What does the term “backwater” mean to you? According to the online Merriam-Webster dictionary, the first definition is “a part of a river where the water moves slowly because it is away from the main part of the river". The next definition takes the "atmosphere" of the first and applies it to a location as in, "a quiet place (such as a town or village) where there is little activity, excitement, progress, etc.". However, neither of these definitions is what The Gentlemen Plumbers and other plumbing professionals think of when they hear this term.
Most often backwater is used as an adjective to describe a type of valve, i.e. a backwater valve. Have you figured out yet why you should care about this little item?Well, one of the main functions of a backwater valve is the prevention of sewage “flowing back” into your premises. Important, no?!
Did you even know that you have at least one backwater valve in your home or office? Were you aware that it requires annual maintenance? It is suggested that each year, backwater valves are examined to make sure all their moving parts are in working order. Also, it is recommended to make sure the traps are clear of debris. If you do this yourself and have questions about the condition of the valve, or you prefer NOT to handle this on your own, contact your favorite local expert such as The Gentlemen Plumbers. Whichever option you choose, it is best to be consistent. The outcome of a faulty backwater valve is often not a pretty sight.
Since backwater valves are so important, it is welcome news that the Standards Council of Canada (SCC) has “announced the selection of the balloon-type ball backwater valve as the product topic for the plumbing/heating sector joint Canada-U.S. Standard pilot project”. The pilot project was set up to create standards and/or regulation in product areas where they are lacking. Of all the project submissions, the joint Canada-U.S. panel of evaluators decided “that standards development for balloon-type ball backwater valves would benefit the greatest number of Canadian and American users”.
We'll get back to you when we hear about any of the project's results. In the meantime, don't let your sewage system or any other of your water systems back up. Keep things in working order with regular DIY maintenance and visits from reliable plumbers such as The Gentlemen Plumbers. They've got your back.