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Annual Backflow Prevention Valve Testing and Maintenance in Toronto

At MT Drains & Plumbing, we understand the importance of maintaining the safety and quality of the public water supply in Toronto. That’s why we offer comprehensive backflow prevention services to our clients, including annual inspections and tests that satisfy Toronto’s requirements.

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Adherence to Toronto's Water Supply By-law

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What is Backflow and Why is it a Concern?

Backflow is the reverse flow of potentially contaminated water from a building’s plumbing system back into the public water supply. This can happen when there is a drop in water pressure or when there is a backflow incident caused by a cross-connection between the building’s plumbing system and a source of contamination. Backflow can pose a serious risk to public health and safety by contaminating the public water supply with harmful bacteria, chemicals, and other pollutants.
To prevent backflow incidents and protect public health, the City of Toronto has established regulations and requirements for backflow prevention. Properties that fall under the higher risk classification, including those classified as industrial, commercial, institutional, and residential properties with more than five units, are required to install and maintain backflow prevention devices or valves.

Backflow, the reversal of water flow in plumbing systems, can pose significant risks to water quality and safety. This summary provides an overview of backflow and its two main causes: back pressure and back siphonage. Understanding these causes is essential for implementing effective backflow prevention measures.

  1. Back Pressure:
    • Definition: Back pressure occurs when the pressure in a private water system exceeds the pressure in the City’s water supply system.
    • Cause: It can result from various factors such as pumps, elevated tanks, temperature increases in boiler systems, and local pressure events.
    • Effect: Back pressure can force water from the private system to flow back into the City’s distribution system.
  2. Back Siphonage:
    • Definition: Back siphonage happens when the pressure in the City’s water supply system drops below the pressure in a private system.
    • Cause: It can be caused by events like nearby firefighting or water main breaks.
    • Effect: Back siphonage can pull contaminated water from the private water system into the City’s distribution system.


Importance of Backflow Prevention:

  • Safeguarding Water Quality: Backflow prevention measures are crucial for maintaining the integrity and cleanliness of the water supply.
  • Protecting Public Health: By preventing the entry of untreated or contaminated water, backflow prevention helps ensure the safety of drinking water.
  • Regulatory Compliance: Many jurisdictions, including the City of Toronto, have implemented by-laws and regulations mandating backflow prevention to protect public health and meet regulatory requirements.

Understanding the causes and potential risks associated with backflow is key to implementing effective backflow prevention measures. By addressing back pressure and back siphonage through proper plumbing practices and the installation of backflow prevention devices, we can protect water quality and promote the safety of our water supply systems.

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Toronto Backflow Prevention Program

The City of Toronto has implemented a mandatory requirement, as stated in the Water Supply By-law, for property owners of industrial, commercial, institutional, and certain residential properties to install backflow prevention devices on their water supply lines. This regulation also applies to construction sites. The purpose of this requirement is to safeguard the city’s drinking water by isolating buildings from the municipal water distribution system and preventing the entry of contaminants into the drinking water supply. By installing backflow prevention devices, property owners contribute to maintaining the safety and purity of Toronto’s water resources.

Backflow testing is an essential plumbing service that evaluates the pressure levels of your backflow preventer device. Its purpose is to ensure that untreated or contaminated water does not flow back into your clean water supply. By conducting regular testing, you can have peace of mind knowing that the water you use for drinking and showering remains safe and free from harmful contaminants, maintaining its purity and sterility.

Types of Backflow Prevention Devices

There are two types of backflow prevention devices that are commonly used to prevent backflow incidents. The first type is a Double Check Valve Assembly (DCVA), which is typically required for facilities that are classified as “moderate hazard.” DCVAs are designed to provide protection against low to moderate risk of backflow incidents.
The second type is a Reduced Pressure Principle Assembly (RP), which is required for facilities that are classified as “severe hazard.” RPs offer more comprehensive protection against high-risk backflow incidents.

