Backflow Preventer Devices FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions - Here are answers to some of the questions that we are frequently asked. We have also included links to informative pages on water company websites, for example, very good "Backflow Preventer" pages on the websites of Pennsylvania Water and North Wales Water.

  • What Is Backflow?

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    "Backflow" is water flowing in the opposite direction of its normal flow, generally caused by a change in the pressure between the water source or supply, and the final destination. Clean, pure water must flow in only one direction: from the water company and out the tap. "Backflow" is very bad because it can cause bacteria, chemicals or physical contaminants to enter the water system at your home or business, or even back into the water company's supply and contaminate everyone's water! Obviously we all need to protect the water supply, and we can all do that by making sure our backflow prevention systems are working properly; backflow prevention devices make sure that water only flows in one direction.

  • What Are Backflow Preventers And Backflow Prevention Devices?

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    Backflow prevention devices range from small setups connected to your sprinkler system to large industrial RPZ (Reduced Pressure Zone) devices. Backflow prevention devices have parts that can break down or wear out, so they must be tested and certified annually to make sure they are functioning and ready to protect the water supply from backflow.

  • What Kinds Of Businesses Have Backflow Preventers?

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    The short answer is that almost every business connected to public water is required to install and maintain a backflow preventer, and inspect it annually to make sure it is in perfect working order. Businesses like these must protect our water: apartments and duplexes, assisted living facitities, auto service stations, bars, car dealerships, car washes, churches, convenience stores, dentists, doctors, fire stations, funeral homes, general business offices, general warehouse and storage facilities, golf courses, hair/nail salons, hospitals, machine shops, manufacturing plants, medical centers, rehabilition centers, restaurants, retirement homes and schools, and many, many more. Any non-residence must have backflow preventers installed and then tested annually.

  • What Water Companies Are In Your Service Area?

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    We inspect, repair and install Backflow Devices in areas served by the following water companies: Aqua Pennsylvania Main Water System, Audubon Water Company, Bern Township Municipal Authority, Bethel United Water, Boyertown Municipal Authority, Chester Water Authority, Flying Hills Water System Aqua Pennsylvania, Hatboro Aqua Pennsylvania, Horsham Water and Sewer Authority, Kennett Square Municipal Water Works, London Grove Township Municipal Authority, Norristown Pennsylvania American Water, North Penn Water Authority, Ontelaunee Township Municipal Authority, Oxford Borough, Pennsylvania American Water Company, Philadelphia Water Department, Reading Area Water Authority, Shillington Municipal Authority, Uwchlan Township Aqua Pennsylvania, Wernersville Municipal Water Authority, West Reading Borough Water Authority, Western Berks Water Authority and Wyomissing Borough Water System.

  • What Areas Do You Serve?

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    We inspect, repair and install Backflow Devices in Chester County, Delaware County and Montgomery County in southeastern Pennsylvania. By county, some of the zip codes and towns, townships, cities, boroughs and municipalities we serve are:

    • Chester County Towns

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      Atglen 19310, Avondale 19311, Berwyn 19312, Birchrunville 19421, Brandamore 19316, Chatham 19318, Chester Springs 19425, Coatesville 19320, Cochranville 19330, Devault 19432, Devon 19333, Downingtown 19335, Elverson 19520, Exton 19341, Gap 17527, Glenmoore 19343, Honey Brook 19344, Immaculata 19345, Kelton 19346, Kemblesville 19347, Kennett Square 19348, Kimberton 19442, King Of Prussia 19406, Landenberg 19350, Lewisville 19351, Lincoln University 19352, Lionville 19353, Lyndell 19354, Malvern 19355, Modena 19358, New London 19360, Nottingham 19362, Norristown 19401, Norristown 19403, Oxford 19363, Paoli 19301, Parker Ford 19457, Parkesburg 19365, Phoenixville 19460, Pomeroy 19367, Pottstown 19465, Sadsburyville 19369, Saint Peters 19470, Southeastern 19399, Spring City 19475, Thorndale 19372, Toughkenamon 19374, Unionville 19375, Uwchland 19480, Valley Forge 19481, Valley Forge 19482, Valley Forge 19483, Valley Forge 19484, Valley Forge 19485, Valley Forge 19493, Valley Forge 19494, Valley Forge 19495, Valley Forge 19496, Wagontown 19376, Wayne 19087, West Chester 19380, West Chester 19382, West Chester 19383, West Grove 19390 and Westtown 19395.

    • Delaware County Towns

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      Aston 19014, Brookhaven 19015, Broomall 19008, Bryn Mawr 19010, Chadds Ford 19317, Concordville 19331, Drexel Hill 19026, Edgemont 19028, Garnet Valley 19060, Glen Mills 19342, Glen Riddle Lima 19037, Havertown 19083, Lansdowne 19050, Lenni 19052, Media 19063, Newtown Square 19073, Springfield 19064, Swarthmore 19081, Thornton 19373, Villanova 19085, Wallingford 19086 and Wayne 19087.

