Our mission is to educate people about the benefits of installing backflow preventers above ground. It’s much safer and less expensive for a backflow preventer to be installed above ground in an enclosure, but even when someone does it right and decides to install above ground, they can make a critical mistake.
In Part 1 of our series, we talked about the best place to put a backflow enclosure. In Part 2 of our series, we discussed the perfect place to put your enclosure IF you’re forced to put it in front of your building. So this time, in Part 3, we’re going to talk about the one area on your property you should avoid putting an enclosure, not just for aesthetic reasons, but to also keep it from becoming a safety issue, too.
Backflow Enclosures Should Be Out of Sight
Getting your backflow preventer above ground is what’s most important, but sometimes enclosures end up next to a driveway, which can block a driver’s view. If their view is blocked by the enclosure, they’ll have to pull out into the street to get a good look at the oncoming traffic.
If the engineer gives it some thought, the backflow enclosure would be out of sight. It may require about 30 to 40 more feet of pipe and excavation, but that small increase in cost would’ve offset the appearance and usability of the site.
Why Do Backflow Enclosures End Up There?
There’s pressure on the site design team to finish projects as quickly as possible. It’s also very competitive, so they’ll often minimize their design hours in their proposal to get the work. There’s also pressure from the developer who wants to get his certificate of occupancy for the building to get tenants in there.
When this occurs, it causes a designer to overlook where the above-ground utilities (and backflow preventer) might be located.
And if aesthetics are the concern about the above-ground enclosure, there are lots of colors to match your building’s surroundings and other ways to blend your enclosure into your property. You can even use it to advertise or use it to make your business easier to find.
Above-Ground Backflow Enclosures Are Best
In the end, installing a backflow preventer outside and above-ground is by far the safest and most cost-effective way to do it. Just remember to look around your building to determine the best location.
If you’d like to get a look at some of the ways to go about installing your backflow preventer, check out our guide, “Trends in Backflow Preventer Installation and Selection.” It’s a great resource for engineers and executives responsible for commercial water supply and infrastructure.