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Abingdon, VA 24211



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Safeguarding the Quality of our Water System

Nov 17, 2022 | Featured, News

By ensuring appropriate backflow prevention at your home or business, you are protecting your neighbors as well as your family or employees

Every time we fill a glass of water, prepare a meal or take a shower, we take for granted that our water will always be clean, pure and healthy. WCSA’s water distribution system reaches approximately 90% of Washington County, Virginia residents. While WCSA assumes the responsibility of maintaining a distribution system that is of the highest quality, WCSA has little influence over the residential and commercial properties that are connected to that system.

Situations can occur that are outside WCSA’s control and can jeopardize the quality of our drinking water. For example, a temporary loss of pressure due to a supply line or water main break is a relatively common occurrence among water distribution systems. When loss of pressure happens, backflow can result. Because of this, it is very important that backflow prevention is practiced by our customers at all applicable locations to ensure everyone’s water is always safe to drink — including your own.

Backflow is the reverse flow of fluids, chemicals, gases or any foreign materials into the water distribution system. Pollution reduces the quality of drinking water by adversely affecting the taste, odor or appearance, but does not create a public health hazard. Contaminated water, however, poses a threat to public health as it can cause illness and, in extreme instances, human mortality.

Backflow is preventable by eliminating all existing or potential cross connections, thereby protecting the water distribution system. In many cases, prevention can be accomplished with a few plumbing changes. In situations where this is not possible, however, a backflow prevention assembly must be installed to protect the water supply. The type of backflow prevention assembly needed can be determined by the degree of hazard that could occur at a home or business.

What can you do as a homeowner or business owner to help protect the safety of the water system? First, determine whether there is an actual or potential cross-connection in your home or business. If it is determined that an actual or potential cross-connection is present, appropriate steps will need to be taken to eliminate the hazard. This could require changes to your current plumbing or installation of a mechanical backflow prevention assembly.

If you are unsure how to make this determination, a representative of WCSA’s cross connection and backflow prevention program can assist in this process. WCSA uses local codes and government regulations to determine which backflow prevention assembly is required. 

By taking steps to prevent backflow, you are not only protecting your neighbors and other WCSA customers, you are protecting members of your own household or business. For more information, please contact WCSA at 276.628.7151.