4 Reasons to Enforce Backflow Testing in Your Commercial Kitchen

Setting up a kitchen in your commercial business is a worthwhile change but requires a lot of work. There are so many different regulations and compliance factors that need to be adhered to. 

Many new business owners rely on the help of experts in commercial plumbing Melbourne companies enlist to keep plumbing infrastructures compliant. For the most part, this is done with yearly plumbing audits and service schedules. Having a dedicated and skilled expert in charge of plumbing compliance ensures that your kitchen is running smoothly year-round. 

The Importance of Backflow Testing

One of the most crucial factors with commercial kitchens is without a doubt backflow prevention testing because this is regulated by Australian law. We take a detailed look at why backflow testing is so important in your commercial space.

Australian Regulation

Plumbing regulations are created for the safety of the people and properties in a specific community. With this in mind, Australian regulation states that all backflow prevention devices should be tested every 12 months. 

To ensure that business owners are compliant with this regulation, results of the annual tests need to be filed with the local water authorities. Faulty devices should be replaced immediately and recorded as such on the annual test.

Prevents Health Related Issues

It’s not uncommon for a property owner to ignore plumbing issues until something is broken, leaking or blocked. However, your backflow prevention device should never be one of the items that you neglect.

Since faulty backflow devices result in water flowing back into the waterpipe, it’s not surprising that this can lead to water contamination. This in turn can lead to diseases such as:

  • Cholera
  • Typhoid
  • Polio
  • Dysentery
  • Diarrhea

The World Health Organization has released reports indicating that an average of 485 000 people die each year from drinking contaminated water. This means that the risk of contaminated water shouldn’t be taken lightly.

Failure to Comply can Lead to Liability Cases

Depending on the size of your commercial kitchen, you may see food being prepared and served to hundreds, if not thousands of people every month. All it takes is one confirmed case of illness as a result of contaminated water on your property, to make you liable for medical treatment costs. 

Aside from having to pay the medical costs of the affected employees and customers, your business may also face criminal liabilities from the local water authorities.

Avoid Negative PR Related to a Health Scare

Every business relies on its reputation to ensure ongoing patronage from its customers. That said, a major health scare on your premises can lead to a spiral of negative press that may end up damaging your reputation and causing a loss of business. The last thing your business needs is to be regarded as being reckless or negligent in keeping customers and visitors safe.

How Complex is Backflow Testing?

Essentially, your mechanical plumber will perform the following checks to ensure that your backflow device is working correctly:

  • Dual check
  • Single check
  • Reduced pressure zone
  • All necessary valves and components

Once the test has been completed, the plumber will complete a report that should be sent to the necessary authorities and also kept on file on the premises. As far as the test goes, it’s usually quite easy to do and shouldn’t take too much time or interfere with the normal flow of your business. The overall cost depends on whether any components need to be replaced. 

Though fairly simple, backflow testing should only be done by a certified mechanical plumber. To remain compliant with Australian regulations, it’s essential to have your plumber perform a backflow test every 12 months. 

What Type of Business Needs a Backflow Device?

All commercial businesses and properties require a backflow prevention device. Whether or not your property should have a device depends on the water pressure in the area. 

Other instances where a device may be needed include:

  • Water supply comes from an alternative water supply (not the town mains)
  • An irrigation system is used to supply water to the property and surrounding buildings
  • Commercial or industrial equipment is used on the property and contains chemicals that could contaminate surrounding water sources (chemical cleaning plants, cooling towers or air conditioning units)

Note that most residential premises don’t require a backflow prevention device because the water pressure is too low. However, if you have any doubts, consult your local plumbing expert. 

Final Thoughts

Remember, failure to comply with the regulations surrounding backflow testing is considered a criminal offence. Additionally, as a business owner that serves food or drinks out of a commercial kitchen, you have a responsibility toward the customers and visitors that support your business. 

Speak to your local plumber to arrange a backflow device test to ensure that everyone on your premises has access to clean water!

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