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Your Drinking Water

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For backflow information, try these: backflow symbol
Your Drinking Water Cross-Connection Supervisor's Checklist
Worst Waterbourne Disease Outbreaks    Public Education Materials
Protecting Your Home - (GRU pamphlet) Backflow Prevention Assembly Tester Instructors
Homeowner Alert! Rule 62-555.360, Florida Administrative Code
Meet Buster Backflow Organizations Involved with Water Quality
An Introduction to Cross-Connection Control Backflow Tester Training Schools
A whole lot of Backflow Prevention information Case Histories of Backflow Incidents


[Kilroy line]

The following is intended as informational only. I will not attempt to sell you anything except safety.

In fact, I will suggest that you do NOT purchase certain products that may be hazardous to your water system.

In order for the human species to survive on this planet we need ONLY three things:

Clean AIR to breathe

Uncontaminated FOOD to eat and

SAFE WATER to drink.

Considering the fact that safe drinking water is vital to human survival, it seems strange that the utility companies (purveyors) charge so little for the life-giving product they sell.

The courts have deemed that water is a product and not a service to the public. The water purveyors take the raw material and process this material through their factories (water plants) and then sell this product to their customers for a profit. In the U.S. products which are sold for a profit have an implied warranty that the products are usable. Water has a warranty that it is fit for human consumption.

The water purveyors deliver the product through a series of pipes (transmission mains and distribution mains) to the customers' water meters. Once the product (clean water) is delivered through the water meters to the customers, the water purveyor does not want this same water to return back through the meters and out into the public water supply.

Most customers manage to contaminate the water they use and normally this contaminated fluid passes to the waste collection system. Unfortunately the water sometimes reverses direction back through the water meter. This reversal of direction is called BACKFLOW. The most common type of backflow is backsiphonage.

Backsiphonage is caused by a sudden loss of pressure in the public water mains. This loss of pressure can be caused by a broken water main, a fire nearby where the Fire Department is using large quantities of water, or simply by opening a fire hydrant to test it. Any buildings near the break or the fire hydrant being used will experience a lowering of the water pressure. This is the time backsiphonage occurs.

This is not a problem if everyone's plumbing systems are built and maintained according to the plumbing code. Water might never be contaminated if:

Unfortunately, customers, architects, engineers, plumbers, pipefitters, contractors, inspectors, and health officials have not had the proper training necessary to protect your water.

Think about this: Your neighbor is watering his/her lawn with a sprayer that has a pesticide or herbicide container attached, or is flushing the radiator in his/her car, or simply adding water to their swimming pool. Any contaminant in contact with the end of their garden hose may wind up in your water piping if there is a drop in pressure in the water mains.

Have you had to replace the toilet flush valve or toilet ballcock in your bathroom? It's a fairly easy job. But, did you buy the more expensive, "plumbing code approved" flush valve? Or did you buy the valve that was on sale? Odds are high that you bought the wrong valve. The only way you will know whether or not you are drinking your own toilet tank water is if you use a colored toilet bowl cleaner. Every utility company in the United States receives several calls each week concerning "blue" water at the customers' kitchen sinks.

Think about it!

Now don't go out and buy bottled water. It is not regulated as carefully as your tap water. You have no idea what you are drinking when you buy any of the bottled waters. By the way, most all bottled waters should have some chlorine added.

Is the situation hopeless? No, there are very effective ways to protect you and your neighbors' drinking water.

For more information try the links above or you can call me during the daytime at 352/392-9570, extension 132 for available information on backflow prevention and cross-connection control.

Do you want to see
something really stupid?

Les O'Brien
Sr. Training Specialist
University of Florida, TREEO Center
rev. 09/02/09


My e-mail address is: loben@mindspring.com   You can send e-mail now.