservoir to properties. Additionally, it manages the movement of foul water away from the property to ensure that any health risks will be prevented.

All the components of the system must be installed properly so that all types of fluids will be directed to the right path. However, if there are sudden changes in elements, then it may ultimately lead to backflow.

Primary Overview of Backflow

Backflow is an incident wherein the water flow suddenly changes in direction, mostly due to substantial changes in pressure, gravity, vacuum, and others. The presence of a sudden backflow can pose serious health risks to people who are consuming potable water as it may have been contaminated with foul water and contaminants such as microorganisms, bacteria, harmful chemicals, and other substances.

There are two primary factors behind the occurrence of backflow. One is back siphonage. Back siphonage occurs whenever the supply pressure becomes lower than the plumbing system. The lowered pressure is often the result of the supply being interrupted or drained down. Another factor behind backflow is back pressure. Back pressure is caused by the occurrence of higher pressure in the system compared to the water supply. It normally occurs in unvented heating systems.

Backflow Prevention is Vital

Backflow must be prevented entirely since the plumbing system carries one of the most important elements in properties – potable water supply. Backflow prevention is normally done through special devices that can help prevent backflow from happening. A backflow prevention device is usually installed on water pipes to ensure that the water flow will never go in the opposite direction. This device helps the water from being contaminated by harmful elements that can be found on foul water and other sources.

The practice of backflow prevention is vital to properties as it can sustain the quality of the water supply. It can also maintain the safety of the water that would be coming out of the taps and showers. With backflow prevention, dangerous contaminants like microorganisms, bacteria, toxic chemicals, heavy metals, gases, and other elements cannot easily infiltrate the potable water supply. Diseases and deaths can also be prevented with the practice of backflow prevention.

Another reason why backflow prevention is important is that it is required by the law and authorities. According to the Australian Standards, property owners should make sure that their water supply will be safe from the previously mentioned contaminants. Through backflow prevention devices, the water supply will remain safe and free from harmful elements and can be consumed right away.

Preventing Backflow Incident

If you want to prevent backflow from happening, just give us a call at L&C Harding Plumbing. Established for over 45 years, we have been a part of the Master Plumbers Association for over 35 years, servicing Melbourne’s Metro and beyond. We specialise in backflow testing and general plumbing services.