Backflow Protection

Backflow protection and prevention are essential to our community in order to provide the safe drinking water we have come to expect.

People in developed countries turn on the tap and safe drinking water flows, a dramatic health benefit they tend to take for granted.

Crumbling water infrastructure is a daunting challenge. This article originally appeared at Ensia . People in developed countries turn on the tap and safe drinking water flows, a dramatic health benefit they tend to take for granted. That complacency dramatically was disrupted last year when children in Flint, Michigan, […]

While the above article provides the big picture overview of the problems and challenges in protecting our drinking water, the purpose of this article is to provide a smaller scale, local look at backflow protection. Backflow protection is an integral part of protecting our drinking water locally.

What is Backflow?

Backflow is a plumbing term for an undesired and unsafe flow of water in the reverse direction. This creates a potentially serious health risk because it leads to the contamination of potable or safe drinking water. In other words, backflow is anywhere “bad water” has the chance to mix with “good water”.

What is Backflow Protection?

Backflow protection is managed by any number of devices designed to prevent backflow or back siphoning of possible bad or contaminated water into a potable/drinking water system.  These devices are installed in commercial and some residential water systems depending on the degree of danger that has been established by each State or County health department.  All backflow devices are required to be tested and certified annually.  These tests can only be performed by specially trained and certified technicians licensed in the state of operation.

Why is Backflow Testing Necessary?

State regulations require some residential, but all commercial and industrial customers served by a public water system to protect the public water system from potential contamination. The water from private plumbing can flow into the public water distribution system (or backflow). In order to prevent potential backflow, these customers are required to install and maintain backflow prevention devices on the main water service lines. Furthermore, these commercial establishments are required to have their backflow protection devices tested once a year.

To be certified to perform a backflow test in our area, our plumbers have to take a class on backflow prevention. In other words, they must complete the Maryland Cross Connection/Backflow Prevention Certification Training Program. The plumber must complete 32 hours of training, then pass a a comprehensive written examination. Also, like any small business, testers must comply with state, county, and local regulations.

Jerry’s Plumbing has a team of certified and experienced backflow technicians ready to perform all aspects of backflow protection to include device testing, certification, repair and installation. Just call our office and set up an appointment.