If you're putting in a lawn irrigation system or sprinklers, you'll also need to install a backflow prevention assembly to protect the municipal water supply and the water you drink and use inside your house. If you hire a plumber to hook up your irrigation system, they'll install the backflow assembly you'll need. Here's information about how this plumbing part works.
A Backflow Assembly Is A Safety Device
A backflow prevention assembly device connects in line with your plumbing. An incoming water pipe connects to one side of the converter and a pipe to your sprinkler system connects to the other. The middle of the pipe contains a valve that's activated when water flows in reverse due to a drop in pressure.
This allows the water to flow out an opening in the device rather than flow back up the incoming water pipe. A pressure drop may occur with the city's water supply temporarily, and without the backflow assembly, water from the irrigation system could get into the city water supply because the pressure is higher in the sprinkler lines than the water main.
Water From The Sprinkler System Might Be Contaminated
When water from your irrigation or sprinkler system reverses, it might pull water from your yard with it that contains fertilizer, weed killers, and pesticides. This water is not fit to drink or use for showers. That's why backflow prevention is needed.
It protects you from yard contamination that could get in the main water line. Besides chemical contamination, your yard might have animal waste or other biological hazards you wouldn't want to be exposed to.
The Backflow Assembly Is Regulated By Local Codes
This plumbing part is so important that it is often regulated by local codes. Codes might stipulate the type of assembly you need to have installed and how often it needs to be checked. You might need a plumber to check it annually and file documents with the city as proof your backflow assembly is functional and working properly to protect the city's water supply.
You never know when the city's water could glitch and drop pressure, even if it's just a short while. That's why the assembly needs to be in good working condition at all times. If you operate off of well water, your city may still require you to have a backflow diverter in place.
Call your city codes department or talk to a plumber to find out what kinds of codes pertain to the backflow devices whether you're on city or well water so you stay in compliance and don't contaminate your drinking water.