What Is Backflow And How Can I Prevent It?

In normal circumstances, water flows one way through a system. A building’s mains water supply travels in a singular direction and out of outlets, such as taps.

However, in some circumstances dirty water, stagnant water or wastewater can start to come out of outlets. This water may be discoloured or have a bad smell. When this happens, the culprit is probably backflow.

A common cause is sudden drops in pressure or broken mains water lines. A high degree of pressure is required in mains water supply, and if this suddenly drops off it can create a vacuum effect, sucking contaminated water into the system.

Backflow may also occur when a system has higher pressure than the mains do, which has the potential the invert the flow of water. Heat, leaks and many other factors can be responsible for these pressure differences.

What are the risks of backflow?

The end effect of backflow is that the dirty water may be put it into the mains supply or your piping such that it can then flow out of other outlets.

Dirty water flowing out of your taps can pose health problems. Microorganisms, bacteria and chemicals may be present in the water, depending on its source. The reputation of a business is at risk if the situation is not promptly resolved.

In extreme cases, there is a threat of liability. In almost every case, there is a long shut-down period during pump service and repairs and a large repair bill.

How to prevent backflow?

One common solution is a Reduced Pressure Zone valve or valves. These are a special type of valve that be installed at the points where a system connects to a mains water supply. Your local Sydney pump service commonly installs these in the internal systems of buildings including plumbing and fire protection.

By only allowing water to flow in the desired direction, these RPZ valves can prevent backflow if properly installed by a qualified pump repairs and pump installation business. Such systems are much easier to use and maintain compared to costly reactive maintenance after a backflow incident.

They feature a large amount of in-built redundancy. If there is a failure in one part, backflow will still be prevented. Some RPZ systems include a relief valve that can open and release water to the outside, thereby preventing backflow.

Effectively installed by a pump service near me, they do not have a significant impact on water pressure coming out of outlets, but they do have a massive health, safety and risk-reduction benefit.

The friendly team at Enviro Pump’s Sydney pump service team are experienced at testing, installing and replacing your RPZ devices to prevent backflow. If you require a pump service near me, pump repairs or pump maintenance to ensure that backflow does not occur, don’t hesitate to contact us today on 1300 141 315 or info@enviropump.com.au. We can also help with your sewer pump, storm water pump or after hours pumps.

You may also be interested to read about How Does TMV Testing Work? or 4 Benefits of UV in a Pump System.


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