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Call Pasco County Utilities Customer Information and Services at (727) 847-8131 during business hours or (727) 847-8144 during non-business hours to report any utilities related emergencies.
Emergency Telephone Number (AFTER-HOURS EMERGENCY REPAIRS ONLY): (727) 847-8144
Backflow is the undesired reversal of flow of water and/or other substance into the potable water supply, via a cross-connection, due to a change in pressure caused by either Backpressure or Back siphonage. Backpressure is a type of backflow condition that exists when the pressure in the downstream side of the customer’s piping system becomes elevated greater than the supply pressure at the potable water system. Back siphonage is a type of backflow condition that exists when the pressure in the potable water supply system becomes lower than atmospheric pressure (14.7 psi).
A cross-connection is an actual or potential link between the potable water supply (water safe for human consumption) and a non-potable source (any other type of liquid, gas or substance not fit for consumption and that can affect water quality). A cross-connection can be avoided by eliminating the link between the two sources. If the link cannot be removed, then the potable water supply must be protected through the use of a backflow prevention assembly.
Backflow into a public water system can pollute or contaminate the water in that system (i.e., backflow into a public water system can make the water in that system unusable or unsafe to drink), and each water supplier has a responsibility to provide water that is usable and safe to drink under all foreseeable circumstances. Furthermore, consumers generally have absolute faith that water delivered to them through a public water system is always safe to drink. For these reasons, each water supplier must take reasonable precautions to protect its public water system against backflow.
A backflow preventer is a means or mechanism to prevent backflow. The basic means of preventing backflow is an air gap, which either eliminates a cross-connection or provides a barrier to backflow. The basic mechanism for preventing backflow is a mechanical backflow preventer, which provides a physical barrier to backflow. The principal types of mechanical backflow preventer are the reduced-pressure principle assembly, the pressure vacuum breaker assembly, and the double check valve assembly. A secondary type of mechanical backflow preventer is the residential dual check valve.
An air gap is a vertical, physical separation between the end of a water supply outlet and the flood-level rim of a receiving vessel. This separation must be at least twice the diameter of the water supply outlet and never less than one inch. An air gap is considered the maximum protection available against backpressure backflow or back siphonage but is not always practical and can easily be bypassed.
An RP is a mechanical backflow preventer that consists of two independently acting, spring-loaded check valves with a hydraulically operating, mechanically independent, spring-loaded pressure differential relief valve between the check valves and below the first check valve. It includes shutoff valves at each end of the assembly and is equipped with test cocks. An RP is effective against backpressure backflow and back siphonage and may be used to isolate health or non-health hazards.
A PVB is a mechanical backflow preventer that consists of an independently acting, spring-loaded check valve and an independently acting, spring-loaded, air inlet valve on the discharge side of the check valve. It includes shutoff valves at each end of the assembly and is equipped with test cocks. A PVB may be used to isolate health or non-health hazards but is effective against back siphonage only.
A DC is a mechanical backflow preventer that consists of two independently acting, spring-loaded check valves. It includes shutoff valves at each end of the assembly and is equipped with test cocks. A DC is effective against backpressure backflow and back siphonage but should only be used to isolate non-health hazards.
A RDC is similar to a DC in that it is a mechanical backflow preventer consisting of two independently acting, spring-loaded check valves. However, it usually does not include shutoff valves, may or may not be equipped with test cocks or ports, and is generally less reliable than a DC. A RDC is effective against backpressure backflow and back siphonage but should only be used to isolate non-health hazards and is intended for use only in water service connections to single-family homes.
Mechanical backflow preventers have internal seals, springs, and moving parts that are subject to fouling, wear, or fatigue. Also, mechanical backflow preventers and air gaps can be bypassed. Therefore, all backflow preventers have to be tested periodically to ensure that they are functioning properly. A visual check of air gaps is sufficient, but mechanical backflow preventers have to be tested with properly calibrated gauge equipment.
One excellent reference manual is the third (2004) edition of the American Water Works Association's (AWWA's) Manual M14, Recommended Practice for Backflow Prevention and Cross-Connection Control, which is available from the AWWA Bookstore; 6666 West Quincy Avenue; Denver, Colorado 80235; 800/926-7337; or visit the AWWA website. Another excellent reference manual is the ninth (1993) edition of the University of Southern California's Manual of Cross-Connection Control, which is available from the Foundation for Cross- Connection Control and Hydraulic Research; University of Southern California; KAP-200 University Park MC-2531; Los Angeles, California 90089-2531; 213/740-2032.
A pipe with a cap that provides access to your sewer lateral and is located outside of your home in the front or back yard. Cleanouts typically go unnoticed until there is a problem. They look like capped pipes sticking a few inches above the ground either white or black in color.
A private sewer lateral is an underground pipe that conveys wastewater from your home to the Pasco county sanitary sewer system. Typically, the private sewer lateral goes from your home to the county sewer main in the street or easement, which can be in the backyard.
The property owner is responsible for all maintenance, operation, cleaning, repair and reconstruction of the private sewer lateral from the home to the point of connection with the County sewer main.
Over time, private sewer laterals can crack, become disjointed or displaced, and allow tree roots or debris to build up. These defects cause blockages and building backups, overflows into the environment, and rainwater infiltration into the sewer system.
Private sewer laterals are underground, so most people won’t see a problem at the ground surface. Older private sewer laterals and laterals in the vicinity of trees or large bushes are more likely to have problems. A local plumber can inspect private sewer laterals by using a video camera to look for cracks, joint separation, root intrusion, blockages, and pipe sags.
Private building lateral maintenance depends on several factors including age of pipe, pipe material, and site. It is generally recommended to have older private sewer laterals inspected and cleaned every couple years. Most plumbers can inspect and clean a private sewer lateral.
Private sewer laterals develop defects over time and contribute to sewer backups into the building, environmental pollution, more expensive private sewer lateral repairs, and more expensive costs for Pasco County treatment plants.
An Air Release Valve is a valve the releases air that builds up in the transmission mains. They are placed at the high points in the transmission lined as wastewater rises to the top. If the air becomes trapped in the lines it can actually block and shut down flow. These air release valves are on reclaimed water, water, and wastewater lines and can be above ground or below ground. When they are above ground, they are located in color coded boxes, green for wastewater, blue for water and pantone purple for reclaimed water.