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The EPA enforces the backflow regulations by delegating the responsibility to the State or the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ). The TCEQ then enforces the backflow regulations by requiring the City to administer the backflow program locally. The City is inspected annually by the TCEQ to determine if the City is administering the program according to regulations.
Many businesses must install and maintain backflow prevention devices. Common examples are manufacturing facilities, process plants, medical facilities, restaurants, laboratories (including school chemistry and biology labs), and buildings with boilers, fire sprinkler systems and irrigation systems. Usually residential facilities are exempt from the rule unless a specific cross-connection is identified. For example, single-family residences with a lawn irrigation system require backflow prevention. Multi-family residences with a boiler or fire sprinkler system require backflow prevention.
There many types, makes and models used to protect our drinking water. The type of device installed is decided by the level of hazard involved at the cross connection point. Here are some different types of device and brands.
Wilkins 975XL2-950-350-Febco-850-805Y- Double Check -RPZ-PVB-SVB-Watts-LF009QT-957-919-709-Apollo-Conbraco-Ames
A backflow issue exists if a lawn irrigation sprinkler malfunctions and a city water main breaks at the same time. When the water pressure drops, it creates a vacuum that sucks some water, which may be contaminated, into the city water supply. An example of this situation would be if a homeowner found worms, along with rust, and other debris in his bathtub when he filled the tub. These contaminants came into the water system after a contractor installed a sprinkler system and used an unapproved atmospheric vacuum breaker. When the sprinkler system malfunctioned and the city water main broke, it created the suction that pushed the contaminated water into the bathtub.
It is important to have your backflow tested at least once a year. TCEQ regulations state that all high hazard devices (RPZ) are required to be tested every year, while a lower hazard device (double check) which are installed on most irrigation systems, are only required be tested upon installation, repair or removal. Any backflow device installed to avoid a potential cross connection is a health hazard and should be tested at least annually to insure the safety of our drinking water..