Types of Backflow Contamination That Could Occur Without a Device

If your home or business does not have a backflow prevention device, your water supply is at risk of one or more types of contamination. The types of contamination that you are at risk of depends on the types of plumbing fixtures and systems on your property. Annual NYC backflow preventer testing can prevent this contamination and keep you, your family or the building’s occupants safe.


Sewage is the leading source of contaminated water for a business or a residence. The backflow preventer device is designed to prevent sewage from flowing into the potable water. Every building has plumbing for sewage and plumbing for potable water, which is why this is the most common type of contamination. Sewage carries with it bacteria, viruses and parasites and causes many types of illnesses if it is ingested.

Pesticides and Herbicides

Many pesticide application technicians hook up a hose to a home’s or business’s water supply. Their concentrated pesticide is diluted before spraying it onto the grass, trees or shrubs. A backflow of the pesticide container could contaminate the drinking water. This can also happen with herbicides for residential properties or on large farms. Both pesticides and herbicides carry a serious health risk to humans and other animals if they are ingested.

Stored Water

Some properties have storage tanks for holding water until it is needed. A backflow prevention device stops the mixing of the stored water in the tanks and the flowing potable water. Heated water in a storage tank may be aesthetically unappealing, but it does not constitute a health risk. Cold water storage tanks also pose a minimal health risk. However, this water may not have been treated, and it could have some bacteria in it. The temperature of the water could also have unwanted effects on people.