Backflow Prevention Devices

Have you had your Backflow Prevention Valves Serviced Lately?

Any connection to Toowoomba Water’s pipes, including fire services, need to be protected by installing backflow prevention devices. Backflow devices are fitted at the boundary of your property or commercial premises to prevent contaminated water flowing into the public water supply. Backflow may happen when the water from your property flows backwards into Toowoomba Water pipes. For instance, where there is a pressure difference in a water supply, water may travel back into the mains. This can result in contaminated water being drawn back into the domestic water supply causing people to become ill from drinking the unclean water.

Backflow prevention devices are important as they protect water quality and must be installed to stop contaminated water flowing into the public water supply. Backflow devices will generally use one of three elements to stop the backflow of polluted water:

  • A valve that only permits water to go in one direction
  • An air gap
  • A break tank

According to Toowoomba Water regulations, backflow prevention devices must be tested annually and when first installed.

Premises that may Need a Backflow Device

Due to the serious consequences of the backflow of water into Sydney’s water supply, it is extremely important backflow prevention devices are installed by certified professionals and tested yearly. Some types of premises that may require backflow prevention devices include:

  • Cafes and restaurants
  • Shopping centres and high-rise buildings.
  • Mechanic workshops
  • Car washes
  • Swimming pools
  • Laundries and dry cleaners
  • Golf courses or sporting ovals
  • Caravan parks
  • Manufacturing premises
  • Medical facilities such as hospitals and veterinary clinics
  • Chemical plants

Common Causes

The backflow of water at an unprotected cross connection can occur in two ways: back pressure backflow and back siphonage backflow. Back pressure is a result of the pressure downstream increasing above the system pressure which causes a reversal in the flow of water. On the other hand, back siphonage occurs in scenarios where there is a build-up of pressure at a given source, greater than the pressure in the pipes. An example of this is when Sydney Water shut off the water main, due to things such as a break or leak in the water main, and as a result water is siphoned back into the public water supply.

Backflow contamination due to back pressure and back siphonage can result from any number of causes, including:

  • Hand held toilet sprayers
  • Bathtubs & showers, where there is an extension on the water outlet that can be submerged. ( Such as those extension hoses that connect onto the bath spout)
  • Kitchen sinks that have a retractable hand piece that can sit in a full sink of water.
  • Car washing bays.
  • A house that can reach into a grease trap.
  • Chemical plants.
  • Garbage areas where a hose is used to wash out bins.
  • Swimming pool areas where a hose can reach the pool.

All the scenarios above are just some of the causes of water back flowing into a water system.

Potential ‘back flow risk’ which means that if there is not adequate measures taken, then both you, your family and other people in your neighbourhood are at risk of consuming contaminated water.

X Factor Plumbing are fully licensed and certified backflow prevention device testers. We install, maintain and test backflow devices for real estates and other commercial clients every day. If you require backflow device installation or if it’s time for your annual backflow device testing, please contact X Factor Plumbing.