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FriAug 16

National Backflow Prevention Day – August 16, 2024

National Backflow Prevention Day is observed on August 16 every year. The purpose of the holiday is to recognize and honor backflow preventers, the professionals who ensure our available water supply is free of toxins, waste, harmful chemicals, and other contaminants. The holiday also aims to spread awareness about the importance of backflow prevention and how the technology is used. The day was first observed on August 16, 2021, to commemorate the tragic backflow incident on the same day in 1933 at the Chicago World Fair.

History of National Backflow Prevention Day

‘Backflow’ refers to an unwanted water flow in the reverse direction. It is caused by cross-connections that may allow contaminants to flow into the drinking water supply. Backflow poses serious health risks associated with the contamination of potable water. Countries around the world, thus, have safety standards in place to avoid backflow. Devices known as ‘backflow preventers’ are used to prevent contamination. Professionals, like plumbers, ensure the prevention of backflow to the maximum extent possible.

National Backflow Prevention Day was first announced in March 2021 by Watts Water Technologies to appreciate backflow prevention and cross-connections control. August 16, 2021, saw the first National Backflow Prevention Day and celebrated the “unsung heroes,” as they put it, who ensure the prevention of backflow through backflow prevention technologies.

Watts Water Technologies specifically chose the holiday date to mark one of the most tragic backflow incidents in the U.S. nearly a century ago. The 1933 Chicago World Fair brought thousands of people to visit the city. Several of them decided to stay in two popular hotels that shared a rooftop water source. This cross-connection, unfortunately, led to dysentery contamination in the water supply of the hotels. This contamination led to over 2,000 individuals falling ill and about 98 passing away.

National Backflow Prevention Day timeline

The Chicago Backflow Incident

On August 16, 98 people pass away due to a backflow incident during the Chicago World Fair.

The Safe Water Drinking Act

Congress establishes the Safe Water Drinking Act.

National Backflow Prevention Day

Watts Water Technologies announces National Backflow Prevention Day in March.

The First Observance

The first National Backflow Prevention Day is observed on August 16.

National Backflow Prevention Day FAQs

What are the methods to prevent backflow?

There are many ways to prevent backflow. The three most common are: air gaps that allow water to flow out but prevent it from flowing back into your potable water system, a barometric loop or U-pipe is continuous piping, which makes it difficult for backflow water to travel up again, and a pressure-type vacuum breaker monitors the water pressure in your pipes and automatically closes check valves to avoid backflow.

What is a backwater prevention valve?

A backwater prevention valve prevents water from re-entering a home through a flap that allows the water to exit but closes to prevent backflow.

What are the dangers of backflow?

Among other issues, backflow can corrode your pipes, create leaks, and contaminate your water.

How to Observe National Backflow Prevention Day

  1. Thank your local water quality professionals

    One of the main objectives of this day is to honor water quality professionals. On this day, thank your local water quality professional or plumbers for the work they do to keep you safe.

  2. Spread awareness

    To spread awareness about backflow prevention and preventers, take a picture of your nearest backflow preventer and share it on social media. You can also share information about the Safe Drinking Water Act.

  3. Attend webinars

    To ensure that you’re as knowledgeable about the topic as you can be, attend a webinar on backflow prevention. Knowledge is power, and the more you know about water safety practices, the better.

5 Interesting Facts About Plumbing

  1. The first evidence of plumbing

    The first evidence of plumbing can be dated back to 3000 B.C. to the Indus Valley Civilization, South Asia.

  2. The first flush

    The first flushing toilet was invented in 1596 by John Harrington in England.

  3. Plumber’s etymology

    The word ‘plumbing’ comes from the Latin word ‘plumbum,’ meaning ‘lead.’

  4. The single-handle faucet

    The single-handed faucet was invented in 1939 by American inventor Al Moen.

  5. The first fire sprinkler system

    The world’s first fire sprinkler system was invented by an English soldier, publisher, inventor, and rocket artillery pioneer, Sir William Congreve.

Why National Backflow Prevention Day is Important

  1. It brings attention to an important process

    Backflow prevention is an extremely important process and keeps us all safe. National Backflow Prevention Day brings public attention to it.

  2. It appreciates essential service workers

    National Backflow Prevention Day is a day of appreciation. We absolutely love that the holiday honors professionals who are very often overlooked and undervalued.

  3. More awareness means more safety

    The greater public awareness is about the dangers of backflow, the more vigilant we are likely to be. It is also a wonderful day to learn about new backflow prevention technologies available.

National Backflow Prevention Day dates

2024August 16Friday
2025August 16Saturday
2026August 16Sunday
2027August 16Monday
2028August 16Wednesday

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