Backflow is a term used to describe the cross-contamination of a freshwater supply with bacteria and contaminant-filled sewage water. Backflow is a major concern for commercial buildings, where cross-connections between the freshwater supply and the wastewater system can lead to water flowing the wrong direction and sewage entering the potable water. This can occur because of a sudden drop in pressure on the freshwater side—an event known as backsiphonage—as a result of an abrupt large demand on water, such as from firefighting or sprinklers. However, backflow can result from an increase in pressure from the wastewater side as well.
To prevent cross-contamination, a device known as a backflow preventer closes a valve to stop water flowing the wrong direction. This is a basic device for businesses, but it sometimes is used for residential buildings as well. Although there are fewer cross-connections for homes, it’s possible for the freshwater system to draw up contaminated water from exterior connections, such as a hose sitting in a stagnant pool of water, through backsiphonage.
If your house has a backflow preventer, you may not even realize it… until you receive a notification from the city that the device requires testing. If you receive such a notification, you can’t do the check yourself! This job must be done by a certified plumber who can look over the backflow preventer and give it an official clean bill of health. Should your backflow preventer fail the test, the plumber can offer repairs or a replacement for the unit.
If you find that you require a backflow prevention check, repair, or replacement in Rockville, MD or the surrounding areas, you can contact our plumbers to handle it. They are certified for commercial and residential backflow prevention testing as well as any other services you may require.
Mallick Plumbing & Heating is the Service Contractor of Choice in Silver Spring, MD and Montgomery County.