Backflow preventers are an essential part for cross-connection control, ensuring a clean supply of drinking water for the public and within the premises of businesses. An annual inspection is required to ensure their effectiveness. Nexus Fire & Safety provides new installation, inspections and repairs of all kinds of backflow preventers no matter the size.
Let us help you do your part for clean and safe drinking water.
What is Cross Connection Control?
Cross-connection control is accomplished with the use of backflow preventers. A cross connection is the connection of a clean water supply with a potential contamination source for the water supply. Most commercial buildings have backflow preventers at their water entry facility and depending on the business there could be several more backflow preventers throughout. Cross-connection control is important to ensure safe and clean drinking water for the public and a non-functioning backflow preventer may result in liability issues for the contaminating party, as a contaminated water supply could result in severe illnesses or even death.
Many municipalities have cross-connection control programs that require the annual testing of the backflow preventer and reporting of the findings. Should the backflow preventer be noted as deficient, repairs to the mechanism are required. Backflow preventers come in many types, shapes and sizes, but all require proper maintenance and care to ensure they are functioning as designed. Nexus Fire & Safety has several certified cross connection technicians on staff, allowing us to provide new backflow preventer installations, annual inspections and any repairs should they become necessary.
What is a backflow
And where does it come from?
Pressure in water systems can fluctuate. The most obvious example is a fire hydrant being utilized by the fire department. When a hydrants is opened, huge amounts of water are drawn through it. Since the hydrant is connected to the water main, as are the buildings around it, the hydrant will begin to draw water from these buildings, as well as the water main to service the sheer amount of water pressure required. This means that water that was already in a building, and has the potential to be contaminated, could be drawn back into the water main and wreak havoc. A backflow preventer will aid in averting a possible contamination by ensuring no water can flow backwards into the supply.
Cross Connected Plumbing Lines
Sometimes things can go wrong and plumbing is no exception to this rule. Cross connected plumbing lines can cause clean water to be contaminated with chemicals or disease-causing organisms. Hoses are the prime example of a potential contamination risk, as they offer the opportunity for a back siphon event, causing chemicals or other contaminants to flow back into the water supply and potentially spread throughout the building or even worse, the main water supply. Backflow preventers come in many shapes and sizes and are built to block the reverse flow of water and thus keeping the water clean and safe for human consumption
Sources of contaminated water can include irrigation systems, dishwashers, laundry machines, hoses, swimming pools, ice machines and systems that utilize chemicals for a process and are connected to a water supply. The contamination potential is classified by the level of hazard, which is split into three levels of minor, moderate and severe. Depending on the hazard level, the type of backflow preventer is chosen to ensure the assembly can protect the water supply to the necessary extent.
How likely is an incident?
Backflow incidents happen to this day despite all the programs and measures in place. A recent story, which can be found here, albeit relatively harmless, outlines the potential for backflow and if it would have been a harmful substance the results could have been devastating. Keeping a backflow preventer inspected and up to date is not only a necessary evil to keep the authorities happy, but also ensures you minimize your liability towards your employees health and even the public health and safety.