Cleveland, OH

Reduce water contamination risks caused by backflow

Paul Krasinic
Jacek Dylag/Unsplash

CLEVELAND, OH — Drinking water delivered to your home or business should always be at a good quality. And one way to reduce the risk of drinking contaminated water is by avoiding backflow.

The system that allows the water to keep flowing depends on pressure. The precise pressure keeps the water flowing in the proper direction through its distribution system to customers.

However, backflow could happen when a sudden drop in pressure occurs. Such backflow can be caused by water reverse flow. This occurrence creates a safety issue when the backflow is coming from an unprotected cross-connection and the contaminated water is pulled back into the drinking water system.

Most cross-connections occur within residential, commercial, or industrial plumbing systems. Common examples include lawn irrigation systems, fire sprinkler systems, swimming pools, and so on.

For example, when you wash your car and you turn your hose off, but leave it submerged in a bucket of soapy water. If a sudden drop of water pressure happens, the flow of water can be reversed, sucking the soapy water from the submerged hose back into your house plumbing system.

One method to prevent backflow is by installing a backflow preventer, also called a vacuum breaker. The backflow preventer is installed in your outdoor spigot. You may also choose to replace your spigot with one with a built-in backflow preventer. Choose a standard device certified by the American Society of Sanitary Engineering (ASSE).

Cleveland Water enforces the requirements outlined by the Plumbing Code, the Ohio EPA, the American Water Works Association, and the American Society of Safety Engineers to ensure no dangerous cross-contamination enters the water system from the backflow. These requirements include the proper installation and testing of backflow devices on all lawn irrigation systems, and certain water service connections at commercial and industrial facilities.

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Cleveland, OH

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