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Backflow Prevention
  Backflow is the reversal of the normal and intended direction of water flow in a water system. Devices and assemblies known as backflow preventers are installed to prevent backflow, which can contaminate potable water supplies.
  Why is backflow a problem?
Backflow is a potential problem in a water system because it can spread contaminated water back through a distribution system. For example, backflow at uncontrolled cross connections (cross-connections are any actual or potential connection between the public water supply and a source of contamination or pollution) can allow pollutants or contaminants to enter the potable water system. Sickness can result from ingesting water that has been contaminated due to backflow.
Backflow may occur under the following two conditions:
back-pressure:
Back-pressure is the reverse from normal flow direction within a piping system as the result of the downstream pressure being higher than the supply pressure. This reduction in supply pressure occurs whenever the amount of water being used exceeds the amount of water being supplied (such as during water-line flushing, fire-fighting, or breaks in water mains).
back-siphonage: Back-siphonage is the reverse from normal flow direction within a piping system that is caused by negative pressure in the supply piping ... more

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