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  • Writer's pictureJohn@LiteHouse

The Importance of Backflow Preventers in Commercial Properties

Updated: Jul 28, 2023

As a responsible property owner or manager, ensuring the safety and functionality of your commercial property's plumbing system is of utmost importance. One critical component of plumbing system maintenance that often goes overlooked is the installation of backflow preventers. Backflow preventers are devices designed to prevent the reverse flow of water from non-potable sources into the potable water supply, protecting the health and safety of building occupants and the community at large. In this blog post, we will explore the importance of backflow preventers in commercial properties.

What is Backflow and Why is it a Concern?

Backflow is the undesirable reversal of water flow from its intended direction, which can result in the contamination of potable water with non-potable water or other harmful substances. In commercial properties, there are several situations where backflow can occur, such as during changes in water pressure due to firefighting activities, repairs or maintenance on the water supply system, or the use of irrigation systems, chemical dispensers, or other equipment that connects to the water supply.

Backflow can introduce contaminants such as bacteria, chemicals, fertilizers, pesticides, and other hazardous substances into the potable water supply. This contaminated water can pose serious health risks to building occupants and can lead to outbreaks of waterborne diseases. Additionally, backflow incidents can result in legal liabilities, fines, and damage to reputation for property owners or managers.



The Role of Backflow Preventers

Backflow preventers are specialized devices that are installed in the plumbing system to protect against backflow. They work by allowing water to flow in one direction, while automatically preventing water from flowing in the opposite direction. Backflow preventers are designed to maintain the integrity of the potable water supply by ensuring that water from non-potable sources, such as irrigation systems or industrial processes, does not flow back into the main water supply.

There are several types of backflow preventers, including atmospheric vacuum breakers, pressure vacuum breakers, double check valves, and reduced pressure zone (RPZ) valves. The type of backflow preventer required for a commercial property depends on the specific needs and requirements of the property, as well as local plumbing codes and regulations.

Benefits of Backflow Preventers in Commercial Properties

Installing backflow preventers in commercial properties can provide several important benefits:

  1. Protection of public health: Backflow preventers are the first line of defense against the contamination of potable water with harmful substances, protecting the health and safety of building occupants and the community. By preventing backflow, backflow preventers help ensure that the water supplied to the property remains clean and safe for consumption and other uses.

  2. Compliance with regulations: Many local plumbing codes and regulations require the installation of backflow preventers in commercial properties to prevent backflow and protect the public water supply. By installing backflow preventers, property owners or managers can ensure compliance with these regulations and avoid potential fines or legal liabilities.

  3. Safeguarding property and reputation: Backflow incidents can result in property damage, costly repairs, and damage to reputation for property owners or managers. By installing backflow preventers, property owners or managers can proactively protect their property and reputation by minimizing the risk of backflow and its potential consequences.

  4. Long-term cost savings: While the installation of backflow preventers may require an upfront investment, it can result in long-term cost savings. Backflow incidents can be costly to rectify, including potential legal liabilities, fines, and property damage. By preventing backflow, backflow preventers can help avoid these costs and provide a cost-effective solution for protecting the potable water supply in commercial properties.

Backflow preventers play a critical role in safeguarding the potable water supply.


If you are looking for a commercial property assessment in the Southwest Ohio tri-state area, give LiteHouse Commercial a visit and we'll get you on the schedule.

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