There is a big difference between backwater valves and backflow preventers
A backwater valve prevents raw sewage or stormwater from backing up into the home through floor drains, toilets, showers, etc. A backflow preventer deals with protecting potable water sources from being contaminated by a reverse flow of foul water. In today’s modern world, maintaining the supply of safe, clean drinking water can be challenging with so many potential chemical contaminants.
In addition, there are many different ways that potable water systems can be cross-connected with other systems. Regulated water suppliers have a responsibility to provide water that is usable and safe to drink under all foreseeable circumstances. Backflow into a public water system can pollute or contaminate the water in that system and make it unsafe to drink. For this reason, backflow prevention devices, and municipal cross-connection programs that govern them, are essential to our modern potable water supply systems.
The need for cross-connection control exists in all types of buildings: industrial, commercial, and residential. Backflow preventers help prevent potable water contamination in such critical areas as municipal water systems, food processing plants, medical and dental water supplies, and many industrial applications. A preventer is a crucial part of lawn irrigation or an exterior plumbing system. It keeps soiled water from entering drinking water lines. Backflow can carry pesticides or fertilizers. Those who drink it can become ill. “A backflow preventer is an important tool to protect you and your family from accidentally drinking these chemicals,” says Ken Weaver, Licensed Plumber, and certified backflow tester at Reliable Contractor Services in Tampa, Florida.