American Water Receives Grant for Backflow Monitoring Project

American Water recently announced that it received a grant from the Water Research Foundation to conduct a joint research project with Utah State University to measure the frequency of backflow through residential water meters.

The project is titled, ?Case Studies to Identify Occurrence, Accuracy and Causative Factors of Reverse Flow as Measured by Meters.? The total value of the project is $648,480, with $265,200 funded by the Water Research Foundation and $383,280 in-kind contribution from the research partners and participating utilities. American Water will directly receive $202,000 to pay for research costs.

?We are pleased that the Water Research Foundation has provided the opportunity to examine this important research topic,? said Dr. Orren Schneider, senior environmental engineer for American Water?s Innovation and Environmental Stewardship department. ?By examining and quantifying the rate of residential backflow occurrence, we will be better able to determine if there are any associated public health risks. This project will also enable us to develop methods to monitor and fix the causes of these backflow events.?

Typically, water flows from the water distribution pipe through the water meter into residential premises.? ?Backflow? occurs when the water flows backwards through the meter from the home into the drinking water system. Backflow is a concern because any contaminants in the household plumbing could be drawn back into the drinking water system.?

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