Backflow is when water that is supposed to enter or leave your home changes direction and goes the opposite way than what is intended. When backflow occurs, contaminants can enter the water supply because dirty water gets mixed in with the clean water. Some common contaminants you may find in the water supply when backflow occurs are solid waste, sewage gases, and other bacteria.
What Causes Backflow to Occur?
If your home is connected to a municipal water system, water is pumped into your home from water pumping stations at a specific pressure. Sometimes, circumstances occur that cause the water pressure to decrease, such as a main water break or routine maintenance. Frozen pipes can also cause water pressure to decrease, leading to backflow. Temperatures can drop as low as 18 degrees Fahrenheit during the winter in Lubbock, TX, so pipes being affected by freezing temperatures is a possibility. When the pressure drops, then there is the risk of contaminants entering the drinking water. Contaminants can enter because of dirty water making its way into cracks and leaks in the pipes.
What Is Backflow Testing?
Backflow testing is when a plumber comes and evaluates your drinking water for contaminants. The purpose of backflow testing is to ensure that your drinking water is clean and safe.
Can Backflow Be Prevented?
The good news is that you are not powerless because you can prevent backflow from happening. You can prevent backflow by using air gaps. Air gaps are the intentional spaces that are left between your plumbing system and the places where water can collect. Another way you can prevent backflow is to have a plumber install a backflow preventer valve. A backflow preventer valve can be installed at multiple places in your home where water contamination is at risk of occurring.
How Often Must Backflow Testing Be Done?
Backflow testing must be done annually. While backflow preventer valves are highly effective, they can malfunction or fail. During the backflow testing process, the plumber will check that your backflow preventer valves are up to par, and your water will be evaluated for contaminants to make sure the backflow preventer valves are doing their job.
If you are concerned about the state of your drinking water, contact Action Air & Plumbing today. We can perform a backflow test to determine the cleanliness of your drinking water. If we find any contaminants are present, we will collaborate with you to put measures in place to bring your water to a safe and clean state. We serve clients in the greater Lubbock, TX area, and we look forward to doing our best to help keep your family healthy and safe.