Backflow Prevention in San Antonio


What is Backflow?

Backflow occurs when water flow is reversed by backsiphonage or backpressure, causing an introduction of undesirable substances, such as nonpotable (not drinkable) water or other unsafe materials. Backsiphonage can be caused by uncontrollable occurrences such as a water main break, or any stoppage of water supply. Backpressure occurs when downstream pressure is greater than the supply water pressure.

The Importance of Backflow Prevention

Municipalities take great care to ensure that safe drinking water is provided to the public. Your public water supply system must provide backflow prevention in order to safeguard your water against problems with backflow. To facilitate these safeguards, backflow preventers are installed at every location where the public water supply could be endangered by backflow.

As a homeowner, however, backflow prevention at your property is your responsibility. But, most homeowners are unaware that they alone are responsible for the safety of their domestic water system. Texas Plumbing Diagnostics offers backflow testing services in San Antonio. Read on to learn about the effects and prevention of backflow.

How Does Backflow Affect Homeowners, and How Can I Prevent Backflow at My Home?

Backflow can occur when a water hose is connected to a spray canister used to disperse materials, such as lawn chemicals, that could contaminate the water supply. Even leaving a water hose in a bucket or pool can introduce contaminants through backflow. Call Texas Plumbing Diagnostics, and have a hose bib vacuum breaker installed on every outdoor hose bib to prevent any possibility of contaminant backflow into the home water supply through your outdoor water hose. Also, be sure to leave a 2 inch separation between the water hose and any vessel you are adding water to, including your car’s radiator, or any container holding lawn or pool chemicals, etc. The most common source of backflow contamination is the ordinary garden hose.

How Common are Problems with Backflow Contamination?

According to a study performed at The University of Southern California Foundation for Cross-Connection Control and Hydraulic Research (USC-FCCCHR) in late 2002 and early 2003 to determine the degree of protection against backflow that is present in today’s homes,

backflow testing installation
The following results have been summarized:

  • 9.6% of the homes surveyed had direct health hazard cross-connections
  • 73% of the homes’ water uses were unprotected cross-connections
  • 95.7% of the homes had either a direct or indirect cross-connection to a health hazard
  • 91% of the homes had unprotected hose bibs
  • 43.6% of the homes had heating/cooling system health hazard cross-connections

Testing Required by City Code

If you currently have a backflow prevention device installed, the City of San Antonio requires that the device be tested on a yearly basis. Texas Plumbing Diagnostics has plumbers that are certified in backflow prevention testing, and qualified to perform this testing for you. Call Texas Plumbing Diagnostics today if you need to schedule this backflow testing in your San Antonio home to ensure that your backflow device is working properly.