Wednesday, May 29, 2013
WHAT BACKFLOW PROTECTION IS REQUIRED ON A WATER POWERED SUMP PUMP?
QUESTION: We have a plumber that is a certified backflow device tester, working for a customer with a water operated sump pump. Currently there is a RPZ on the sump pump feed line. The plumber wants to install a double check device in place of the RPZ, he claims the rule has changed and this is a low risk installation. We don't agree. Can we require the RPZ? Has there been a change in the program making this a low risk installation??????????????? BACKFLOW COMMITTEE REPLY: The State of Illinois Plumbing Code does not specifically address water powered sump pumps. An Illinois-based battery backup sump pump manufacturer advertises heavily that an RPZ is required, as they want the customer to buy their product verses a water powered pump. The Backflow Committee has also discussed this topic on numerous occasions. The stance of the IDPH is that ground water is not a high hazard and a vented dual check valve is acceptable backflow protection for a water powered sump pump. Note however that being the water purveyor, you can still require an RP at the pump or at the water meter. State standards are a minimum and you have a right to enforce stricter regulations as long as you have it written in an ordinance, policy manual, or similar.