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Back-flow, huh? Ick. Around Louisiana, a lot of parishes require businesses to have back-flow preventives, but aside from knowing that (if you even did), do you know anything else about back-flow, like what it is? In short, it is just water that’s flowing the wrong way through a drain, but typically, the water is sewage related. So it matters because with improper back-flow prevention, that contaminated water can end up in the drinking water supply, and no one wants that.


Back-flow frequently occurs when something reduces the water pressure in a system, or causes it to fail entirely. That pressure is what forces the water out and into your faucets, so when it fails, the water pulls backwards. System pressure can drop from factors like a burst water main or a huge drain on the water system all at once. With the amount of rain we get down here, plus hurricanes and winds, it’s not unusual for pipes to burst. We even have the occasional freeze to thank for flooding and burst pipes and mains.


The bad water can flow through at what is called a cross connection, essentially, any place where the potable water supply is connected to any other water source or system. You might place a water hose, for example, inside a bucket of herbicide to dilute it and spread it on the grass. But if a pressure drop in the system occurs at that point, backward pressure could suck that herbicide back into the hose and into your home’s water supply, and possibly into the neighborhood’s supply as well.


Hence the requirement around here for back-flow prevention systems. In the example with the herbicide, if your hose had a hose bib device, the reverse flow of the herbicide would engage the bib’s check and the flow would stop there. Back-flow prevention assemblies work in a similar manner, except they protect a municipality’s water supply from large contamination sources. Hotels, hospitals, restaurants, high-rise office or apartment buildings—facilities like these all represent large sources of contaminated water that could back-flow into water systems. And thus, all such facilities are mandated to have approved back-flow prevention assemblies, and the state plumbing code also requires that they be inspected annually.


In the Greater New Orleans area, Rooter Man is a champ at back-flow prevention. They bring clean, friendly, formidably trained technicians, the best warranties around, and the equipment and technology to inspect and repair your back-flow prevention assemblies. They have been taking care of south Louisiana for over 37 years, so find out what they can do for you.

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