Ace Fire Equipment

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Risk of Backflow Prevention Failure

In a city’s underground water lines, water flows from the water supplier to the consumer and then on toward either a purification center, a local water source, or a waste water treatment plant. Drinking water sources are normally kept separate from non-potable sources. However, in the pipe lines, there exist various cross connections, or areas where the two types of water have the potential to come into contact with one another.


Normally, these water sources are kept separate through the stable pressure in the water line. However, a drop in pressure can cause a process called backflow to occur and puts city residents at risk of drinking unsafe water. Sudden drops in pressure throughout water lines can be caused by broken water lines, leaking fire hydrants, or nearby firefighting.

With this drop in pressure, drinking water flowing in one direction has the potential to reverse and flow in the opposite direction, coming into contact with contaminated sources. When the pressure is restored, the newly-contaminated drinking water then flows on toward homes and businesses.

Backflow prevention systems prevent backflow from occurring at cross connections in the event of a sudden pressure drop. Most commercial properties and businesses must have backflow prevention systems installed along with their fire sprinkler systems in order to prevent contamination. These systems must be regularly maintained and inspected so that water systems stay safe.

Contact Us

To learn more about backflow prevention, contact the Austin backflow prevention systems professionals of Ace Fire Equipment by calling 512-835-2020.