You may have seen something like this around town (see picture on right).
This is a backflow.
The City of Merced, Public Works Department and Inspection Services Department are currently reviewing all commercial businesses utilizing City water to determine if a “Backflow Prevention Assembly” is required pursuant to the California Administrative Code (Title 17-Public Health) and City of Merced Municipal Code (MMC) Section 15.32.080.
Backflow prevention assemblies are required to protect the City’s water source from the possibility of contaminated water back flowing (reverse flow) into the City’s public water system.
Public Works will notify customers if a backflow assembly is required and a deadline will be established to complete the installation and testing of each device. Certain categories of businesses require backflow assemblies as listed under Title 17-Public Health.
Owners of properties that require backflows are responsible for ensuring a backflow is installed, tested (at least once in every twelve-month period or more often if conditions warrant), and maintained in proper working order. Repairs to each assembly unit that have failed inspection and/or identified as needing repair before a test date shall be corrected by the customer within the prescribed three (3) day period, pursuant to MMC Section 15.32.090-Valve Inspections-Responsibility.
Any questions regarding the type of backflow device should be referred to the City of Merced, Public Works, Water Division Supervisor at (209) 385-6800.