As irrigation season approaches, typically scheduled for after the 1st of June each year, the City of Moscow Water Department wants to remind residents that irrigation systems require backflow protection. The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality Rules, IDAPA 58.01.08, "Idaho Rules for Public Drinking Water Systems" and Moscow City Code Title 7, Chapter 9 require that all irrigation systems, existing or new, shall be equipped with an approved backflow prevention assembly, and shall be inspected and tested annually by a State of Idaho licensed backflow assembly tester. It is recommended that the test be completed during the initial start-up of the system each spring.
A backflow assembly installed on your system is necessary to help prevent contaminates from entering your public water supply through what is known as backflow. Backflow is defined as, "the flow, other than the intended direction of flow of any foreign liquids, gases, or substances into the distribution system of a public water supply."
Backflow events can, and sometimes do, happen. In May of 2012, a backflow event occurred in the City of Boise which introduced bacterial contaminants into their water system due to a faulty backflow assembly. Dozens of people became ill as a result, some seriously enough to require hospitalization. Of the nearly 1100 assemblies tested in the City of Moscow in 2012, approximately 7% failed the initial test.
The protection of Moscow's water supply is of critical importance to both the City of Moscow and its citizens. If you have any questions about your irrigation system, or if you know that your irrigation system is not protected by a backflow prevention assembly and would like a list of licensed professionals who can install and test the appropriate assembly, please contact Ty Thompson at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 208.883.7111.