You probably don't think about water purity when you take a shower or gulp down a glass of freshly poured tap water. The reason you can do that is because the law requires each residence and business install backflow prevention in each building's plumbing system.
A backflow preventer is a device that keeps water that has flown from the city's mainline water supply into the building from flowing back into the mainline. If the water backflows into the main water line, it can then contaminate the water supply and endanger the health of the entire population.
Types of Contamination
The types of contamination that unhindered backflow can cause includes:
Metal contaminants from metal processing plants and chemical plants can infiltrate the water system. Rusted pipelines in residential homes can also cause problems.
Car washes as well as laundry and dry cleaning facilities recycle water during normal operations. If that water flows back into the mainline, it may carry some of these cleaning components with it. The same products that keep your tidy whities sparkling white can cause health issues when ingested.
Pesticides, chemicals and fertilizers are the most common contaminants because people submerge hoses in pools, tanks and irrigation systems. Theses submerged hoses can cause a siphoning effect, which draws the impurities back into the water system.
If backflow prevention fails to work, you and your family face the following hazards:
Pollutant hazards are undesirable contaminants, such as steam, air and food products. These items will not necessarily cause health problems, but they can affect the quality of your water.
Contaminant hazards can make you sick. Examples of contaminant hazards include chemicals, metals and poisonous fluids. Symptoms range from a mild headache, to severe vomiting and lead to lengthy hospital stays.
Lethal hazards can kill you. Under this category of dangers, you will find untreated sewage, certain chemicals and metals, as well as radioactive waste.
Protect your family and your community by hiring a licensed plumber to install a backflow preventer with the professional know-how that will ensure you never cross contaminate your community's water supply. Your job does not end there, though. An annual backflow test makes sure the backflow preventer device is working properly, and your water supply remains pure.
Want more information on back-flow testing in your Oklahoma City area? Just call Hull Plumbing at (405) 246-9763!