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Backflow Preventer Inspection, Testing, Service & Repair for Detroit & Eastern Michigan

If there’s a change in water pressure, wastewater that normally flows in one direction – away from your building – can reverse and flow backwards. This can contaminate potable water systems.

Some of the contaminants that can enter a potable water system because of backflow include:

  • Fertilizers
  • Kitchen/bath chemical cleaners
  • Pesticides
  • Sewage/wastewater
  • Soap
  • Swimming pool chlorine

Backflow preventers allow potable water to push forward in one direction while preventing backwards seepage or flow. Backflow systems themselves are relatively simple, but their installation, regular testing, and repair, if needed, are critical to public health.

Who Needs Backflow Preventers in Michigan?

The Michigan Plumbing Code regulates design and installation of plumbing systems so water remains potable. Backflow preventer systems are required for public water suppliers to protect residential, commercial, industrial, and multifamily housing water customers.

  • Any property that has a plumbing arrangement that might be cross-connected should always have a backflow preventer installed.
  • Properties that have an irrigation system or use well water should always have a backflow preventer installed.

To know for sure if a backflow preventer system is in place, property owners should request a backflow preventer inspection.

Backflow Preventer Inspection and Testing

Installed backflow preventers require regular inspection and testing to ensure the systems are working properly. Failure to do so could result in:

  • Contaminated water leading to illness
  • Fines for noncompliance
  • Interrupted freshwater supply

Can Backflow Preventers Be Repaired?

There are clues your backflow system may not be working:

  • Bad taste
  • Discoloration (brown, pink, or yellow)
  • Slower water flow
  • Smelly or odorous
  • Sputtering or on/off water flow
  • Visible dirt, rust, or other particles in the water

Sometimes an inspection or maintenance visit reveals a backflow system isn’t working as it should. And sometimes, affordable repairs can be made. A qualified professional is required to assess if backflow preventer repair or replacement is needed.

Michigan Mandates Clean Water

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) requires testable residential backflow devices be inspected every 3 years. An example of a “testable” backflow device might be a pressure vacuum breaker (PVB) on a lawn irrigation line.

The Michigan State Plumbing Act of 2002 decrees only licensed plumbing contractors can test, repair, and install backflow assemblies. As of January 2019, contractors must be ASSE 5110 certified through the State of Michigan.

In Detroit, a cross-connection control program is enforced as required by the Safe Water Drinking Act of 1976.

Fire Systems of Michigan: Safety Is Our Focus

Our professionals are knowledgeable about regulations and compliance, which is important. But we also care about the health and safety of our Michigan neighbors! Call 313-255-0053 or contact Fire Systems of Michigan for commercial or residential backflow systems information or service.

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