A backflow preventer is a device that’s installed on a commercial property’s water pipes. The system’s sole purpose is to ensure that water only flows in one direction, and never in the opposite direction. This prevents drinking water from being contaminated due to backflow. Periodic certification is required in the Midwest to ensure the system is operating properly.
What is Backflow Prevention?
When water enters a business from a municipality’s main water supply line, it should only flow into the business. However, due to pressure changes in pipes sometimes the water can flow backward and seep back into the main water supply line. For example, backflow can happen when there’s a break in the main water line or when a fire hydrant is opened for use. Because pressure is lost during these events, water is no longer being pushed forward into the business and instead flows backward into the city water lines. When this happens, backflow can contaminate the public drinking supply with toxins from fertilizers/pesticides, human waste, and cleaning supplies.
A backflow prevention system is installed onto a pipe to ensure that water only flows in one direction. They function as a one-way gate that allows water from the city’s public water supply to flow into a business’s piping but stops the water if and when it ever tries to flow backward into the main water supply. Newer properties may have built-in backflow preventers on certain water lines, but to know for sure whether your business has proper backflow preventers set up, you’ll want to have a plumber conduct a professional inspection.
Why do I Need a Backflow Tester Certification?
Most home and business owners rightly assume that when they turn on the water tap, clean water will flow out. The water management departments of cities across the Midwest provide 60 psi of water pressure, and the water pipes leading into your structure have that amount of water pressure in them. However, situations such as a five-alarm fire or a water-main break cause a sudden drop in this pressure by diverting enormous amounts of water away from your business. When this happens, the absence of any pressure in the pipes causes the water to flow backward. When this happens, all the pollutants in your company’s water system caused by toilets, showering facilities, etc. will flow back into the main water system and create an unsafe situation.
For this reason, Illinois and other states in the Midwest require annual testing to ensure your safety and that of your employees by confirming that your backflow prevention system is in proper working order. A quick online search should identify dozens of certified professional plumbers in your area that can conduct the test, confirm that your business complies with state and local regulations, and generate the appropriate paperwork for submission to the proper authorities. The test is quick, inexpensive, and administered with an approved and calibrated gauge to assure compliance with government standards.
Backflow Testing Equipment in the Midwest
Mid-West Instrument is your experienced source for high-quality backflow testing equipment in the Midwest. In fact, for more than 30 years our products have served as the industry’s benchmark. Contact us today and we’ll provide the right testing solution for your specific needs.