Backflow Prevention & Testing


In water supply systems, water is normally maintained at a significant pressure to enable water to flow from the tap, shower, or other fixture. Water pressure may fail or be reduced when a water main bursts, pipes freeze, or there is an unexpectedly high demand on the water system (for example, when several fire hydrants are opened). Reduced pressure zones in the pipe may allow contaminated water from the soil, from storage, or from other sources to be drawn up into the system.

Backflow is the reversal of normal flow in a system due to back-siphonage, backflow,  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 the water main due to fire fighting, hydrant flushing, large system demands, or major piping breaks
  • Booster pumps take direct suction from potable water supply piping; or undersized piping.

A high-quality and properly installed backflow prevention device protects water supplies from the threats of contamination and pollution caused by backflow. When normal water pressure slows down because of frozen pipes, burst pipes, or some other issue, backflow preventers prevent soil, debris, and other contaminants from entering the water supply. 

What is the Law about Plumbing Inspections?


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 for 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.

Trust Aaron Swift Plumbing to Replace or Repair Backflow Prevention


Our Cross Connection certified plumbers have the equipment and experience to test and, when necessary, repair or replace backflow preventers. Of course, you can always give us a call or reach out to us through the contact form on our website if you have any questions about our processes or procedures. 

At Aaron Swift Plumbing or Backflow Prevention Professionals are ASSE certified.

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