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Backflow Prevention

Backflow Regulation

The Safe Drinking Water Act is a federal law that establishes regulations to protect water quality in the United States. The Act sets standards to enforce the prevention of all backflows into the public water system. A backflow preventer must be installed to prevent backflows into the public water system.

To comply with the Reynolds Water Company tariff regarding cross-connection control installation of a backflow preventer must be installed within thirty (30) days from the date of service. Failure to comply with this regulation may lead to termination of service. Once installed, please contact our business office at (724) 646-1144 to arrange for an inspection.

What is Backflow?

Backflow is the reverse flow of water in a plumbing system where the clean water input comes in contact with the output drain lines. When this happens, freshwater can mix with the waste liquid that is running through the drain line to the sewer systems. Backflow can cause several concerns. The corrosion of piping systems, leaks, and possibly floods within the home can occur. More importantly, though, backflow is responsible for some serious health issues when polluted and dirty water mixes in with the fresh drinking water.

What causes Backflow?

Backflow occurs when the water reverses its direction inside the piping system. In most cases, this requires a serious amount of backpressure or damage to your main water line.

Some of the more common causes of backflow include:

  • Burst or frozen pipes
  • Damage to the water main
  • Excess pressure caused by a clog
  • An open fire hydrant
  • Construction damage to your main water line
  • Faulty backflow preventer
  • Sewer line issues

In many cases, backflow is an unexpected issue that is hard to plan for, which is why having a preventer in place is key. A backflow prevention device works similarly to a radiator cap in a car. When your system has normal pressure levels, the valve is held open, allowing water to flow through normally. The moment the pressure drops, the valve shuts closed, preventing water from flowing back into your home.

What is a Backflow Preventer?

A backflow preventer is a check valve unit installed on your pipes, allowing water to flow only in one direction. Mechanically powered backflow preventers open and close valves automatically. As a result, this mechanism eliminates the possibility of your wastewater entering the drinking water system. In the event of a backflow preventer failure, serious complications arise.

Backflow preventer image

Please note that a backflow preventer is to be installed after the water meter. Do NOT install directly to the water meter; a meter coupling must be between the meter and the backflow device.