Automatic sprinkler systems are essential tools for homeowners who are determined to maintain beautiful lush lawns and gardens. With a sprinkler system, this can all be done while saving effort and minimizing water waste. Underground sprinkler systems, in particular, help conserve time, money, and water, therefore making them an excellent investment. In this article, we will cover what a backflow valve is, and the potential hazards of not installing one on your home sprinkler system.
Do All Sprinkler Systems Have a Backflow Valve?
People who are considering an automatic sprinkler system will quickly discover that sprinkler systems are technically complicated and challenging to install. Numerous factors have to be considered as you decide what sprinkler system is right for your yard. One factor includes the type of soil you have. To top it all off, there are surprising safety considerations.
Sooner or later, someone will mention that your irrigation system needs a backflow valve or backflow preventer. In some cases, you might even hear that your safety depends on it. Do all sprinkler systems have a backflow valve?
No, you need to ensure that any sprinkler system you install has a backflow preventer yourself.
Sprinkler Systems: What Is Backflow?
As handy as automatic sprinkler systems are, let’s take a moment to appreciate all the steps in the irrigation process. As your local water main branches off into the supply line for your property, a water meter meets it to keep track of your water usage. The sprinkler system breaks off from the water supply to your home. This creates an independent sub-system that you can turn on and off with the help of a shut-off valve.
Despite the shut-off valve, your home water supply remains connected to your automatic sprinkler system. Water from your sprinkler system can come into contact with a variety of contaminants ranging from pesticides to soil-based bacteria. Contaminants can potentially flow into the water you use to drink, cook, or brush your teeth with. This is a big safety hazard.
That is why the installation of a backflow prevention mechanism is necessary. Backflow prevention valves help stop water from making its way back into the water supply fed to your home. Backflow preventers keep your drinking water potable.
Do All Sprinkler Systems Have Backflow Valves?
No, and that may or may not be a problem. Some homes use well water or collected rainwater to “fuel” their irrigation systems while using city water to supply their home. The same potential for backflow exists in this case. However, should the water become contaminated, you will not be drinking it.
If your automatic sprinkler system uses the same water source as your home water supply — most commonly the city main — you have a different situation. Failing to install a backflow prevention system will be a building code violation in this case. Failing to install a backflow valve can cause serious illness. This is not merely theoretical.
Various types of backflow preventers are on the market for automatic sprinkler systems. It is important for buyers to research which systems will meet their demands. Backflow preventer systems can vary in price depending on how sophisticated the system is. If you are not sure what kind of backflow system is right for your situation, consult a professional — and have them install the system, too.
Additional Reading: Cross Connections and Backflow
Pioneer Underground Lawn Sprinklers | Omaha’s Best Commercial & Residential Sprinkler Systems
Contact Pioneer Underground Lawn Sprinklers to schedule a free estimate on a system install or to find out what you can do to make your existing system more efficient. We welcome commercial and residential clients. And remember, whether you need our services now… or later in the season, Your Healthy Lawn is Our Passion and we are only a phone call away! Call 402-934-7900 to schedule your service.