Backflow can cause industrial chemicals, pesticides, metals and bacteria to enter our water supply system. Across the United States, the quality of municipal water systems has been compromised when backflow devices were not present or not functioning.
Here are some examples of backflow incidents:
In 1995, pesticides were backsiphoned into a Louisiana system when a farmer was diluting herbicides in a tank and a water main was cut. Some people reported nausea, stomach burns and pains, diarrhea and shortness of breath. A class action lawsuit was filed.
Something as simple as a soft drink machine can cause poisoning when a backflow device is not present. Carbon dioxide can enter the water pipes and corrode the copper. In 1987, a child in Minnesota suffered acute copper toxicity when the backflow from a carbon dioxide machine contaminated a restaurant's potable system.
In 1989, backpressure from a propane tank car forced propane into the water supply of Fordyce, Arkansas. Three people in separate buildings were injured from explosions after flushing toilets; two houses and a business were also damaged by explosions and subsequent fires.
We need to protect the integrity of our water supply, to protect the health and safety of everyone in our community.
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