The Collier County Water Department is required to protect the public water supply from potential hazards on your premises; therefore, a backflow prevention device either already has or will be installed at your meter. This device prevents water from flowing backwards through the water meter and into the County water mains (and into your neighbor's home), A backflow, or backsiphonage, through the meter could occur if water from another source was connected to the publicly supplied water system or if the pressure in the County's system drops due to a large fire or water main break. Since the County cannot possibly be responsible for or monitor the use of water on your property, the requirements for cross-connection control programs have become a necessity to ensure safe drinking water.
Change in Your Plumbing System:
Before the installation of the backflow preventer, your premises plumbing system had opererated as an "open" system. Water expands when heated in your hot water heater, which is called "thermal expansion." Water is not compressible and when heated it expands. In the "past" that was a problem. The public water main provided a "cushion" that absorbed pressure that built up in your plumbing system caused by water expansion. The expanding water just backed up into the water main. Presently, your Water Department is installing a backflow preventer at your meter. The purpose is to prevent any contamination of the county water by problems on your property. This makes your plumbing operated as a "closed" system and when the water expands as it is heated it has no place to go causing the pressure relief valve to open and discharge water in the immediate area of your hot water heater. If this becomes an issue for you, it is recommended that you add an expansion tank as a proper solution.
The Ordinance requires all backflow prevention assemblies be a minimum of 12 inches to a maximum of 30 inches above the final finished grade which allows the relief valve to dump when there is a build up of pressure from the residence. You may put plants around to help camouflage these devices but the Ordinance requires a minimum of 3 feet from the device and on three side only. Please keep in mind that our Utility technicians need access to your meter and backflow device for proper maintenance. We ask that you avoid such plants that have thorns or any sharp aperture that could cause injury.
These devices are installed and maintained by Collier County. The only cost to the homeowner is the cost of labor and parts to replace the backflow device damaged, for example, by lawn maintenance or a vehicle running over it. In the event that you see the backflow device steadily leaking or any other questions or concerns, please call the Water Distribution Office.
Collier County Water Distribution
Collier County Backflow Valve
ARCHITECTURAL REVIEW BOARD (ARB) INFORMATION ON BACK FLOW VALVES
In addition to knowing your responsibilities with regard to these devices, you should also be aware that our covenants restrict the ways in which you are permitted to hide or camouflage them.
Since the Board of Directors has ruled that in accordance with covenants 7.6 and 7.12 Decorative Lawn Structures are not permitted, you may not use any form of fencing or artificial decoration (such as a fake rock) to hide these devices, regardless of what Collier County may permit. Instead, it is suggested that you use shrubs, gravel or other forms of decorative edging to protect the device from accidental damage. If using shrubs, be certain to leave an opening on one side of at least three feet (3 ft) and an additional eighteen inches (18") on the other three sides for access by Collier Water maintenance and testing personnel.
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