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What is backflow? Is it what happens when your toddler uses too much toilet paper and they try to flush the toilet? Is it the contaminated waste that spills all over the bathroom floor as a result? Not exactly, but that’s a good guess.

As you already know, the water that comes into your home is supposed to come from your local water supplier. Think Cedar Park Water Department, the Water, and Wastewater Division of Leander, and Georgetown Utility Systems – you get the idea. The water that comes to your home is supposed to flow in a certain direction – directly from the water company to your house.

However, on occasion, the water may deviate from its normal course, affecting the direction of flow, causing the water to flow in the wrong direction. If a system is unprotected, the water can flow in the opposite direction and this can be a problem. This is “backflow” and when it happens, the water can be contaminated with unhealthful organisms, which can harm the individuals who are using the polluted water.

Causes of Backflow

Cross-connections have the potential to allow contaminates to enter into our drinking water. This “back siphonage” has to do with a water trough or tank that has lower pressure than the system. In effect, contaminated water can be pulled into the system. Then, there’s backpressure, which is another common cause.

Backpressure occurs in two scenarios: 1) when there is the higher water pressure in a multi-story building and contaminated water is forced into the public water supply, or 2) when a fire protection system has higher water pressure and it causes contaminated water to be forced into the public water supply.

What is the Solution?

The solution to backflow is prevention and it starts with a backflow preventer, which is installed in a home’s water pipes. A backflow preventer is a device that prevents drinking water from being contaminated from backflow. It allows water to flow in the “right” direction, but not in the “wrong” direction. In other words, it stops contaminated water from entering your home’s plumbing system.

To ensure the integrity of your home’s water supply, contact Excalibur Plumbing for a service call with a Cedar Park Plumber. We’d be happy to help!