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Sewer Backflow

Municipal distributors send clean water to homes and buildings in NYC. In contrast, wastewater is drained from residential and commercial sinks, bathtubs, showers and toilets into the Drain-Vent-Waste (DVW) network through to the sanitary sewer line, and finally collects at the municipal sewer facility. Under certain conditions wastewater will reverse direction and backup into homes and offices - this is known as a sewer backflow or backup. When wastewater enters the potable water supply distributed to homes and buildings, sewer backflows will harm human surroundings. In the worst sewer backflow recorded, 1500 people become ill and 98 died.

Potable water is distributed under high pressure that we release when opening indoor faucets – this ensures the one way flow of clean water supply from municipal distributors to homes and offices. Main sewer breaks or firefighting operations place unexpected heavy demand on the main water supply, and consequently reduce water pressure. Major drops in main water pressure can back siphon non-potable water into the potable water supply sent to homes and buildings.

Backflow prevention devices (BPD) prevent dangerous sewer backflows should main water pressure drop suddenly. Under the law, commercial alternate water sources are installed with backflow assemblies in the points of cross connection between potable and non potable water. BPDs protect the public clean water supply from contamination by discharging wastewater before re-entering residential and commercial properties. BPDs can also be installed in homes to prevent sewer backup damages should the sanitary sewer become blocked or broken.

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