Backflow Prevention & Testing

In accordance with the requirements set for by the Michigan Department of Public Health, many municipalities have officially adopted the State of Michigan Cross Connection Control Rules. These rules are set up to protect the public water supply system.

These devices are known as backflow preventers. Our company is certified and licensed to test and install backflow prevention devices. We are licensed to install new backflow prevention units where there has not been one in the past. Restaurants, factories and other commercial buildings are inspected annually by the health department and companies will be notified if the units they have are in need of testing. We have a program set up to notify companies when it is the time to retest. Keeping your backflow prevention system in good working order helps keep the public water supply safe from cross contamination.

 

What is Backflow?

Backflow is the reversal of normal flow in a system due to back-siphonage or back pressure. Back-siphonage backflow occurs when a vacuum is induced on a piping system, just like drinking from a glass with a straw. A garden hose or a hose connected to a laundry tub can act as a “drinking straw” allowing undesirable liquids to be drawn through it by back-siphonage. Some typical situations which cause back-siphonage action include:

  • Water main breaks or repairs occurring in the system at a point of lower elevation than your service point
  • High water flow rates exerted on a water main due to fire fighting, hydrant flushing, large system demands or major piping breaks
  • Booster pumps taking direct suction from potable water supply piping; or undersized piping.

What is the Law?

Cross connections with potable piping systems are prohibited by state plumbing codes. Additionally, Michigan water utilities are required to have a cross connection control inspection program of their water customers to eliminate and prevent cross connections. Common commercial and industrial users posing a public health threat include:

  • Industries with private wells
  • Industries with chemically treated boilers
  • Plating operations, chemical processing plants
  • Funeral homes, mortuaries
  • Marina facilities
  • Hospitals and nursing homes
  • Research laboratories
  • Car washes, laundromats
  • School facilities

Most utilities have made inspections of these facilities and have had corrective action taken where necessary. However, due to a lack of staff resources, many utilities cannot effectively carry out a residential cross connection inspection program. Consequently, residential water users could remain a potential health threat to the public water supply system and to other system customers.

At Aaron Swfit Plumbing, our Cross Connection certified plumbers have the equipment and experience to test and when necessary repair or replace backflow preventers.

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