Backflow Prevention

Protecting Our Water System 

Water normally flows from the public water system into your home or business, but backflow is the “backwards flow” of water from private plumbing systems into the public water system. Backflow can carry harmful contaminants and bacteria into the public water system, which can lead to illness, injury and, in some cases, death.

The city of Oakwood is responsible for protecting the public water system from backflow and ensuring the safety of our public drinking water supply. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requires the installation of backflow devices on commercial and residential water services that pose a potential hazard or threat to the public water system. This helps to minimize health risks and ensure the safety and purity of our drinking water by preventing water from flowing backward into the water supply.

The following represent examples of businesses and plumbing situations that require backflow prevention:

  •  fire sprinkler systems
  •  lawn irrigation systems
  •  customers with irrigation and deduct meters
  •  medical facilities, laboratories and mortuaries
  •  commercial, industrial, and manufacturing facilities
  •  multi-residential buildings
  •  restaurants
  •  hair and nail salons
  •  automotive repair shops
  •  swimming pools

Customers must install and maintain the required backflow prevention device. Failure to do so poses a threat to the public water supply, and may result in water service being disconnected.

Required Annual Testing of Devices

After a backflow device is installed, it must be maintained. A backflow device must be tested by a backflow-certified plumber (every 12 months) to ensure that the device is still in good working order.

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