What is backflow testing and do I need to have it done? If backflow is a term that you are not familiar with, then read on. This post will explain what backflow is, how it can be prevented, and the regulations around backflow testing in Kitchener and the surrounding areas. If you require backflow testing, contact the certified professionals at WaterSmart. We will walk you through the process and submit all the required paperwork to help you comply with the regulations.
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What Is Backflow?
Water typically flows into our homes and businesses. However, sometimes the water flows in the opposite direction. This is known as backflow. Backflow can be the cause of dangerous pollutants entering our water system. If a garden hose is connected to a container of lethal weed killer, and the water reverses direction, then the poisonous chemicals can be sucked back into the water supply.
How Can You Prevent Backflow?
In order to prevent backflow, you can install a backflow preventer (BFP). This is a mechanical device that stops unwanted substances and chemicals from entering the city's safe water supply. There are various types of backflow prevention devices available. These devices are designed to help protect the different kinds of cross connections. If you are unsure whether or not you have one already installed, you can call a plumber, contractor or other professionals who will be able to identify it for you.
The city of Kitchener is committed to ensuring that their residents have access to a clean and safe water supply. Because of this, they have introduced a backflow prevention bylaw. Its purpose is to make sure that commercial, industrial, institutional, and large multi-residential buildings are following the strict guidelines to prevent backflow contamination.
Where Do Backflow Prevention Devices Need To Be Installed?
Backflow prevention devices need to be installed in the following locations. For more details, click here.
1. Commercial, Industrial, Institutional, or Large Multi-residential Buildings
Backflow can be very dangerous, especially if it occurs in commercial, industrial, institutional, or large multi-residential buildings where the potential for larger quantities of contaminants is possible. Backflow Prevention Devices are usually located where the water enters the building.
2. Sprinkler And Lawn Irrigation Systems
Backflow can occur in sprinkler and lawn irrigation systems. If the heads of these systems become submerged during heavy rains, then contaminates such as animal waste, fertilizers, and pesticides can backflow into the drinking water. By law, these systems must have backflow prevention devices installed and annually tested.
3. Boilers, Tanks, Cooling Jackets, and Fire Hydrants Attached To A Potable Water Supply
If any of the above are attached to a potable (able to be safely consumed by humans) water supply and a non-potable fluid is present and there is potential for that fluid to enter the clean water supply, a backflow prevention device must be installed.
Backflow Testing In Kitchener
Backflow prevention devices must be tested under the following circumstances:
1. When they are first installed
2. When they are cleaned, repaired, or overhauled
3. When they are relocated
Within 14 days of performing the test, a report needs to be filled out and submitted to Kitchener Utilities. Click here to see a copy of the Backflow Prevention Device Inspection and Testing Report.
Who Can Perform The Backflow Prevention Device Test?
Only a certified backflow technician registered with the corresponding cities can perform the backflow prevention device test. WaterSmart is registered with Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge, and Guelph as an approved company to install, repair, and annually test backflow prevention devices and equipment. If you require backflow testing, come and see the plumbing and service experts at WaterSmart. Our fully insured licensed master plumbers have been serving KW, Cambridge, Guelph, and the surrounding areas since 1994.
BPD Image - By Verifiedbackflow (Own work) [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons