Have you recently received a notice to test your backflow preventer? Many utility companies require regular testing of your backflow prevention device leaving you with questions about what exactly that is and how you need to accomplish it. With 5 fully trained and certified backflow testers on staff, Mid South Irrigation & Landscape is here to answer your questions and clarify what needs to be done.
What is a backflow preventer?
A backflow preventer is a device used in most irrigation systems to prevent water from flowing back into the main water supply. It is designed to protect against contamination of potable water from non-potable sources, such as irrigation water or other solutions that may be present in the irrigation system.
Backflow preventers work by using a valve that allows water to flow in one direction only. When the water pressure in the irrigation system is higher than the main water supply, the valve remains open, allowing water to flow out to the irrigation system. However, once the pressure in the main water supply becomes higher, the valve will close, preventing water from flowing back into the main water supply.
These preventers are required by law for certain types of irrigation systems and are essential for maintaining a safe and clean water supply. In Memphis, backflow preventers are required for any cross-connections in your plumbing or irrigation system.
This is a standard backflow device. (It is usually located under a green box or fake rock.)
Many utility companies require your backflow preventer to be tested annually. Our 5 certified testers are eligible to test backflow preventers in the entire Mid-South region, including Memphis and surrounding areas such as Cordova, Arlington, Lakeland, Germantown, Collierville, Bartlett, Eads, Oakland, Olive Branch, and Southaven.
FOR MLGW WATER RECIPIENTS:
If you get your water from MLGW (Memphis Light, Gas, and Water), you should receive a letter or postcard in the mail asking you to send in backflow test results. When hiring Mid South Irrigation & Landscape to test your backflow preventer, we will need the Test Token Number and Device ID Number from these forms in order to submit your backflow test results to MLGW’s online system. Please include these numbers so the city receives your test reports on time.
Backflow Testing FAQ
WHO CAN TEST BACKFLOW DEVICES?
Backflow testing must be conducted by a certified tester approved by the State of Tennessee, Division of Water Supply. Mid South Irrigation & Landscape has 5 certified backflow testers on staff ready to help you.
WHEN ARE BACKFLOW TESTS DUE?
While the letter or postcard mailed to you by your utility company may have a printed due date, all backflow tests are due by June 28th each year. As long as your backflow preventer is tested by a certified tester and submitted by June 28th, you are in compliance with the backflow testing laws.
WHAT HAPPENS IF A BACKFLOW TEST FAILS?
If a backflow test fails, the device needs to be repaired or replaced by a certified backflow technician. After the necessary repairs are completed or the device is replaced, the technicians will retest the device and submit the new results to the city. If your backflow preventer test has failed, please visit our repair/service page or contact us to schedule a consultation.
WHAT SHOULD I EXPECT DURING A BACKFLOW TEST?
During a backflow test, the certified technician will inspect the backflow device and make sure it is connected and operating properly, measure the rate and pressure of the water, and test the device for cross-contamination. Upon a passing result, our technicians will submit your backflow testing results to your utility company’s online system, if applicable.
WHAT ARE THE MOST COMMON PROBLEMS WITH BACKFLOW PREVENTERS?
The most common problems we see with backflow preventers are corrosion, leaks, clogs, and improper maintenance. Over time, debris and sediment can build up in the backflow preventer, causing the value to malfunction or become clogged. In addition, not winterizing your irrigation system can allow water to settle into your backflow preventer, freezing and causing damage in the winter months. If your irrigation system was installed improperly, it may not function properly, leading to water contamination. If you’re looking for information on professional irrigation installation, winterization of your irrigation system, or traditional maintenance, contact us to set up a consultation.
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