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What Are Backflow Preventers and Why Are They Important?

What Are Backflow Preventers and Why Are They Important?

Have you ever wondered how we as a society separate clean water from contaminated water? Most modern plumbing systems utilize pressure to ensure that the public’s clean water supply stays untouched by waste, pollutants, fertilizers, and other dangerous substances. But when those pressurized systems fail, what protects our water sources? Read on to learn more about backflow preventers and why they’re so important today.


As stated before, backflow is when pressure changes within water lines, causing water flow to reverse. Normally, water flows through a treatment center before entering the main water lines and exiting through your faucets. With backflow, water doesn’t get properly treated. Changes in pressure are more common than you’d think, with water main breaks and ruptures occurring quite often.

The Role of Backflow Preventers

Because backflow is both common and detrimental to public safety, it’s essential to use systems that prevent backflow during changes in pressure. That’s where backflow preventers come into play – they’re specially designed attachments that utilize an air gap that prevents non-potable water from polluting public water supplies. Backflow preventers actually have many applications, ranging from sewer systems to fire suppression sprinkler systems. And most importantly, they’re always functioning and protecting water supplies.

The Importance of Backflow Prevention

Most obviously, contaminating public water supplies with human or animal waste, rust, fertilizers, chemicals, and other dangerous substances is not good for public safety! Unclean drinking water is responsible for many of the most deadly disease outbreaks throughout human history. Aside from public health, commercial buildings and building owners must install proper backflow preventers, meaning you can be fined or worse by failing to provide backflow prevention. If you’re someone who manages a building for other individuals, it’s essential you install these devices and recognize when backflow preventers require repairs and general maintenance.

Knowing exactly what backflow preventers are and why they are important might seem insignificant, but the role these devices play in public safety is invaluable. Next time you have a nice glass of water, be thankful that backflow preventers are there, keeping you safe!

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