Backflow 101

Additional Information

 

What hazards need a backflow?

Irrigation Systems, Fire Sprinkler Systems, Boilers, Booster Pumps, Pools, Commercial Dishwashers, Soda Machines and so on. 


What is Backflow?

In supplying a community with water, it is intended that water go from the water main through the service line/meter and into the building. When a backflow incident occurs such as back siphonage and or back pressure, the flow of water goes in the reverse direction of flow from the building through the service line/meter and into the water main. If water from an irrigation system, fire sprinkler system, boiler etc is introduced to the main water supply system via backflow, wide spread illness can occur in the community.


How Do We Prevent Backflow?

Backflow assemblies are used in preventing backflow from occurring. These assemblies have check valves designed to close, and in some cases, open in order to prevent water from going in the reverse direction of flow. These assemblies have been used for years to prevent backflow and are very important in protecting our water system. However, they are not infallible and must be tested at least once a year in order to verify they are in proper working condition. It has been said that 1 in 10 backflow assemblies will fail while being tested.

 

Who Can Test and Repair Backflow Assemblies?

Any individual who has gone through the proper training and has passed their state certified backflow test can test backflow assemblies. Please note, repairs can only be made on backflow assemblies located outside of a building. For assemblies located inside a building that need to be repaired, the tester will need to also have his or her specialty plumber's license. It is best to make sure that any tester you use has this license as it will save you time and money.


How does the city/water district get the test results?

We will email the test results to your water purveyor no later than the next business day and we will also copy you on the email. Please note, City of Bellevue, City of Mercer Island, and Covington Water District do not accept test reports via email. We enter the results directly into their database via the Tester Access Code (City of Bellevue) or the Hazard ID number (City of Mercer Island and Covington Water District).


Does anyone need to be present at the time of testing?

The only time that someone needs to be present during testing is when a backflow is inside the home or business as we will need to be granted access to the testing area. If the backflow is located outside, then there is no need for anyone to be present at the time of testing. 


How is invoicing handled?

We prefer to collect payment same day as service. However, In some circumstances such as the homeowner is not home or we are servicing a business that uses a billing department, we will invoice the customer and they will have 30 days from the invoice date to make payment. 

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