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Backflow Prevention Services from MT Drains & Plumbing

At MT Drains & Plumbing, we offer a range of backflow prevention services to help our clients comply with Toronto’s requirements and protect public health. Our services include:
We have extensive experience working with a wide range of clients, including commercial, industrial, and residential properties. We work closely with our clients to determine which type of backflow prevention device is appropriate for their property based on the level of risk classification.

Benefits of Backflow Prevention

Installing and maintaining a backflow prevention device is crucial for protecting public health and safety, as well as avoiding fines and legal consequences. Non-compliance with Toronto’s Water Supply By-law can result in significant fines, which may exceed $100,000.
By working with MT Drains & Plumbing for your backflow prevention needs, you can ensure that your property is in compliance with Toronto’s requirements and that your backflow prevention devices are functioning properly. Our annual inspections and tests can help you identify potential issues before they become major problems, which can save you time and money in the long run.

"He Was Very Knowledgeable And Helped Save Me Money"

I had the pleasure of dealing with Eddie from MT Drain & Plumbing for the second time and I’m more than happy I did. He was very knowledgeable and helped save me money by suggesting more cost-effective alternatives. The work was done very fast and the workers were very courteous. Very professional and of great quality, I would definitely recommend MT Drains & Plumbing.

Backflow Terms and Backflow Prevention

What is a Cross-Connection?

  • Definition: A cross-connection refers to any actual or potential connection between a drinking water system and a source of pollution or contamination.
  • Purpose: Cross-connections need to be identified and eliminated or controlled to prevent the backflow of contaminated water into the clean water supply.

What is Backflow?

  • Definition: Backflow is the reverse flow or reversal of the normal direction of water flow in a plumbing system.
  • Causes: Backflow can occur due to two main factors: back siphonage and back pressure.
    • Back Siphonage: Back siphonage is caused by negative pressure in a public water system, similar to drinking water through a straw. It can happen during water supply stoppages, nearby firefighting, water main breaks, or high water withdrawal rates.
    • Back Pressure: Back pressure occurs when the pressure in a non-potable water system exceeds the municipal water system’s supply pressure. It can be caused by booster pumps, elevated piping, interconnections with higher-pressure systems, or temperature increases in boilers.

What is a Backflow Preventer?

  • Definition: A backflow preventer is a device or assembly designed to prevent backflow from occurring.
  • Types: There are different types of backflow preventers available, and their selection depends on the specific application and level of protection required.
  • Testing Requirements: Some types of backflow preventers, known as testable devices, require periodic testing by trained and qualified professionals to ensure proper functioning. Other types, such as air gaps, may require visual inspections.

Why Backflow Prevention Devices Need Periodic Testing:

  • Functioning Verification: Mechanical backflow preventers have internal components that can be subject to fouling, wear, or fatigue over time. Periodic testing ensures that these devices are functioning as intended.
  • Bypass Prevention: Backflow preventers can be bypassed or tampered with, compromising their effectiveness. Regular testing helps identify any potential issues or unauthorized modifications.
  • Qualified Testing: Testing of backflow preventers should be conducted by individuals who have received proper training and certification to ensure accurate and reliable results.

Importance of Controlling Cross-Connections and Protecting Public Water Systems:

  • Water Contamination Prevention: Backflow into a public water system can introduce pollutants or contaminants, posing health risks to consumers.
  • Hazards Classification: Backflow hazards can be categorized as severe, moderate, or minor based on their potential impact on water quality and health.
  • Responsibility of Water Purveyors: Water suppliers have the responsibility to provide safe, potable water under all circumstances and must take precautions to protect public water systems against backflow.
  • Backflow Prevention Measures: Water purveyors should implement proper backflow prevention devices and strategies, such as premise isolation and zone protection, to control cross-connections and protect public water systems.

In summary, understanding backflow terms, the importance of backflow prevention, and the need for periodic testing of backflow preventers is crucial for safeguarding the integrity and safety of public water systems.

Request a Free Estimate Today!

At MT Drains & Plumbing, we take backflow prevention seriously. We are committed to helping our clients protect public health and safety by providing comprehensive backflow prevention services. Contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can help you comply with Toronto’s requirements for backflow prevention.
Contact us at (905) 761-5551 or online to schedule service or request a free estimate.

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