What Is Plumbing Backflow and Why Is It Underreported?

plumbing backflowBackflow is a major residential and commercial plumbing concern. When backflow occurs it contaminates the water supply. What’s worse is that you might not know that your running water contains plumbing backflow. Because of this ignorance incidences often go underreported.

What Causes Plumbing Backflow?

Backflow occurs when clean water reverses direction in the pipes. This causes a suction that pulls wastewater into the supply. This happens as a result of backpressure, back siphonage, or cross-connection between pipes.

Why Backflows Are Underreported

If severe enough, you can usually detect backflow through foul odor, taste, or discoloration in the water. Other times, though, the backflow is indistinguishable from clean water. This may cause contaminated water to go undetected for years.

In addition, random water testing at the city level may not yield traces of bacterial presence. This is especially the case if city officials fail to conduct testing at frequent and consistent intervals.

Homeowners also often brush off backflow symptoms as a less than urgent problem. A change in water pressure is one example of a backflow symptom that may be mistaken for something else. Residents may dismiss pressure changes as a problem with the shut-off valve or water meter valve. Even less experienced plumbers may not immediately suspect the occurrence of backflow.

Backflow Prevention

Testing has yielded various forms of contaminants, ranging from antifreeze to agricultural pesticides. This is why we highly recommend a backflow prevention device on all irrigation systems. Prevention devices are required under some municipal building codes. Residential plumbers can also install these for homeowners.

Detect and Prevent Backflow

Prolonged exposure to backflow may cause serious illness. Homeowners, business owners, and city officials all need to take a proactive measure and call South County Plumbing. Our emergency plumbers often diagnose and treat plumbing backflow at the residential and city level.

Plumbing Backflow Diagnosis and Prevention

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