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Do you have a swimming pool or irrigation system? You might need this.


posted in Plumbing
  • Apr. 21, 2016
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Backflow preventers are required by every local water utility.  These devices allow water to flow in one direction, but prevent it from flowing backwards in the opposite direction.  A backflow preventer is like a one-way gate for water.  Most backflow preventers are used to keep unsafe water from reversing flow and entering the clean water supply.  Backflow preventers can be as simple as a single check valve that closes when water flow reverses.  Using a simple check valve as a backflow preventer might be considered the equivalent of a turnstile at a store entrance, it is not very reliable, even a small amount of effort will overcome it.  A more elaborate backflow preventer can be a complicated device that consists of multiple check valves, water release valves, air vents, and/or systems to allow it to be tested to assure it is working properly.  This kind of backflow preventer might be the equivalent of an airport security checkpoint with one-way gates and an armed guard.

If you have a backflow preventer, your water provider requires an annual inspection.  To schedule your inspection, call us: (913) 682-7000.  Inspections start at $149 per device.

If you don’t have a backflow preventer, you are legally required to have one on your swimming pool and/or irrigation system if your water comes from a “potable” (drinkable) source.  If your swimming pool and/or irrigation water source is considered potable, then in most places it is illegal to not have the proper local authority-approved type of backflow preventer on your irrigation system.  If your water source is non-potable, you generally are not required by law to use a backflow preventer (but not always, some jurisdiction even require them for non-potable water like recycled, reclaimed, and gray water sources.)  To schedule a consultation, call us: (913) 682-7000.

Case Study: Backflow contamination is a real issue.  Just last year, a sprinkler system backflow was the culprit of an E-coli contamination in a neighborhood in Texas.  Read the full story, here.

Local Resources: If you have specific questions for your waters provider, contact information for most of the providers in our trade area below:

Leavenworth Waterworks: (913) 682-1513 Suburban Water: (913) 724-1800
Lan-Del Water District: (913) 727-3350 Consolidated Water District #1: (913) 724-3000
Kansas City Board of Public Utilities: (913) 573-9000 City of Tonganoxie Water Department: (913) 845-2620
City of Atchison: (913) 367-5500

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