What is a Backflow Preventer and why do I need one?
Many people do not understand the importance of having an irrigation backflow preventer and why it is necessary. The landscape around your home or business is filled with all sorts of things that can make you sick if ingested. Fertilizers, pesticides and the bacteria found in pet wastes just to name a few.
Most irrigation systems are connected to a potable water supply. Backflow preventers, as the name implies, prevent contaminated water from flowing back into the potable water supply. Backflow can occur if there is a sudden pressure drop in the municipal water line. This could be caused by the opening of a fire hydrant for example. When the pressure drops on the supply side of an irrigation system, water that is standing around a sprinkler head can be drawn back into the municipal water line, thus contaminating the potable water supply. Backflow preventers keep this from happening.
Because the potential risk for contamination is high, most municipalities require the installation of a backflow prevention device on all irrigation systems and require that they be tested at least annually.
There are several types of backflow prevention devices. The type of device you are required to install is largely dictated by local codes. These codes can vary by water purveyor so make sure you contact them for a list of approved devices and manufacturers.
Visit the irrigation specialists at W.P. Law, Inc. for quality irrigation systems and supplies, plus get more information and advice on why an irrigation backflow preventer can be a benefit for your system.