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What is Irrigation System Backflow Testing & Why is it Important?


If you just read this headline, panicked, hollered, “Crap! I’m supposed to test my irrigation system backflow?!!!!!” which woke up your baby and made your dog start barking hysterically, sorry about that.

No cause for hysteria. But irrigation backflow testing is definitely a thing, and it’s pretty important. 

What is backflow testing for an irrigation system?

Get the baby back to sleep, and let’s take a look.

First, What’s a Backflow Device? 

Your irrigation system’s backflow device prevents water contamination. Most sprinkler systems are set up along potable municipal water supply lines. The water from the irrigation system may be contaminated with fertilizer, dirt, germs, and pesticides. Allowing water to flow back into the supply line contaminates the water, making it unsafe to use or drink. 

Read Our Guide to Irrigation Installation & Maintenance
Contamination can happen when there’s a significant drop in water pressure, like when a water main breaks or a fire hydrant is in use.

When the water pressure drops, backflow preventer valves prevent unsafe water from getting into your potable water.

irrigation expert repairs sprinkler systemOver time, without annual irrigation backflow testing and maintenance, your backflow preventer valves can break or become less effective at protecting your drinking water supply. 

You don’t want this handy device to fail. So it needs to be inspected once a year by a certified backflow assembly tester to make sure it’s working properly. 

Not only is this a basic good idea, most municipalities require irrigation backflow testing, by law. If you don’t have testing done annually, you can be fined, or have your water shut off. RainMaster provides irrigation system backflow testing in Minneapolis and Eau Claire.

Irrigation Backflow Testing: How Does It Work?

Certified testers do a couple different tests on your backflow device, both involving testing for pressure. At RainMaster, we do this testing in the spring, during your irrigation activation visit. 

irrigation team inspects systemWhen you have your irrigation system installed, your installer registers your backflow device with your municipality. They also file the inspection paperwork annually, so your city knows you’ve had the required irrigation backflow testing.

Trust Your Irrigation System Backflow Testing to RainMaster 

Worried you’ll forget about this? Not interested in adding one more thing to your calendar? 

Relax. If you’re a RainMaster customer, we’ll take care of it. 

You deserve skilled, efficient irrigation repair; continued attentive maintenance; and friendly customer service that takes away the stress and makes things easy. 

Hire an Eau Claire or Minneapolis irrigation maintenance company that goes beyond fixing immediate problems and sets you up for easy maintenance designed for the long haul. 

Choose from our three irrigation maintenance programs to make sure everything is running smoothly.

When you’re ready to put your trust in us, we can’t wait to meet you — and help you make the best choice for your lawn.

Ready to make your lawn life easier? Request a quote today! We’ll review your options together so you can make a confident decision. Then, you can finally enjoy your well-watered lawn and stop worrying about it.

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Topics: Irrigation

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