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Preventing backflow in your home

Air gap illustrationYou can help prevent backflow in your home by following these tips:

  • Never submerge a hose in any container holding liquid, including a sink, swimming pool, or fish tank. Leave at least a one-inch gap between the end of your hose and the liquid.
  • Never attach a fertilizer or pesticide sprayer to your garden hose without a hose connection vacuum breaker.
  • Buy and install hose connection vacuum breakers on all threaded faucets around your home. These devices are inexpensive and are available at most home improvement stores.
  • Never put your garden hose down a floor drain to flush out debris when it's backed up.
  • If you have a pool or spa with a permanently installed fill line, make sure a backflow prevention device is properly installed in the line connected to your plumbing system.
  • Install a backflow prevention device on all in-ground lawn irrigation systems.
  • If your home has a heating boiler, install a backflow prevention device on the water supply to the boiler. The type of device will depend on whether chemicals (e.g., anti-freeze solutions, corrosion inhibitors) have been added to your home boiler.

For more information, contact 311.

Last updated: June 29, 2018

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