Backflow device testing: Educating your customers

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Why are there negative perspectives on backflow testing?

Recently I’ve noticed some news articles about backflow prevention devices, and what stood out was the negative perspective that individuals have towards them. There’s several arguments that residential irrigation systems shouldn’t need to be tested more than once every few years. Why? Well, for one, it’s an expense that most customers don’t recognize as necessary. There’s no tax break from it–n  new pair of shoes to go along with getting a backflow device tested. No real gain

sprinkler head with water

However, there is a clear gain. Clean Water. The argument remains though that clean water doesn’t come from backflow prevention devices. In the end, prevention devices help to maintain it. A proactive approach to potable water is easier than waiting to react to polluted water.

If this is true, why is there push-back on having annual testing? More than likely, it’s just a lack of knowledge on the part of the customer’s…which isn’t entirely their fault. Even city officials are provided inaccurate information, which is then reiterated to the general public.  There are unfounded beliefs that surround backflow testing—that it only benefits the city or state government, that it has no real purpose, that it’s simply is an inconvenient way for irrigation and plumbing workers to have guaranteed work. On top of this, the plumbing trade is often taken for granted. For example, how many times have you heard someone say, “Well, I tried to fix it…” before they called a plumber? When backflow testing is a mandated action, it’s looked at as an inconvenience despite its benefit.

So what can you do?

If you’re testing backflow devices, you can educate your customers by letting them know exactly how it helps maintain a clean water system so that they can shower and drink tap water without ever batting an eye. You can also notify your customers long before they get city water notices, to remind them that you’ll be testing their device within a certain date range.

We know it can be a struggle to maintain a great relationship with a customer who doesn’t necessarily think your services are needed, so we’ve made a pdf you can print out or email to your customers with their invoices during this time of year. Keep it handy and you can send it out with test reminders in the Spring.

A Handout for educating your backflow customers

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