What Is Backflow & Why Should You Be Concerned?

Backflow takes place when water flows from your homes water pipes back into the Beacon Hill Water and Sewer District (BHWSD) system that supplies your neighbors with their drinking water. This can happen when the main distribution system loses pressure due to events such as line breaks or withdrawal of large amounts of water for fighting fires.

Why is this a concern? If your internal system has fixtures or connections that are not protected, toxins can be drawn back into the main system. For example, think of a garden hose with a plant food applicator attached. If water is siphoned out of your system, it will take the plant food with it. This will enter our distribution system and could end up coming out of your neighbors tap, causing illness or even death.

Leaving a garden hose in standing water such as a pool or hot tub can also siphon that water back into the system. How can you prevent this? Education about backflow is the first step and careful attention to situations that could introduce unclean water back into the system is very important.

Installation of backflow devices is your best protection from this homeowner liability. Please contact BHWSD for more information on protecting yourself and the public system from backflow.

Learn More About Backflow

Recommended Installation Practice for Backflow Prevention Assemblies (PDF)

Backflow Assembly Tester list (PDF)

Single Check Valve Prevention Assemblies (PDF)