What is Backflow?
Backflow is the unwanted reversal of the flow of water or other undesirable substances (sewage, industrial gases, etc) in a sewage or water system. These substances will flow back into the potable water supply, contaminating it. Something called cross connection is what causes this contamination. That’s when there’s chance that, in the plumbing system, the potable water supply can come into contact with other undesirable substances.
For example, imagine your home had one end of a hose attached to it, connected to the main water supply. Now imagine the other end was resting in a bucket of herbicide for the garden. A large dip in the water supply could pull in water from the other end to replace the loss. A fire hydrant pulling a large amount of water or a break in the water main could be what causes this dip in the supply. With an improperly connected backflow prevention system, or none at all, the herbicide will be sucked back down into the main supply with the rest of the water. Thus, the community will now be drinking herbicides in their next glass of water.
If this happened just once at every water source, the drinking water would no longer be drinkable.
The prevention of backflow in municipal water systems is incredibly important in every plumbing system from residential to industrial plumbing. Without proper backflow prevention, drinking water can become contaminated, causing harm to the people and animals consuming and bathing in the water.
Improper backflow prevention in industrial settings could leak poisonous substances into the water. Residential or commercial plumbing could leak sewage or other toxic or harmful substances into the main water system. Both cases can, of course, be detrimental to the health of the community.
Every plumbing system needs backflow prevention, though they vary based on area. Because of this, most cities or municipalities around Ontario have different requirements. Therefore, only a certified professional may assess and install these systems.
At POM Plumbing our certified plumbers have years of experience with backflow system assessments and installations. So if you’re in the process of new construction plumbing – be it residential, commercial or industrial – we’ve got you covered.