Backflow & Water Quality
It Could Happen Anywhere
Consider this scenario
It’s a typical busy day in Anytown, USA. On Main Street, the kitchen staff at the Village Diner is busy cleaning up after the big lunchtime rush.
On Maple Street, Mrs. Jones is diligently watering and fertilizing her gardens using a handy hose attachment that injects liquid fertilizer into the water streaming out of her hose.
Mr. & Mrs. Smythe on Oak Ridge Terrace are standing on their deck overlooking their expansive backyard, watching the initial operation of their new in ground sprinkler system.
The Johnsons, anticipating a great turnout for their daughter’s birthday party, are filling up the big wading pool that they just purchased.
And down on Old Mill Street the driver from EZ Septic Services is washing out the septic tank of the house he’s working at, utilizing the garden hose at the house, just like he always does.
But unbeknownst to all these folks, out on Route 1, Whoopsie Construction Company is working putting in a new underground fiber optic cable that’s going to make everyone in Anytown’s life just a little better; or so they all think.
Far Reaching Effects
You see, at just the moment that all those everyday activities are going on in Anytown, the excavator operator for Whoopsie Construction accidentally punctures the major 16” water main that feeds the entire community.
As water rushes out of the broken main at the construction site, a rapid pressure drop occurs throughout the Anytown Water System and a backflow situation occurs.
Simultaneously, a portion of the dirty water in the slop sink at the diner is suctioned into the town’s water system through the sprayer hose, and a portion of Mrs Jones’ fertilizer goes not on her roses, but into the main on Maple Street.
The puddles in the newly pesticide and herbicide treated lawn at the Smythes’ place disappears into the water system on Oak Ridge Terrace, and the water in the Johnson’s pool is suctioned back into their hose and home piping rather than flowing out into the pool.
Last but not least, a small portion of the wash water from the hose hanging into that septic tank contaminates the water mains all around Old Mill Street.
Backflow Preventers as Insurance
It may sound preposterous, or impossible, but it's not. This all happened because out in Anytown USA, they do not have an active backflow prevention program.
Backflow preventers, whether they be a simple residential model, or a more complex and protective device for use in industrial settings, are designed to prevent just the kinds of scenarios described in our imaginary story about Anytown.
Benefits Outweigh Costs
Any inconvenience or expense involved with the installation of these devices is far outweighed by the protection they afford. Don’t let your town end up like Anytown; insist upon appropriate backflow prevention.