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What You Ought to Know About Backflow...

Backflow prevention is a familiar term to people who work in the water industry. Many of our customers have heard that phrase too, but may know little about the significant role backflow prevention plays in water quality.

Davidson Water, Inc. works hard to protect your drinking water from contamination through a strict water quality process. However, once water passes from our water mains and through the meter, who or what protects the quality of the drinking water that flows from the meter into your home or business? The answer to this question is: Davidson Water, Inc., our customers, and backflow prevention devices.

Water, like electricity, always takes the path of least resistance, traveling from areas under high pressure to areas under lower pressure. Under normal conditions, Davidson Water, Inc.’s water travels in one direction, from our water main towards your property. But under irregular conditions, like a water main break or a broken fire hydrant, the water can be forcibly siphoned back into the system, also known as backflow.

Although this sounds harmless, water that is in the pipes on the property owner's side of the meter can be exposed to many outlets and fixtures. These would include sinks, irrigation systems, toilets, showers, washing machines, hose bibs, and commercial fixtures like boilers and cooling towers - all of which can be exposed to chemicals and other contaminants. Some appliances have backflow prevention devices built-in for this very reason, yet landscape irrigation, spas, swimming pools, solar systems, or even a bucket of soapy water being filled by a garden hose, are examples why extra protection may be required. Imagine what would happen if someone had a hose in a bucket of liquid fertilizer and a loss of pressure occurred on a system without a backflow device!

Davidson Water, Inc. oversees a backflow prevention program, to ensure that backflow prevention devices are installed and maintained where backflow is considered a risk. Typically, backflow prevention devices are required within plumbing systems that have connections that use or contain industrial fluids or chemicals, irrigation systems, fertilizers, and/or well water. This is determined when an inspection is conducted.

Backflow prevention devices are like safety belts, protecting you from events that may never happen. So if you have a backflow prevention device on your property, please do your part by making sure that your device is tested annually. If repairs are needed, be certain to have those repairs made as quickly as possible. Remember that if the device is repaired or replaced it must be retested. Contact our office (or visit our website) for a Field Test Report form. You can contact our Cross-Connection Control Coordinator about your backflow questions by e-mail at or by telephone at 336-731-5556.

Our website has a list of backflow prevention assembly testers that can help you with the annual backflow testing and certification process. You can find that list, as well as other Backflow-related information, in the Member Info topic on the website menu.

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