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RPZ ValvesOUR SERVICE EXPLAINED
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RPZ valves: RPZ Valve Testing, Installation & Maintenance
Integrated Compliance Services are a leading water hygiene services provider. As part of the comprehensive water hygiene & Compliance services we specialise in; our RPZ valve services include RPZ valve installation, RPZ maintenance and RPZ valve testing. RPZ testing should be carried out yearly.
You may require RPZ valve services as a part of yearly maintenance, after identification is required within a Legionella risk assessment, or as part of Legionella remedial works. Below, we have put together a guide to help you understand more about installation, testing and maintenance of RPZ valves and what to expect during RPZ testing.
What are RPZ valves?
An RPZ valve is a backflow device which is used in water systems. RPZ means Reduced Pressure Zone. An RPZ device is usually installed onto plumbing systems to protect the water we drink and rid it of impurities and pollution. The reason water can become contaminated is because when there is a backflow of water, there is then a risk of pollution because the water is allowed to flow back into the system where it came from.
RPZ valves are the safest and most reliable backflow prevention available.
What is Backflow of water?
Backflow of water is simply water flowing back into the system from which it originated. This can happen for a number of reasons including loss of water pressure in the plumbing system. Backflow of water poses one of the biggest risks of contamination to the mains water supply.
An RPZ valve is a cost-effective type of backflow protection device that prevents this from happening. Backflow can happen for a variety of reasons but the main reason is when there is a reduction of pressure and this pressure reduction allows contaminated water to enter into the drinking water supply. Reduced pressure zone valve assemblies are used to protect water supplies from contamination and pollution.
In some cases, if someone is using a large amount of water on the ground floor of a building water can be sucked back from the upper floors, this is known as backflow and will require the installation of an RPZ valve.
Commissioning and testing of an RPZ valve must be carried out by a Qualified and WRAS approved tester. Our team of Engineers are fully trained, WRAS approved and highly skilled in identifying corrective maintenance which might be required whist on site.
There are various methods which can be used in order to test RPZ valve assemblies. Our engineers are competent with all approaches. Integrated Compliance Services also ensures that all reporting and recording procedures are carried out.
How often do I need RPZ valve testing?
RPZ valve testing and maintenance should be carried out at least every 12 months. At Integrated Compliance Services, our qualified engineers carry out yearly testing. They also install new RPZ valves where appropriate. If you are unsure of which RPZ valve service you require, please contact the team for advice.
Water companies are required to monitor all RPZ valve installations in their designated water supply area. RPZ valve assemblies must be tested and certificated on an annual basis and our team of engineers at Water Hygiene Services are qualified to do this. You must then submit the certificate to your local water authority.
How do I control the risks from legionella in my water system?
The key point is to design, maintain and operate your water services under conditions that will either prevent or adequately control the risk from legionella bacteria. It is important that you either have, or have access to, competent help to fulfil these obligations.
If you identify a risk that you are unable to prevent, you must introduce appropriate controls. You should introduce a course of action that will help you to control any risks from legionella by describing:
- your system and its component parts eg developing a schematic diagram
- who is responsible for carrying out the assessment and managing its implementation
- the safe and correct operation of your system
- what control methods and other precautions you will be using
- what checks will be carried out to ensure risks are being managed and how often
You should where appropriate:
- ensure that the release of water spray is properly controlled
- avoid water temperatures and conditions that favour the growth of legionella and other micro-organisms
- ensure water cannot stagnate anywhere in the system by keeping pipe lengths as short as possible or by removing redundant pipe work
- avoid materials that encourage the growth of legionella (The Water Fittings & Materials Directory references fittings, materials, and appliances approved for use on the UK Water Supply System by the Water Regulations Advisory Scheme)
- keep the system and the water in it clean
- treat water to either control the growth of legionella (and other microorganisms) or limit their ability to grow.