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Yes, you need to backflow test your home’s water supply to ensure that the water is free of toxins and harmful levels of chemicals. Because of the equipment required and room for error, you should not attempt to perform backflow testing on your own. We recommend that you call a professional plumber every couple of years to test your water.

What is Backflow?

In short, backflow is when water moves upwards – the opposite direction in the plumbing system. This is also known as “backpressure.” When the water moves in this direction, it can mix with harmful toxins and pose a danger.

What Causes Backflow?

A typical cause of backflow is a loss of water pressure that causes the water to siphon back into the water supply. An example is cleaning out a paint bucket using a hose. You fill the paint bucket up with water, leaving the hose in the bucket. After some time, there is a loss in water pressure and the hose begins to suck the water back into the water supply. As you can imagine, there are now chemicals from the paint that are entering the water supply, potentially posing a threat. Unfortunately, many people are not even aware of backflow testing, but there are many reasons why it’s so important.

Backflow Testing is Required by Law in Certain Cities

Depending on where you live, you might actually be required by law to backflow test your law. For example, Iowa City keeps a record of all properties served by the city’s water supply. The city requires that certain “high-hazard” facilities undergo backflow testing. In some cases, residential properties such as homes and apartment buildings are impacted.  

You Can Prevent Backflow

Hazardous backflow is easily preventable if you have a professional plumber install a backflow device. The plumber will also test for backflow and determine if there is an active threat. The main purpose of a backflow device is to prevent water from flowing backward into your water supply. Plumbers install the device on the pipes in your house to ensure that the water only flows in the correct direction.

Backflow Can Impact Both You and Your City

Many cities establish backflow guidelines because dangerous backflow can affect the public water supply in addition to a single building. Fortunately, modern cities have backflow devices in place that protect the water supply that comes from most residences and commercial properties. The real threat comes from irrigation systems, which can harm the water supply with toxic fertilizers, manure, and other chemicals. Call a Plumber to Test for Backflow Before It is Too Late
While it might sound grim, contaminated water can lead to awful bacterial and viral infections that are difficult to treat. A plumbing company can quickly test your home’s water to determine if there are any dangerous chemical levels. The small investment is if you can avoid the misery that comes from drinking contaminated water. And if you do discover that your water has high levels of toxins, a plumber can easily install a backflow prevention device.

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