National Backflow Prevention Day day commemorates the tragic backflow incident on the same day which occurred at the 1933 Chicago World’s Fair.
The plumbing industry has rallied around this day to assist in recognizing and honoring backflow preventers – the professionals who ensure our available water supply is free of toxins, waste and harmful chemicals. The holiday aims to spread awareness about the importance of backflow prevention and how the technology is used.
The first backflow incident
It was the summer of 1933. Visitors traveled from points near and far to attend the World’s Fair in Chicago. A water supply was shared by two major hotels that were filled to capacity with tourists. Unaware of the dangerous cross-connections in their plumbing system, the two hotels unknowingly allowed amoebic dysentery to spread prolifically throughout their rooms, contaminating the water consumed by their guests.
200 people became severely ill, and 98 of them ultimately lost their lives. This tragic story continues to be a driving factor in backflow innovation. As Watts engineers each new generation of valve, and each new connected feature, we remember that backflow prevention saves lives.
What is National Backflow Prevention Day? National Backflow Prevention Day is a day dedicated to the celebration of backflow prevention and cross-connection control. Backflow preventers are the unsung heroes of water safety as they often go unnoticed, yet play a crucial role in supplying clean and safe water all over the world. Without backflow prevention, people would face the risk of consuming water with toxins, chemicals, waste, and countless other contaminants.
Why is this day being celebrated or observed? The purpose of National Backflow Prevention Day is to acknowledge the importance of backflow prevention, educate the public on how this life-saving technology is used, and to recognize the water quality professionals responsible for installing and maintaining backflow preventers.
How should this day be celebrated or observed? Celebrate National Backflow Prevention day by participating in the following:
- Thank your local plumber or water quality professional for their work;
- Attend official National Backflow Prevention Day virtual events;
- Locate a backflow preventer in your community, and share an image of it on social media; and
- Share images of your own backflow and cross-connection installs on social media.