The water distributed through the Municipality’s water supply system is under constant and high pressure. In addition to maintaining the quality of the water, this pressure is necessary to move the water throughout the system and the hundreds of water service connections (a water service connection is where the Municipality’s distribution pipes or water mains connect with the private plumbing of homes and businesses). Backflow is the undesired reversal of water flow against normal direction that occurs as a result of backpressure or back siphonage. Backpressure results when the pressure in private water system is higher than the pressure in the Muncipality’s water supply system. An example of this situation would be when industries use pumps to circulate cooling water for equipment. Back siphonage can occur when there are dips in pressure in the system. An example of this situation is when there is a water main break.

If chemicals, pollutants, toxic substances, bacteria, pathogens or non-potable water are in the property’s water supply system, they may enter the public water supply system due to backflow. This may result in contamination of the public drinking water supply.

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