Test and Maintain Your Backflow System to Protect The Local Water Supply
Keeping everyone’s drinking water safe is an important part of public health and safety. To do this all commercial businesses in Boulder County are required to have a backflow system. These systems protect the municipal drinking water supply by preventing contaminated water from entering the water system. How do they work exactly and how often is a backflow test required for Boulder-area businesses? Read on for more information.
Why Are Commercial Backflow Systems Necessary?
Backflow devices are attached to the main city water supply going into a building. They contain valves and springs that act like pistons and are installed on the water main that allows water to flow INTO a commercial building. Backflow devices protect our water supply by preventing the water from flowing back out the way it came in. This stops any contaminants from accidentally going into the water supply.
What Businesses Have Backflow Systems?
Every commercial business is required to have a backflow system. For businesses that deal with chemicals it is extremely important to have a working backflow system, like hospitals, paint shops, restaurants, etc. They are particularly important for restaurants because of their soda machines. Carbonation makes the water acidic which can contaminate the drinking water supply and cause issues. But even businesses that aren’t high risk must have them for public health and safety. Most importantly all backflow systems must be tested annually.
Backflow Systems Are Also Required for Irrigation
Irrigation systems that are connected to “potable” (drinkable) water supplies are also required to have backflow systems. This prevents chemicals, like fertilizers, pesticides, etc., and animal waste from flowing back into the drinking water supply. Backflow systems are required at parks and places with large scale landscaping that have sprinkler or irrigation systems. Any time a water system is connected to potable water, it should have a backflow system to keep our drinking water safe.
There Are Two Types of Backflow Systems
Your commercial location may have the older version of a backflow system called a “Double-Check Valve Assembly”. The city water department will allow you to keep this system until it needs to be rebuilt or replaced. At which point you are required to upgrade to the new system called a “Reduced Pressure Zone Valve Assembly”. If working correctly, both systems will protect the water supply from backflow. But the reason the older Double-Check Valve systems need to be replaced is that if they fail there is no indication of the failure.
The new Reduced Pressure Zone Valve Assembly (RPZ) will protect the public water supply by disposing of any backwards-flowing water even if the check valves or the relief valve fails. And the way you’ll know there’s an issue with your RPZ backflow system is if you see that it’s dripping. This is when you need to call a backflow technician to fix the issue.
An Annual Backflow Test is Required
All backflow systems must be tested by a certified backflow testing technician every year. Mayfield Plumbing & Backflow has certified backflow testers to service your systems. We will use a gauge to make sure your backflow system is operating correctly. This will verify that valves prevent backflow, that the air ports open correctly, and that the relief valves open when they should. Our certified backflow tester will also submit the report to the city water department so that your business remains in compliance.
Mayfield Plumbing & Backflow is certified to install, maintain and test your commercial backflow system in or around Boulder County, contact us today at 720-505-0731 for more information.