Does your Home present a DANGER to your Community?
If you have outside faucets, inside faucets with hoses attached to them (such as a laundry tub), a pressure pump system to increase water pressure in the home, an irrigation system, or a fire sprinkler system and if that system does not have a proper backflow device, then it could possibly cause a contamination of the water system serving your home. These connections are called cross-connections and if we, the Pine Brook Water District, find that your home has a hazardous connection or an improper cross connection, then your water will be turned off until the problem is corrected.
USED WATER/ CHEMICALS/ AND OTHER FLUIDS, IF PULLED BACK INTO YOUR HOME’S PLUMBING AND POSSIBLY THE WATER SYSTEM, NOT ONLY POSE A HEALTH HAZARD TO THE COMMUNITY, BUT ESPECIALLY TO YOUR HOME’S OCCUPANTS, AS THEY ARE LIKELY TO BE THE FIRST TO CONSUME THEM.
HOW? If the water system losses pressure, for example from a water main break, AND there is not a backflow preventer on the system listed above, then the water or chemicals in these systems can be pulled into the water mains contaminating them.
SO what should you be doing? All outside faucets should have a vacuum breaker on them, this protects the water system and it ALSO protects your home. A vacuum breaker opens when the pressure from the water lines in your home connected to the faucet drop. When this happens the vacuum breaker opens allowing the water to drain out onto the ground instead of being pulled back into your home or back into the water system. Even if you have an older faucet a vacuum breaker can be added and the parts can be purchased at local hardware stores.
Indoor faucets do not normally pose the same hazard as the nozzle on the faucet is higher than the rim of the sink, this is what is called an “air gap”. Since the water in the bowl/sink/tub cannot be filled up to the nozzle on the faucet it cannot be pulled back into the plumbing. HOWEVER if you have a hose or something attached to the faucet that then extends down into the bowl/sink/tub then the “air gap” has been defeated. The best solution is to eliminate the hose or cut it short enough so that it does not extend down into the bowl/sink/tub. If for some reason that is not practicable then add a vacuum breaker.
IRRIGATION and FIRE SPRINKLER systems are required to have special backflow preventers and they are supposed to be tested and checked on a yearly basis. You, as the owner, are responsible for ensuring this is done.
Pressure pump systems to increase the water pressure in your home also must have backflow prevention devices so that no water from the home can be “pumped” or “pressurized” back into the community water system.
Lastly all homes are required by the Pine Brook Water District Rules to have a backflow device when the water first enters the home, most times this is a simple check valve.
So help us help you, by taking the appropriate measures to ensure that your home does not present a danger to your community.