04 Apr 2012


Shoreline News No Comments

What is backflow? Do I take Tums?

No, backflow isn’t what happens after Taco night.  Backflow or cross connection prevention is a common term used when we speak of irrigation system connections to your home water supply.

This has been a rather hot topic in recent years. Now more than ever if you have an irrigation system or planning a new one, backflow cross connection prevention is a requirement.  Backpressure backflow is backflow caused by a downstream pressure that is greater than the upstream or supply pressure in a public water system or consumer’s potable water system. Backpressure (i.e., downstream pressure that is greater than the potable water supply pressure) can result from an increase in downstream pressure, a reduction in the potable water supply pressure, or a combination of both. Increases in downstream pressure can be created by pumps, temperature increases in boilers, etc. Reductions in potable water supply pressure occur whenever the amount of water being used exceeds the amount of water being supplied, such as during water line flushing, fire fighting, or breaks in water mains.

Michigan plumbing code requires that while using a potable water source(city water, yes even domestic wells) for your irrigation system you must install a functional CERTIFIED* backflow preventer.  This device will prevent any cross contamination back into the domestic or ground water supply. Typically its mounting on the outside of your home near your other utility entries.

The install  work must be done in compliance to the code which requires a licensed plumber to do the work. We recommend that the plumbing be done inside and outside using all copper lines to prevent breaking.  This connection is on live water 100% of the time. It only makes sense to use durable non destructive product for the plumbing.

* Many local municipalities are now requiring an annual certification of your backflow preventer by a qualified and licensed expert.  Check with your local city, township or government for certification requirements.




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