Every residential and commercial construction is subject to municipality rules and regulations when it comes to the design of their plumbing systems. As buildings make use of public water and infrastructure to be able to carry out their activities they are interconnected to public property, exchanging water flow and making use of services.
In order to make sure that any waste that is produced in private and public properties, plumbing systems are required to install and annually maintain backflow prevention systems. If you have ever looked into any of these systems you have probably come across with this part of it.
Backflow prevention is a small but essential part of your plumbing system, according to Water.org.uk. This part of your system protects the public water flow available in the municipalities’ pipeline from any possible waste that could be filtered into the construction’s piping system from contaminating the public water flow. They also help prevent any pressure irregularities to impact the whole plumbing system.
Backflow preventers are generally found in the exterior of the construction and need to be exposed so that public water treatment authorities can check and evaluate the state of the preventer.
There are multiple types of backflow preventers which are used depending on the building it is installed in. Big commercial centers need different preventers with different capabilities from that of a residential home. Backflow preventers can be identified as follows:
- RPZ – Reduced Pressure Zone: this is the most popular preventer as it can be used in almost every system.
- Double Check Valve: these preventers should not be used in hazardous situations like sprinkler systems because it does not contain the same safety components that other preventers do. Sprinkler systems are considered hazardous because homeowners often use pesticides and fertilizers in their gardens and these can be filtered into the ground and captured by any irrigation nozzle. Once these chemicals enter the system they travel along with the water flow. Backflow prevents this contaminated water flow from entering the public water pipeline.
- PVB – Pressure Vacuum Breaker (more info): this is more commonly found in small constructions because it contains a spring poppet that completely seals the backflow water flow.
States like California require by law an annual evaluation of the backflow preventer in order to keep public safety, assure a healthy water flow and protect both the public and private plumbing systems from being affected by any irregularities in the other. Spartan Tool (see http://www.citysupplygroup.com/) designs professional drain cleaning equipment.