Innovations in Water Treatment

Ontario is a world leader in issues affecting drinking water. Thus, it’s no coincidence that the state has hosted some of Canada’s biggest water events, such as the Ontario Water Conference & Trade Show and the Northeastern Ontario Waterworks Conference. With the theme being “clean water”, these events offer exciting opportunities to learn more about different ways to provide clean water, which is essential for human health. With a commitment to innovation, Vissers attended these events to discover the latest advancements in water treatment that affect the liquid handling and industrial pumps market. This is the first of a three-part series on some of our key findings:

Part 1: Backflow prevention

Backflow prevention (also known as cross connection control) is a key issue in water treatment according to the Ontario Water Works Association and the water industry as whole. Backflow is the flowing back or reversal of water flow which can contaminate an otherwise healthy water supply. If backflow occurs in a public water system, this can pollute the water in that system, creating a health hazard and leading to public loss of confidence in water safety. Thus water providers must have active programmes, working with building inspectors and public health agencies, to detect and deter cross contamination.
Mitigating or eliminating risk from cross connections

Cross-connections are present in every drinking water system, with some systems housing hundreds or thousands of potential cross connections. If not protected against backflow, cross connection is a potentially dangerous source of contamination, with pollutants, infectious agents (pathogens) and other materials and substances impacting the water supply and spreading illness or disease. As cross contamination can occur in any building, structure or property that is connected to the drinking (potable) water supply distribution system, whether industrial, commercial, institutional, multi-residential or residential, the task of preventing backflows or controlling cross connections is enormous. Issues can arise from breaks or repairs to water mains, fire fighting activities or reductions or stoppages of the main water supply pressure. However, three things need to happen simultaneously for drinking water supply to become contaminated:

  • An open source of drinking water supply piping must be unprotected (or improperly protected) from a cross-connection
  • A physical cross-connection must be made between the drinking water supply piping and a contaminant source
  • Hydraulic events/backflow conditions must occur.

Backflow prevention systems

While there are many ways to mitigate the risk of backflow, such as separating drinking and non-drinking water systems, maintaining positive pressures in distribution and through municipal regulations for backflow prevention programmes, Vissers works with backflow prevention devices to prevent contaminated water from entering the water system. As piping systems have moving parts, these devices must be regularly inspected to ensure they are working.

An innovative solution

Vissers recommends Hayward’s Spring Loaded Y-Check Valves for superior protection against reversal of flow in a piping system. Installed downstream of a pump, these valves prevent unwanted flow of the process fluid once the pump has been turned off, even if there is no back pressure. For process vessels located inside a secondary containment area, this prevents siphoning of the vessel. The valves optimize operational efficiencies by preventing unwanted loss of process fluid when distribution lines are open distribution. By retaining the process fluid downstream of the pump, the valves greatly reduce the likelihood of water hammer that can occur if a pump is started in an empty, open line. These valves are also hand adjustable, double sealed for longevity and easy to maintain, with no chance of corrosion. Learn more about Hayward’s Spring Loaded Y-Check Valves.
Next month, we’ll be sharing the next two parts of our 3-part series on innovations in the water industry, featuring “Reimagining water infrastructure” and “How automation redefines water treatment.” We’ll keep you posted.

If you’d like to find out more about backflow prevention and the various ways to control cross connection, call our toll-free number 1-800- 367-4180. We have experts on hand to help you choose, install, and maintain a variety of backflow prevention devices.