What is Backflow Prevention, and why does it matter?

If you are like most people, you may not understand what happens when a backflow occurs, and why it should even matter to you.

Backflow occurs when water flow is reversed from its intended direction. Under normal circumstances, water is normally maintained at a significant pressure to enable water to flow from the tap, shower etc. If a water main bursts, pipes freeze, or there is an unexpectedly high demand on the water system, the pressure in the pipe may be reduced.

During these types of events, the pressure may be reduced enough to reverse the intended flow of water and actually draw water out of nearby service connections. If these connections are cross connected in any way to chemical mixing facilities or any non-potable water supply, the possibility exists that dangerous backflow can occur resulting in contamination of the public water supply. People have actually died from drinking this type of contaminated water.

A backflow preventer is a device that keeps contaminated water from entering into drinking water systems. Essentially, a backflow preventer is a one way valve system that prevents water from flowing backwards into your water main – thus preventing potential contamination of your water supply. There are many types of backflow prevention assemblies for different situations and different degrees of hazards.

SkyCore Plumbing, Inc. has plumbers that are certified in backflow installation & maintenance. Our licensed backflow prevention technicians are capable of installing, testing, and certifying backflows in St. John’s and surrounding areas.

Do I need a Backflow Preventer?

Backflow prevention is required by municipalities for office buildings, apartment buildings, condominiums, restaurants, hotels, etc. All backflows must be certified annually as directed by your municipalities bylaws.

If you are constructing a new building the city should notify you of the need for a backflow preventer in writing prior to approving your application to be connected to the municipal water supply. If you are in an existing building, which has no backflow, you will likely be notified of the requirement to have one installed.

How Do I get a Backflow Preventer Installed?

Once you receive a letter from your municipality, you need to hire a certified technician to install your backflow preventer. SkyCore plumbing is one of only a few plumbing companies that is certified to install, test, and certify backflow units by the City of St. John’s. Once installed, your backflow must be tested and certified every year after by a certified technician. You should be notified of this requirement by your municipality on a yearly basis.