Wednesday, April 15, 2015

What is a Backflow Preventer?  Why do I need to have my Backflow Preventer tested?

Backflow prevention devices are a part of your irrigation system and stop the reverse flow of water and other substances in pipes to keep contaminated or polluted water from entering a home's main water system, which supplies water for drinking, cooking and bathing.  A backflow of water can occur when there is an increase in pressure in pipes, called back-pressure, which can happen when water is pushed backward by a pump, increase in temperature or when water rises.  It can also happen when there is a decrease in the pressure, called back-siphonage, because of opening a valve or hydrant or having a break in a pipe or water main.

Many businesses that use water for a commercial purpose, such as restaurants, medical and dental offices, funeral homes and others, as well as residences with underground irrigation systems must have the devices tested to make sure they're functioning properly. Virginia State law requires that backflow-prevention devices be installed, maintained and tested when they are put in and then yearly after that.

Though the law providing for this has been in place since the late 1970s, many counties have not been very strict with its enforcement, especially as it applies to residents.  Counties have begun sending out notices to homeowners recently and enforcing the inspections.  There is a window of 30 days after the system has been turned on before the inspection is due.  Failure to have this test completed can result in citation and fines for non-compliance.  Your water service may also be terminated to protect the public water system.

For more information:
Richmond City Backflow Prevention Flyer

In the Richmond Virginia area, Robbins Landscaping Inc. can provide full service maintenance on your irrigation system to include backflow certification, start-up and winterization.  

Request a Consultation

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