Irrigation systems and backflow preventers

March 02, 2019


Your irrigation system is a vital component of your own health. It is therefore, necessary to ensure that you have a backflow preventer installed in it. Backflow preventers are devices installed into a pipe that allow water to flow in one direction. They also prevent water from flowing in the opposite direction. Due to pressure changes in the water pipes, the water can flow backward and seep back into the main water supply. That is where the backflow preventer comes in handy.


Types of backflow preventers

•    Double check valve

This type of valve is mostly seen on the lawn sprinkler system. There is a ball valve assembled on each end which allows isolation and testing. The ball reverses the flow of water in this valve.

•    Atmospheric vacuum breaker

This is an elbow-shaped device that bends at a 90-degree angle and is the least expensive type of backflow preventer.  It has a valve inside it that prevents water backflow. This system is based on pressure and should be installed six inches from the downstream end. The device can be placed on a pipe but is not testable.

•    Reduced pressure zone assembly

This is the most complex and expensive backflow preventer. It consists of an inlet shutoff valve, two identical operating spring-loaded check valves, four test cocks and an outlet shutoff valve.

Why do you need a backflow preventer?

•    To take care of your potable water source

A backflow preventer is an important device that helps to protect the safety and health of your main water source from contamination. If your water comes from a potable source, then it is advisable to have the correct legal authority-approved backflow preventer in your irrigation system. If your water is non-potable, you might not legally be required to use a backflow preventer in your chosen irrigation system. Before the installation of your irrigation system, consult the local authorities to determine whether your scheme requires a backflow preventer.

•    To prevent contamination

Any drop-in pressure in the main water supply can cause a back siphonage/ backflow of pesticides, fertilizes, manure, animal feces, repellants, and other hazardous materials through the pipes back to the main water supply. This contamination can also occur through a hose-attached sprinkler, spray nozzle or pesticide spray which can cause a serious threat to public health. A drop-in pressure can result from a lowered mainline pressure, which may occur due to high water withdrawal by a firefighting operation. Your irrigation system needs a reduced pressure assembly to protect your main water supply.

Installing a backflow preventer in your Tulsa Sprinkler system will prevent bacteria and toxic chemicals from entering your drinking water. This can cause the spread of illnesses or even death to people who consume the contaminated water unknowingly.

If you are looking for Tulsa irrigation system repair, maintenance or installation, contact  us and we will be glad to help out.



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