    • Montgomery County Towns

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      Arcola 19420, Ardmore 19003, Audubon 19403, Bridgeport 19405, Collegeville 19426, Creamery 19430, Eagleville 19403, Fairview Village 19409, Gilbertsville 19525, King Of Prussia 19406, Limerick 19468, Norristown 19401, Norristown 19403, Oaks 19456, Plymouth Meeting 19462, Pottstown 19464, Royersford 19468, Schwenksville 19473, Valley Forge 19481, Valley Forge 19482, Valley Forge 19483, Valley Forge 19484, Valley Forge 19485, Valley Forge 19493, Valley Forge 19494, Valley Forge 19495 and Valley Forge 19496.

  • What Does Pennsylvania Water Say About Backflow Preventers?

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    Note: Pennsylvania American Water serves more that 2 million people in more than 380 communities in 35 counties across the state, including many in Montgomery County, Chester County and Berks County.

    According to Pennsylvania American Water, "All non-residential water customers are required to have an approved backflow device installed and tested on an annual basis. Non-residential customers must certify in writing to Pennsylvania American Water that these devices have been maintained and are in working order. This should include a test performed by a qualified inspector. A Backflow Prevention Device Test Form should be completed by the tester and mailed or faxed to Pennsylvania American Water."

    Pennsylvania American Water also says this: "Backflow prevention devices are mechanical plumbing devices installed in a plumbing system to prevent water from flowing backward in the system. A properly installed, tested and maintained backflow preventer at the service entrance to a building or property can reliably prevent the backflow of water of an unknown quality from flowing back into the community water system. Backflow prevention is important to protect the Pennsylvania American Water customers against accidental contamination of the drinking water supply due to a direct connection of a non-drinkable substance to the normal drinking water piping."

    Here's a link to the page on the Pennsylvania American Water website that has this important information, plus it says a lot more about Backflow Prevention:

    Pennsylvania Water: Q and A About Backflow Prevention

    Pennsylvania Water: Cross Connection and Backflow Prevention

  • What Does North Wales Water Say About Backflow Preventers?

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    Note: North Wales Water Authority serves over 25,000 customers in seven municipalities (Lower Gwynedd, Montgomery, New Britain, North Wales, Upper Dublin, Upper Gwynedd and Whitpain) in Montgomery County and Bucks County.

    According to North Wales Water Authority, "The production and delivery of safe potable water at the lowest reasonable cost is the object of greatest importance to the North Wales Water Authority. When water of superior quality has been produced and put into the distribution system precautions must be taken to be certain that it is not contaminated from other sources. Since 1986, the Authority has taken on the development and operational functions of a Backflow Prevention and Cross-Connection Control Program in order to ensure that our distribution system is in compliance with the Safe Drinking Water Act. Under these requirements the Authority has the primary responsibility for protecting the public water supply from the backflow of substances that could endanger public health or physically damage the distribution system."

    North Wales Water Authority also says this: "The term 'backflow' refers to the condition when water flows in the opposite, or reverse, of the intended direction within a piping system. This reversal of flow could allow water that is compromised with other liquids, gasses or contaminated substances to enter the potable water system. Backflow can be achieved by either backpressure or backsiphonage. Cross-connections are the physical connections or arrangements between the drinking water supply and a piping system containing water or substances of unknown or questionable quality."

    Here's a link to the page on the North Wales Water Authority website that has this important information, plus it says a lot more about Backflow Prevention:

    North Wales Water Authority - Backflow Prevention And Testing

  • What Does Newtown Artesian Water Company Say About Backflow Preventers?

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    Note: Newtown Artesian Water Company provides water service to customers in Newtown Borough, Newtown Township, and the northern portion of Middletown Township in Bucks County, Pennsylvania.

    According to Newtown Artesian Water Company, "Also in accordance with 25 Pa Code Chapter 109, all backflow devices for commercial and industrial customers should be tested at least annually. Newtown Artesian Water Company will send a testing notice to all our commercial and industrial customers in July each year. Included in the mailing will be a list of certified testers and the testing and maintenance form. Please have your device tested by a certified tester and mail us the completed form for our records. Please update the form with any changes that you'd like us to make in our system such as name, address change, etc. If you do not have a backflow prevention device or are not sure whether you have one, please give us a call at 215-968-6781 to schedule an appointment for one of our field employees to come and inspect your facility. If it is determined that a backflow device is required, we shall notify you in writing to install such an approved backflow prevention device within 90 days. Please note that in accordance with Section 109.709(a)(2), failure or refusal to install an approved backflow prevention device within 90 days shall constitute a ground for discontinuing water service to your premises until such device or devices have been properly installed."

    Here's a link to the page on the Newtown Artesian Water Company website that has this important information, plus it says a lot more about Backflow Prevention:

    Newtown Artesian Water - Backflow Prevention & Testing

Greg Ribick, Mr. Backflow
Certified Backflow Technician
and Licensed Master Plumber

Backflow Inspections by Greg Ribick, an AASE Certified Technician Certified Backflow Inspection and Testing by Greg Ribick, an AASE Certified Technician and Licensed Master Plumber

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