WE MAKE SURE OUR WATER SUPPLY IS SAFE WITH…

Climate Backflow Prevention

Backflow is one of the biggest risks to our water supply. It is a potential source of contamination that can seriously affect the quality and safety of our drinking water, even leading to illness or death. As such, New Zealand has strict legislation in place to prevent backflow and protect the safety of our water.

Backflow occurs when water flows backwards into the public water supply network. This can happen if water pressure in the distribution system drops, causing water to flow from residential or commercial premises back into the public water supply network. Contaminants can be back-siphoned or injected by back pressure into the public water supply, or a combination of both if cross connections exist.

Water pressure can be affected if:

  • There is a break in the water main
  • Water is being pumped from the main water supply during a fire
  • A customer is using water at a higher pressure than the pressure supplied
  • Heavy water use downstream reduces water pressure upstream
  • The water outlet at the property is higher than the water main, causing constant back pressure

Your legal responsibility

When activities on your property require the use of substances that could cause illness or death if they enter the water supply, then you must install a boundary backflow prevention device. You are legally responsible for protecting the water on your property and ensuring that you don’t contaminate the public water supply. This starts at the water meter or toby and includes your entire property’s water system.

All costs associated with the installation, operation, maintenance and/or repair of this device are your responsibility. It is also your duty to ensure that your backflow device is tested each year. If your device fails the annual test, you will need to make the necessary repairs and submit certified documentation once the problem is addressed.You are legally responsible for protecting the water on your property and ensuring that you don’t contaminate the public water supply. This starts at the water meter or toby and includes your entire property’s water system.

Backflow prevention is easy when the right device is used

It is important that the correct boundary backflow prevention device is in place to contain the degree of risk of backflow on your property. Three degrees of risk are used to classify properties in order to determine the type of backflow device required.

High Risk Sites

High risk sites use or produce products of a toxic or bacterial nature that may cause death or serious illness if leaked into the main water supply. This type of site includes hospitals, mortuaries, chemical plants, laboratories, cooling towers, hairdressing salons, food processing and other manufacturing plants. Residential homes with irrigation systems (pop-up sprinklers), swimming pools and spa baths are also considered high risk.

Backflow prevention device required: reduced pressure zone device that is tested annually

Medium Risk Sites

Medium risk sites are defined as those that could endanger health if backflow occurs. This type of site includes public swimming pools, garden irrigation systems, drink dispensers with carbonators, commercial laundries and rainwater tanks connected to household plumbing.

Backflow prevention device required: double check valve that is tested annual

Low Risk Sites

Low risk sites are ones that could cause a nuisance through colour, odour, or taste, but do not endanger health. An example of a low risk site is a residential home with only domestic water use.

Backflow prevention device: Air gap separation or hose vacuum break dual check valve. These devices require certification that have been installed correctly, but do not need to be tested annually.

Climate Backflow Prevention Services

Our Authorised Plumbers are highly experienced in installing and testing backflow devices in high, medium, and low risk sites. We are happy to provide the following backflow services:

  • Surveying for cross connection
  • Installation of backflow devices
  • Annual testing of backflow devices
  • Backflow device maintenance

To learn more about preventing backflow or to book a service, please call us on 06 769 6410. Alternately you may use our contact form and we’ll get in touch with you as soon as possible.