Backflow preventers are important tools to help protect your home’s water supply from contamination due to a reversal of flow in your pipes. Whether your home’s water comes from the public water supply or a well, the best way to ensure it stays clean is to have a backflow preventer installed. And according to county or municipal laws, you might be required to have a backflow preventer if you also have a sprinkler or irrigation system in your yard.
Once you have a backflow preventer system, you’re good to go, right? Actually, you should have your backflow preventer tested at least once per year—or more frequently if you notice anything strange about your water—to safeguard against system errors. And depending on your city or county regulations, you might be required to show proof of testing.
For more information or to schedule backflow preventer testing for your irrigation or sprinkler system in Washington, D.C., Northern Virginia, or Maryland, contact Wheat’s Landscape!
What is Backflow?
Backflow is the flow of water or other substances into the piping of the water supply from any unintended source. This can happen due to backpressure or back-siphonage.
- Backpressure is caused by downstream pressure that is greater than the upstream pressure—either due to an increase in downstream pressure, a decrease in upstream pressure, or both.
- Back-siphonage occurs due to negative pressure in the water system (public or private). In other words, contaminated water is sucked back into the potable water supply.
Why Are Backflow Preventers Required for Sprinkler Systems?
The State of Virginia considers auxiliary water systems (sprinklers, irrigation, etc.) a high hazard for backflow because they are often exposed to fertilizers, pet waste, and other potentially harmful chemicals. Fertilizer is great for your lawn but, of course, not for your drinking water.
Sprinkler systems are at particular risk for back-siphonage because they often remain submerged under water after running through a cycle or after a rainstorm. Because of this, any sudden decrease in water system pressure could cause water from the sprinkler system to be sucked back into the potable water supply.
When Should You Have Your Backflow Preventer Tested?
Even if it appears that your backflow preventer is working correctly, you should have it tested periodically because pressure inconsistencies are often difficult to detect without proper equipment. Here are some other signs you need to have your backflow preventer tested:
- It’s been longer than a year since your last test.
- There is a visible leak in your system.
- You notice a strange odor, taste, or appearance in your water supply.
Backflow Preventer Testing from Wheat’s Landscape in Northern VA
If you have a backflow preventer and need your annual testing completed or are worried about its functionality, a water management expert from Wheat’s will come to your home and inspect it.
If you need backflow preventer testing for your home in Northern Virginia, Maryland, or Washington, D.C., call Wheat’s Landscape today at (703) 641-4790!