Backflow Testing

backflow prevention

Understanding Backflow Prevention

Understanding backflow and the potential damage backflow could cause in a community, is the first step to fully understanding the need for backflow prevention. Backflow is the reversal of water flow from a man-made appliance or fixture into the drinking water supply. Backflow can cause drinking water to become contaminated. The consequences of contaminated drinking water can be fatal. Contaminated water also comes with millions of dollars of loss.

Cities across the world take major steps in the prevention of backflow. Prevention methods for backflow usually require special devices known as Backflow Prevention Devices or “BPD”. Backflow prevention devices work to prevent water contamination due to backflow, they use blockades and barriers to stop contamination from strategic locations within the water flow system.


Opportunities For Backflow Contamination

common issues on backflow

There are several different opportunities for contamination within cities and rural areas. Domestic and commercial developments bring ample opportunity for contamination. Situational and natural disasters can also cause issues with backflow throughout suburbs and surrounding areas. Here are a few examples of how backflow could become an issue in communities and commercial areas.

  • Excessive rain and flooding causing backflow flooding from rivers and drainage systems
  • Farming and irrigation systems and machinery
  • Herbicides and fertilisers planted deep within the waterflow system
  • Water flow that is in contact with and affected by manufacturing
  • Water flow that is in contact with and affected by medical equipment and sanitation machinery

Identifying proper backflow prevention devices requires heavy research and investigation. A backflow plumber will assist you in carrying out the appropriate tests and investigations. Community officials must determine if installing backflow devices is feasible in this specific situation. At times, BPDs could heighten the problem and create a whole new issue. While BPDs may reduce chances of backflow from some sources of contamination, there may be other opportunities for contamination that the device does not address. 

During backflow prevention investigations, it is important to understand the two major stages necessary for a thorough investigation.

Stage 1 of Backflow Prevention Investigations:

  • Pre-feasibility and research on implementations of backflow prevention technology in all areas of study relative to the area, city, or state.
  • A city and statewide review of all areas that have been affected by contamination due to backflow.

Stage 2 of Backflow Prevention Investigations:

  • Technical investigations involving thorough designs and proper research on appropriate prevention methods and devices.
  • Specific investigations in the area of contamination to determine all faulty or natural systems that caused the initial backflow contamination issue.


Reasons and Methods of Identifying Backflow

backflow methodsWhen identifying the proper backflow prevention methods,  community officials and urban planners must consider the original cause of the backflow. The following conditions must be identified when addressing backflow issues.


The occurrence of a loss of pressure in the water flow causing contamination.  Backsiphonage can occur in the following situations:

  • A low break in water installation
  • Fire trucks and fire extinguishers pumping water back into the water flow
  • Overuse or high use of water by consumers with a downstream installation.  


When backstream pressure on the water supply system is more than the pressure from the main pressure source. Backpressure can occur in the following situations:

  • Pump, broiler, and other water management tools’ installations in buildings or infrastructures.
  • Any downstream installations on a property.
  • Anything that forces water back into a water flow system.


Understanding Backflow Prevention Options

There are several different types of backflow prevention methods. Once the source of the backflow issue is identified, it will be easier to choose the proper method of backflow prevention. A backflow device is made to help water to flow in a singular direction on a singular path. With a backflow device, water is minimised when flowing back into water pipes.

There are three major options for BCDs:

  • Zone Protection: A wide range of protection covering a full zone in a water system connection for a building or a community sector.  Zone protection splits the water funnel system into specific sections for the water supply.
  • Individual Protection: Protection devices stationed at individual appliances and water streaming fixtures.
  • Containment Protection: Protection covering property boundaries which protects water utilities and streaming systems from contamination.


Property Owners’ and Land Facilitators’ Backflow Prevention Responsibilities

There are legal obligations that bind property owners and land facilitators to identifying methods for backflow prevention on their property. An issue on one property or commercial development can turn into an issue for an entire community due to a rapid spread of contamination in drinking water.  Property owners are not the only ones responsible for maintaining a proper backflow prevention protocol. Government officials, community leaders, architects, and building designers, are all bound to backflow prevention responsibilities by state and city legal regulations.

Backflow Requirements for Brisbane City

Backflow Requirements for Logan

Backflow Requirements for Redland Bay

Hire A Backflow Plumber

Need backflow prevention services for your Brisbane property? Call Drain Cleaning Brisbane’s mobile plumbing team at 07 3667 8003 or send us a message.