Preventing Backflow

Water flows downhill of its own accord; however, water can flow uphill when pressurized in order to deliver it wherever it's needed. If the delivery system is sufficiently pressurized to maintain proper pressure in the potable water system, turning on your tap will deliver fresh, safe water to you; but a loss of pressure, or a reverse pressure created by an improper connection, can create problems by moving the water in the wrong direction, a condition called backflow.

There are two types of backflow - "Backsiphonage & Backpressure".


Backsiphonage may result from a sudden loss of pressure which could be caused by a water main break or a massive draw on the system from hydrant use during a fire. When this condition occurs, if you have an unprotected connection (like an immersed hose filling a bucket of concentrated herbicide, or an open watering hose lying in a buddle in your garden), the matter at the end of the hose could be sucked into the potable water system, starting at your house.


Backpressure occurs when a change in pressure allows water to flow through an unprotected cross-connection. This occurs most commonly with boilers and other pressure-producing vessels not properly protected from affecting the potable water system.

If you think you might have a cross-connection, or have experienced backflow, call our office at (434) 845-1605. and leave your name, address and phone number, and we will come to your home or business to examine the situation.