We now offer Backflow Prevention Assembly Testing at very competitive pricing for Business, Church and Home needs. We know that many are getting letters from the water department requiring that your devices be tested. We can usually test the device the same day as you call and as a convenience to you we fax the test results directly to the county water department.
To explain some of the reasons why Backflow Prevention Assembly Testing is so important here's a brief summary.
Back in the history of our nation's public water systems there have been many instances where backflow of polluted or contaminated water from businesses and homes have backflowed back into the public water system making many people even neigborhoods sick and causing death. To protect the public water supply served by your water department from the possibility of contamination or pollution by isolating, within its customers internal distribution system, such contaminatants or pollutants which could backflow or back-siphon into the public water system the U.S. Congress passed the Federal Safe Drinking Water Act of 1974 in 1974. Up until then there was no guarantee that your drinking water coming out of the tap at your business or home was safe to drink.
So what this Act of Congress did was require that the U.S. Enviromental Protection Agency set standards to ensure safe drinking water in the U.S. The U.S. EPA tells the Georgia Enviromental Protection Department what is required then the Georgia EPD tells the water purveyors in the state what they should do. In 1986 The Safe Drinking Water Act amendment required that water purveyors be responsible for safe drinking water to the last free flowing tap.
Now in Georgia and across the United States we can drink water from the tap and really not have to worry about whether it will make us sick or kill us due to this code: A potable water supply system shall be designed, installed and maintained in such a manner so as to prevent contamination from nonpotable liquids, solids or gases being introduced into the potable water supply through cross-connections or any other piping connections to the system. Cross-connections shall be prohibited, except where approved protective devices are installed. The best way to prevent the backflow of water from a polluted/contaminated source is an air gap that is a physical separation of the polluted/contaminated source through the free atmospere. We are all familiar with this when we wash our hands or fill our kitchen sink. The bowl will overfill with no danger of backflowing into the faucet spout. But this type of backflow prevention isn't very economical in our busy business world.
This is where backflow prevention assembly testing comes into play.
A backflow prevention assembly device is a means of protection against backflow when an air gap is not practical. This device must be tested at least annually to ensure that it is protecting against backflow. If found that it is not protecting against backflow then it must be repaired and retested to ensure it's safe functionality.
Pictured below is a 1-1/2 Double Check Valve Assembly with four test ports that are used for testing the device. This is the most common backflow assembly that is used for business and church backflow prevention because most have a low health hazard rating. When testing a device like this we test to ensure that the device which contains two separate check valves that work independantly from each other close within standards to protect against backflow. Homes will have a similiar device on water distribution lines to lawn sprinklers and pools that need tested once a year as well.
We test this device with a pressure differential gage which measures the difference in pressure between higher pressure and a lower pressure zone. We know that a low pressure can't backflow against a higher pressure. So in testing each check valve in the assembly must close at least at 1 pressure per square inch differential (psid) to past the test. Below is a photo of a pressure differential gage.
As a remainder: It is your responsibility to maintain your devices and get your devices tested once a year to protect yourself against liabilities if you have a backflow situation even if the county water system isn't requiring an annual test for your device. When we test the device the test is only good at the time of the test which means the device is either working as designed or not working as designed at the time of the test. You can never tell when the device might fail and this is why it has two check valves. If one fails then there is a backup that will hopefully stop backflow and at least hold until the situation is corrected and in event that backflow didn't occur then the failure will be found on the next annual test.
Hope this short blog has increased your knowledge about backflow. Read our newsletter on this same site to learn more. http://www.skylineplumbingandseptic.com/Newsletter2.html