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How Backflow Preventers Protect Your Water Supply

When you turn on a tap in your home, you should see the clear, clean water you rely on for cooking, showering, or cleaning. Access to clean water is expected by most homeowners in Apopka, so we tend not to think much about the quality of our water when we turn on a faucet. However, it’s important to know that your water supply may be at risk for contamination at any time, particularly if a backflow prevention device is not in place or is not tested regularly.

Your water supply is kept at a high pressure so that water can easily flow out of any tap in your home. The sewage system, however, is not pressurized, relying instead on gravity to remove waste from the home. If anything happens to increase the pressure of the exit drain or to decrease the pressure of the water supply, backflow may occur.

Backflow can be defined as the unwanted reversal of flow causing non-potable, or unsafe, water and other substances to enter the water supply. Backflow occurs when the pressure of the non-potable system is higher than the pressure of the potable water. This may happen for any number of reasons including a breach in the mater main or a sewer line blockage.

The best way to protect your water supply from contamination is with a backflow prevention device. Backflow preventers provide an air gap or physical barriers that prevent wastewater from polluting the freshwater. Although there are multiple types of backflow preventers, they generally prevent backflow with check valves that only allow the wastewater to flow in one direction.

Many homes already have backflow prevention devices installed, but these should be tested regularly to check for worn out parts and to prevent sudden failure. Any source of contamination puts your health at risk, so you should allow a plumbing professional to inspect and test this portion of your system during an annual plumbing maintenance visit.

Don’t put the quality of your water supply at risk. For maintenance, questions, or to install a backflow prevention device in Apopka, call on the professionals at Modern Plumbing Industries, Inc. (MPI).

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