Irrigation System Backflow Prevention Devices
What are they?
Backflow prevention devices is a one-way gate for water that allows water to go through it in one direction while preventing backward flow.
It is mostly used to prevent backflow of unsafe water from entering a clean water supply, especially in situations that the water comes from a drinkable source, in other terms, a portable source. In many areas, it is illegal to operate an irrigation system without a backflow preventer in cases where the water source is portable.
Why use a backflow prevention device?
When we talk about contaminants, irrigation water is one of them. It is considered hazardous since it contains very many hazardous impurities such as pesticides, fertilizers, dog poop, etc. People may argue that the pressure in water systems is sufficient enough to prevent backflow but this is not the case sometimes. There are instances where the water supply pressure drops, a classic example being when firefighters suck water from fire hydrants causing a pressure drop that can cause backflow.
Due to this fact, a backflow prevention valve is so much a necessity.
Factors to consider when selecting backflow prevention devices
In the market, there is a variety of backflow preventers available. It is always wise to consult the local authority department in charge of buildings in order to ensure the purchase of the proper backflow preventers.
Before purchasing a backflow preventer, there are a number of things you should take into consideration and a number of questions you should ask yourself.
- Are there chemicals, such as fertilizers, pesticides that are to be used in the irrigation system?
- Is the site of installation a residential or commercial site?
- If the site is a commercial area, reduced pressure type of sprinkler valves is preferred and is the required standard.
- If this is the case, then a reduced pressure sprinkler is the required standard.
- What is the size of the area to be irrigated?
If the size of land is small, then a Pressure Vacuum Breaker, Reduced Pressure Type Backflow Preventer can be used.
- Would you be comfortable if more than one valve was to be installed on the pipes? If you are comfortable with it, then the anti-siphon valves are the standard valves. If you are not comfortable with such a situation, a reduced pressure type backflow preventer should be used.
Bad Valve Symptoms To Look For
The sprinkler valve does not turn on
When the sprinkler timer is on but the valve doesn’t, there can only be two explanation. One, there is a wiring problem or two, the valve might be nonfunctional.
Presence of leaks around the valve
This is an obvious sign that the valve is broken. It is therefore up to you to examine the cost of either replacing it or repairing it.
In conclusion, it important to install the backflow preventers correctly by following the manufacturers manual. Regular checkup should also be done to ensure that the devices are working properly.