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Plumber Washington DC » Articles » Backflow Prevention

A Guide to Backflow Prevention Basics

Running parallel to the water supply, the sewer line is made from large diameter pipes. While potable water is supplied in one direction from the municipal distributor to our homes, the Drain-Vent-Waste (DVW) system removes waste water from the home, through the sanitary sewer and into the main municipal sewer. Under certain conditions, sewage waste water can reverse directions, get into the potable water supply and re-enter homes. Sewer backups are known as backflows. Without backflow preventor devices to stop this condition from ever happening, backflows can pose major health hazards to human surroundings. In the deadlier backflow emergency reported, more than 1500 people became ill and 98 persons died.

The one way flow of potable water is established via high pressure water that is supplied to our homes, and that we then release by turning on kitchen and bathroom taps. Occasionally fire fighting operations or water main breaks may result in heavy usage of the main water supply. Sudden heavy demand on the main water supply will decrease the water pressure significantly below that of sewage waste water. If a backflow preventor device is not installed, a major drop in water pressure may cause a back-siphonage of sewage waste water into the fresh water system.

Backflow prevention devices safeguard against sewage waste water that can otherwise backflow and contaminate potable water that enters our homes and offices. Under the law, owners of commercial alternate water sources must install backflow assemblies in the points of cross connection between potable and non potable water. Every year, commercial plumbers maintain the working order of backflow prevention devices and thereby protect the public's fresh water supply.

Without backflow preventor devices, our homes are susceptible to sewer backups through drains and onto kitchen and bathroom floors. Classified as first rate emergencies, sewer backups cause great hardship to the unfortunate home owner. In many cases, floors, walls and ceilings need to be replaced with new materials due to the pollutants and contaminates present in the sewage waste water.

Plumber Washington DC provides SOS help to local household inflicted by this hazard.

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