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Althoff Industries, Inc. Blog

The Importance of Backflow Prevention and Certification


A critical part of the plumbing for commercial properties is the prevention of backflow. Many people are unfamiliar with backflow prevention and backflow preventers because they are uncommon for homes. For commercial businesses and facilities, however, they are critical for preventing potential freshwater contamination that can affect not only the business, but the general water supply.

Althoff Industries offers essential backflow prevention and certification in Chicago, IL and throughout Chicagoland. We are licensed to test and certify backflow prevention devices to allow businesses to keep up to code, and we can also handle backflow prevention repairs and replacements.

What Is Backflow?

Backflow occurs at cross-connection points between the freshwater and wastewater side of a plumbing system. If the pressure increases on the wastewater side or drops on the freshwater side, it will cause the sewage-contaminated water to move in the wrong direction into the freshwater system. This movement is known as back siphonage. It often occurs because of a sudden drain on the freshwater system, such as because of the fire department using the water supply through a fire hydrant or a sprinkler system coming on. Problems in the municipal sewer system can also cause a rise in pressure that will push sewage the wrong direction. 

Backflow is serious because it places the local water supply in danger as it allows harmful bacteria and other contaminants to flood into it.

These cross-connections are rare in homes: what stops sewage from moving in the wrong direction in the plumbing is air gaps. Contaminated water can’t leap up from a sink drain and get into a faucet! Commercial facilities do have these cross connections, and it’s therefore necessary to have a method to stop wastewater from moving in the wrong direction through them.

The Backflow Preventer

A backflow preventer is a device that stops wastewater from contaminating freshwater. When wastewater attempts to move the wrong direction, whether pushed or pulled, the backflow preventer will close a valve and to stop it. 

Backflow preventers need periodic inspections to certify that they are working to protect the freshwater supply. If your company receives a municipal notice requiring backflow testing, you must call certified testers to do the job. Our team is certified for this service. We’ll inspect your facility’s backflow preventer and give it a clean bill of health if it’s working as it should.

Backflow Prevention Services

We want to ensure that your business remains code-compliant. Backflow preventers will usually pass inspection for certification, but these devices will eventually wear down with time and need to be replaced. Our team will alert you when your backflow preventer needs replacement. You can depend on us to help you achieve the proper backflow certification that will keep your business operating and up to code. We have all the right licensing and more than 60 years of experience helping local commercial companies continue to operate successfully. We always provide quotes before performing work and offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee.

Call Althoff Industries, Inc. for all your backflow prevention needs, from certification to repairs and replacement. Challenges Accepted!

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