What is a backflow?

A potable (drinking) water supply can become contaminated by accident through hazardous connections to the piping system known as a “cross connection.” Under certain conditions, the flow of water in a supply line can be reversed, and if this happens when connected to something containing non-potable water or chemical, contaminants can flow backwards into the drinking water supply line.

How can you protect your potable water supply from incidents of backflow? If you must connect your water to something you would not want to drink, then you must ensure that the supply end is protected with an approved backflow protection device. The professionals at Hunter Plumbing are fully licensed and insured to install a testable device to isolate your premises. Already have a backflow prevention device? Make sure it is tested annually to ensure the unit will properly function in the event of a backflow. For information regarding the backflow prevention bylaws in your area, contact your local municipality.

The following example illustrates what can happen in the absence of appropriate cross connection controls:

City of Stratford, March 7, 2005

On Monday, March 7th, 2005 a local car wash contaminated Stratford’s water supply when a chemical from their operation was forced back in the city’s water main via a booster pump. Residents were advised not to drink tap water or use the water to bath, wash their hands or give to their pets. The water emergency lasted a total of 56 hours. The car wash responsible for the incident was fined $75,000 by the Ministry of Environment in 2006. The overall cost surrounding this incident is not yet available as resolution of claims may take a significant period of time.

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