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Backflow is the backward flow of water through a pipe into the public water system. The normal direction of water flow is from the utility water main to homes or businesses. The backflow of water from home plumbing systems into community drinking water happens when water is pulled backward due to a pressure loss in the utility main pipe or pushed back by a pressure source like a well pump.
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It is a program required by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) to detect and prevent other (non-drinking) water sources from entering the public water system.
Cross-connections potentially enable other (non-drinking) water sources of unknown quality to co-mingle with the public water system. Our backflow prevention program identifies and prevents cross-connections. A backflow prevention device will be required if a potential for cross-connection exists.
If your home water system is connected to a source of water other than your water supply - a cross-connection has occurred. "Indirect" cross-connections may occur by garden hoses and temporary connections that may be connected for only a few minutes. Direct cross-connections are more permanent hard-pipe arrangements.
Contamination of drinking water is usually the result of cross-connections of piping between your drinking water and some other source such as an irrigation well, pond, swimming pool, or Clear Lake. The American Water Works Association (AWWA) estimates over 100,000 cross-connections occur each day - half of these from garden hoses. Backflow preventers are designed and installed to prevent the flow of water backwards through the pipe.
This is a temporary cross-connection that may exist for a short period of time. A good example of an indirect cross-connection is a garden hose attached to an outside hose bib with the end of the hose submerged in a pail, swimming pool, or pesticide dispenser. Of additional concern is that some people use the garden hose to flush out sewers and drain pipes.
Yes. Lake County Ordinance Number 1462 requires a backflow prevention device for wells. If your well is not currently cross-connected, the potential exists for a connection to occur during pump priming, maintenance, or alteration of your irrigation pump and well.
In order to protect the community water system as much as possible and meet state requirements, the backflow preventer needs to be installed as close to the water meter as possible.
Yes, there are several methods to cover and protect the backflow prevention assembly from weather, vandals, and lawn mowing equipment.
The backflow preventer is a mechanical device that needs maintenance just like a car. The annual test indicates if the internal check valves and mechanics are working properly and protecting your water.
The relief valve is installed to prevent water pressure from building up too high when the water in a water heater expands. The relief valve can be replaced with a small expansion tank that does not leak. Plugging or removing the relief valve could cause damage to your water heater or plumbing.