Businesses in Australia have an obligation to ensure that their activities, be they related to manufacturing, food production, or general business services, do not put the local water supply at risk.
Large commercial or industrial facilities often require connection to the mains supply above and beyond regular household taps. This if often for the connection of fire management systems, hose systems, larger than average consumption of water for washing or cleaning, and so on. Consequently, each business has to make sure that water, contaminated or not, does not flow in the reverse direction that it is supposed to, from their premises or facility back into the mains supply.
For water to get back into the main system, often it requires a combination of factors, but essentially needs pressure greater than the local supply to force water in the opposite direction and the failure of lack of functioning valve systems to prevent the flow. In a typical domestic scenario something like a dishwasher will create a great amount of internal pressure, therefore with a breakage in the main supply water line for example, the pressure difference – being weaker int the supply than the dishwasher – could cause water to seep back into the mains supply. This becomes a more dangerous scenario when the contaminated water comes from a toilet, or with the chlorine from a swimming pool.
Used water from many sources can become contaminated, even with things like fertiliser from the garden, and if it travels in the wrong direction it can enter the public water system and therefore create a serious health risk to the wider population. Whilst most of the above are based on domestic scenarios, the ramifications for industries using chemicals and poisons in their production process can be far more damaging. This is why backflow prevention devices are required.
To install backflow prevention Brisbane businesses, much like businesses anywhere else in Australia, must first gain the approval of their local government. Installations must be completed by a certified installer and, once installed the backflow device or devices must also be registered, again with the local government.
With ownership comes responsibility. In Brisbane all backflow devices need to be tested and inspected for safe operation at least once every twelve months. For backflow testing Brisbane backflow specialists must be chosen to do the inspection.
The whole purpose of backflow prevention systems is to prevent contaminated water from entering the mains supply. Backflow prevention devices subsequently need to comply with strict Australian standards and be well and regularly maintained. Water pollution is a major potential threat to the population, and there are of course serious ramifications to those businesses that fail to comply with the need for backflow prevention. Should a backflow system be neglected, and the water supply become polluted, ultimately the owners of any business contaminating the mains supply can become liable for any subsequent injury claims, illness or even death, and for damage caused to persons on adjoining properties who receive water from the same mains supply.