Some Champaign-Urbana plumbing systems must be fitted with a reduced pressure zone (RPZ) valve to comply with local codes. Also called a backflow preventer or a backflow device, the valve helps keep your drinking water contaminant-free.

Which Plumbing Systems Require an RPZ Valve?

Illinois state law mandates that these systems must be equipped with an RPZ valve:

  • Lawn irrigation systems and lawn sprinkler systems that can be contaminated with fertilizers and pesticides
  • Fire suppression systems that can cause pressure differences and siphoning effects resulting in backflow
  • Large boilers that fire more than 200,000 BTU can develop excessively high internal pressure. That pressure can force the dirty water inside the boiler to back up into the clean water supply system.
  • Food and chemical processing equipment

The backflow device must be tested every year by a licensed plumber with a Cross Connection Certification license. This certification is legally required for contractors who perform work on RPZ valves. Older systems must be retrofitted with an RPZ valve as well.

Where Are Backflow Prevention Systems Installed?

Backflow prevention systems are typically installed in areas where there is a cross-connection with clean water. There may also be a piping arrangement or processing equipment that allows drinking water to potentially interact with toxins.

How Do RPZ Valves Work?

Pressure drops can be caused by water leaks, water service interruption, a water main break, or hydrant flushing. The RPZ valve registers pressure drops and redirects potentially toxic water before it can contaminate your drinking water.

Clean water is essential for optimal health. Lanz Plumbing, Heating & Cooling, Inc., can ensure that the water you use is pristine. Learn more about pipes from the plumbing professionals at Lanz Plumbing.

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