Taking steps to prevent the pollution of drinking water isn’t just the socially responsible and eco-minded thing to do for industrial facilities – it’s the law. The National Code of Practice for Plumbing and Drainage and AS/NZS 3500.1 set strict guidelines regarding requirements for installing devices to prevent backflow and for testing the devices to ensure that they function properly. To avoid costly fines and to ensure that your facility is not posing a threat to your community, complying with these requirements is of the utmost importance.
In AS/NZS 3500.1, three different levels of threat are established, relating to the impact of the backflow from various types of industrial operations. The law establishes different requirements for each of these three levels. They are:
1. High Hazard Facilities
Where backflow into the drinking water supply could result in death. These types of facilities include chemical plants, cooling towers, pest control facilities and other settings where toxic chemicals are used on a regular basis. The laws regarding installation requirements for backflow devices in these types of facilities are the strictest.
2. Medium Hazard Facilities
Where backflow into the drinking water supply is not likely to cause death but could pose health risks. Food and beverage processing plants, reverse osmosis units, commercial and public pools and other areas where bio-waste (but not deadly toxins) could be present. The law establishes guidelines for backflow device installation for these facilities, but they are not as stringent as those governing High Hazard Facilities.
3. Low Hazard Facilities
Where backflow into the drinking water is unlikely to pose a health hazard but would be a nuisance. Only a small number of businesses, such as hair salons fall into this category. The law does not place requirements for backflow device installation at these types of facilities, but they may still be required by other local laws.
If you’re concerned about compliance with backflow device installation and testing, Sydney Emergency Plumbing is here to help. As an industrial plumber, our experts can assist you with installing the correct plumbing to meet national legal requirements or can help you determine if your current system is adequate. We can also assist with testing and inspection of your backflow device. Contact us today on 1800 862 565 for more information.