Preventing Backflow

Backflow itself, is the unintended flow or water (or other liquids) from a potentially polluted source into the potable water supply. Backflow prevention is a practise where we put in measures to ensure that the contamination doesn’t happen. There are 2 key terms associated with backflow they are:

  • BACKSIPHONAGE – Backsiphonage is when the water flows backwards due to a sudden pressure drop.
  • BACKPRESSURE – Backpressure occurs when the outlet (downstream) pressure is greater than the supply pressure.

Determining which of the two apply requires in depth investigation and a trained plumbing professional equipped with the appropriate safety equipment and protocols,

What is potable water?

It’s our drinking water or improved drinking water that’s safe to drink or use in our food preparation. It’s important to keep it clean and clear of any pollutants for our health and safety.

How does backflow effect people?

The mildest form causes us to be extremely ill and depending on the level of pollution, it has been known to be fatal and cause death. Any property that has potable water entering it is classified and treated with a high degree of seriousness when it comes to the backflow contamination risk known as the Hazard Rating.

Protecting against backflow

There are three kinds of protection – Containment, Zone and Individual.

Containment Protection

Backflow prevention and protection is provided at the property boundary to protect the water supply from contamination. There are various buildings which have a High Hazard Rating, and they tend to be places such as:

  • Hospitals
  • Factories
  • Clinics
  • Sewerage treatments
  • Abattoirs
  • Universities

Zone Protection

Backflow prevention and protection is provided at the connection to specific sections of water supply within a building or facility. Examples of high risk areas are:

  • Drinking troughs
  • Commercial laundries
  • Dockside facilities
  • Dissecting rooms in hospital and medical buildings
  • Dental surgeries

Individual Protection

Backflow prevention and protection is provided at individual fixtures. Examples of high risk areas:

  • Antibiotic injectors
  • Chemical dispensers
  • Dental consoles
  • Food preparation or food storage tanks
  • Caravan parks (soil and waste dump points)
  • Steam boilers
  • Cooling towers
  • Demineralising equipment using ion-exchange resins with alkali regeneration

Choose the best Tradesperson

For your protection it is important that the tradesperson you choose is licensed to carry out the work. Read our article on how to Choose a Real Gasfitter.
For more information call VIP Plumbing on 1800 319 522.

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