Landscape Design Springfield MO
Sprinkler Backflow Prevention

Sprinkler Backflow Prevention

Blog 🕔April 17, 2014

It is likely you turned off your sprinkler system this winter to protect the pipes from freezing and to prevent them from bursting. After a long winter’s rest, it’s time to get those sprinklers up and running for the warmer days ahead. There is more to this process, however, than simply removing any leftover insulation from pipes, turning on the water, and giving the lawn a much needed drink.

When you turn sprinklers back on this spring, also test the backflow prevention device. This is what stops the outside water that sprinklers use from backing up into the drinking water pipes and coming out of faucets. If the backflow prevention device is not working properly, it can result in cloudier or debris-ridden drinking water. There are two reasons why backflow may occur: back-siphoning from a loss in city water pressure, or an excess of pressure from the sprinkler pump, known as back-pressure.

Any form of backflow from the irrigation system into the potable water system can be dangerous. Some common toxic material found in sprinkler water may include:

  • Fertilizer
  • Pesticides
  • Manure
  • Arsenic

A variety of other possible contaminants are found in non-potable water, but are usually harmless. It is only when backflow occurs and water used in your sprinkler system enters the drinking water supply that it can become dangerous. Fortunately, backflow preventers exist to protect your drinking water, and as long as they are checked on occasion, they will work as designed.

Spring is an especially good time to check your backflow prevention device, due to the possibility of pipes freezing over the winter. Frozen and cracked pipes can’t keep the water pressure of potable water at the proper level, so it is possible for the sprinkler pump to force non-potable water into your drinking water system.

In many states, you are required to have your backflow prevention system tested. You can hire someone, or often, there are certified professionals contracted by the state or city to do the testing. Make sure to get your sprinkler backflow preventer checked this spring by contacting Nature’s Image today!