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Backflow is a term in plumbing for an unwanted flow of water in the reverse direction. It can be a serious health risk for the contamination of potable water supplies with unwanted chemicals. For this reason, provincial building codes mandate a series of measures and backflow prevention devices to prevent backflow.


CWQA's position on it:


CWQA agrees that there is a need for backflow precautions for the industry due to the use of chemicals (salts, oxidants, etc). Reasonable and appropriate backflow measures should be taken to follow codes on installation of drinking water treatment devices and systems. 


How it impacts our members:


Members must be knowledgeable of the cross connection control and backflow policies within the jurisdictions they are operating in. 


What is CWQA doing about it:


CWQA has participated on the CSA B64 Standard Committee and has it re-evaluated to downgrade the risk of residential water treatment systems based on modernized technical information for water treatment designs. Many systems today come integrated with basic check valves and designs to prevent water from backflowing through the system. Additionally CWQA was able to introduce a chemical management risk rating to the B64 standard called the Hodge Sterner Scale. For the most hazardous chemicals, the recommendation is for the most stringent backflow. The scale allows the user a process by which to understand the chemicals being applied to a system to evaluate its level of hazard. Softener salts are considerably safe when compared to some other chemicals used today in modern water systems. 
The publishing of the new B64 standard in 2011 has gone a long way towards helping both the industry and the regulators find common ground to converse.


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