5 Important Reasons to Test the Backflow in Your Melbourne Commercial Business

5 Important Reasons to Test the Backflow in Your Melbourne Commercial Business

Anyone who owns or manages a commercial property will agree that there’s a considerable amount of maintenance needed to keep your business safe and fully functional. One of these aspects revolves around backflow testing. Fortunately, getting your backflow testing up to standard is as simple as enlisting the services of the commercial plumbers Melbourne business owners rely on for all their plumbing needs. 

If you’re thinking of skipping this type of test, this article is for you. Read on to find out why a backflow test is crucial!


Before We Start, What is Backflow?

On the off chance that you’re unfamiliar with the concept of backflow testing, let’s start by clearing that up. Typically, the term backflow refers to dirty or contaminated water flowing backwards into the clean water supply. This commonly happens in public water distribution systems or even in main drinking water systems.

It’s essential to note that back-flowing water can contain anything from pesticides to commercial chemicals and even traces of human waste. Therefore, backflow can create a serious health hazard. 

While you might think this can’t happen on your property, the reality is that all it takes is for portable and non-portable water pipes to meet via cross-connection or cross-sections. 


How Does Backflow Occur?

Typically, there are two common ways that backflow occurs:

  • Backpressure: When there’s an increase or reversal of water pressure in non-portable water sources such as boilers, heaters, coolers or even disposal systems.
  • Back siphonage: Typically, back siphonage occurs when there’s a sudden drop in water pressure in a specific section of the pipes. This in turn sucks up contaminated water. The problem could stem from a failure in the main water pump or even from a broken main water line. 


Which Commercial Properties Need a Backflow Device?

Generally, residential properties have a lower water pressure and don’t ordinarily require a backflow prevention device. Since commercial buildings use water systems with higher water pressure, it’s essential to test the water flow that’s used in those spaces. 

If you’re running a business from your residential property, it may be necessary to install a backflow device. This is especially applicable if you’re working with industrial chemicals that can be considered hazardous if they accidentally get into the main water system. 

Keep in mind that although you aren’t pouring chemicals directly into the drains, they could enter the main water system when the chemicals run off after use. Consider speaking to your local plumber if you aren’t sure if your property should have a backflow device.


Reasons Why Backflow Testing is Crucial

There are several reasons why backflow prevention testing is an essential part of any commercial property’s building or maintenance checklist. Let’s take a look at a few of these reasons. 


1. Backflow Issues Can’t be Detected Visually

Typically, contaminated water doesn’t have a visible colour change. This is especially the case when the cause of the contamination is as a result of microorganisms, chemicals or small debris. In this instance, the contamination may remain undetectable or take weeks or months to be discovered. 


2. Contaminated Water Creates Health Risks

Having employees, customers and other visitors to your business exposed to contaminated water will create serious and even life-threatening health conditions. 

The most common, and harmful bacteria that can stem from contaminated water include the following:

  • E.coli
  • Shigella
  • Salmonella
  • Cholera


3. Waterflow Can Threaten Community Water Systems

Depending on your plumbing system setup, your pipes may link up to the water main system in several different places. This will make it easy for the contaminated water on your property to enter the public water distribution system. 


When this happens, the health risk spreads from your premises to the local community. This can create widespread illness throughout the immediate and even surrounding areas, as some water-borne pathogens can spread quite quickly. 


4. Negligence Can Put the Business at Risk for Legal Liability

If a visitor or employee becomes ill as a result of contaminated water that can be traced back to your property, your business may face certain legal liabilities. This will include responsibility for medical bills as well as criminal liabilities from the relevant water authorities if your testing isn’t up to date. 


5. Above All Else, It’s the Law

Another top reason to have your backflow systems tested is because it’s the law! Australian Law regulates that all commercial properties should have their backflow devices tested every 12 months. 

To monitor this, each commercial property needs to submit these test results to the relevant water authorities. Plumbing experts want to stress the importance of backflow testing since it’s a criminal offence to neglect the necessary backflow prevention and testing on your property. 


Final Thoughts

The last thing any business owner wants is for employees, visitors to the business or any community member to get ill as a result of your negligence. To avoid this, simply schedule an annual check with your local commercial plumber. Not only will you have peace of mind that your water is safe, but you’ll also be compliant with current regulations! 

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