What is a Backflow Prevention Device

While water utility companies are responsible for ensuring overall protection of safe drinking water under all circumstances, it’s a homeowner’s responsibility to protect its family members from possible contamination. That’s why backflow prevention devices are necessary.

Why Is Backflow Important To Me?

Backflow is defined as water flowing in the opposite of its intended direction, either from a loss of pressure in the supply lines or an increase in pressure on the customer’s side.

Consumers turn their faucets on and expect to have safe drinking water that is pure and plentiful. There are instances when things we use everyday can cause harm to our drinking water but we have no knowledge of any contamination. These instances are known as cross-connections.

Common Cross-Connections

Garden Hose

Backflow through cross-connections can happen if you leave a garden hose turned on and submerged in a swimming pool, insert it into your cars radiator to flush out the antifreeze, attach it to an insecticide sprayer, or if your yard has been recently treated with insecticides or yard chemicals and then left in a puddle on the lawn.

Private Well

Backflow can also occur if a pump supplied from an untreated water supply, such as a private well, were connected to the drinkable water supply. The untreated water could be pumped into the drinkable water supply, which serves your home and the public water system.

Lawn Sprinkler System

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) regulations requires that all lawn sprinkler systems be connected through a mechanical backflow prevention assembly. Without a backflow preventer, the stagnant water from the sprinkler system could be drawn into the drinkable water supply for your home.

Two Easy Ways to Prevent Cross-Connection Issues


Check Your Garden Hose

Make sure that the end of your garden hose never becomes submerged in or near a non- potable (undrinkable) substance. This solution is free, but not very reliable and not everyone can always be this careful.

Install A Hose Bibb Vacuum Breaker On Outside Faucets

These inexpensive devices are designed to allow water to flow in only one direction. You can find them at most home supply stores and through plumbing suppliers. Before you use a hose-end sprayer, you should first install a hose bibb vacuum breaker at the faucet. This method is only good for helping with garden hose backflow issues, not sprinkler systems.


Safe drinking water is federally mandated and regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) but even with strict regulations, extremely dangerous situations can continue to occur when backflow contaminants enter our safe drinking water supplies.

Call Stark Services at (817)-633-2665 for more information on backflow preventer installation.