Definition - What does Backflow mean?
Backflow is defined as an undesirable reverse flow of water that returns contaminated water from a work site back to the potable water source. This can change the pH level of the pure water supply. If backflow occurs, it can lead to corrosion in industrial equipment. Backflow happens in water supply systems where the water is maintained at a high enough pressure to enable water to flow in the reverse direction from a tap or nozzle fixture.
Corrosionpedia explains Backflow
Water pipeline systems can contain backflow prevention valves also known as back flow preventers. Back flow preventers are special devices that stop the undesired flow of water containing contaminants such as bacteria, pollutants or chemicals from entering the pure drinking (potable) water supply. Backflow preventer devices are fitted in the water pipeline to stop the reverse flow of impurities.
There are various types of backflow prevention valves available in the market, such as:
- Double check backflow prevention devices
- Waste water backflow prevention devices
- Residential backflow prevention devices
Aside from backflow preventers, the simplest and most reliable way to prevent backflow is to provide an air gap (vertical space) between any device that connects to the plumbing system and any place where contaminated water can collect.