During the past couple of years, the Water Department has been working to comply with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality's (TCEQ) regulation on the annual testing of backflow preventers. You may have been made aware of this in the form of a notice to test your backflow device.
A backflow preventer is a mechanical device that prevents the reverse flow or back siphonage of water from unknown sources into the public water supply during events of pressure loss in the public water main. These devices are most commonly found on sprinkler systems near the water meter, because sprinkler heads are the perfect place for fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides to collect and enter back through the private line.
Although the backflow device separates the private line from the public line, being a mechanical device it is subject to fail. The question is not if the device will fail, but when will it fail? This is why the TCEQ recognizes the potential for contamination and requires the annual testing of the device. Since the Water Department has been enforcing this program, it has found that many backflow preventers had failed and required replacement.
For more information about backflow testing, contact (972) 218-2324.