Recognizing the Vital Role of Backflow Assemblies

Aug. 16 is National Backflow Prevention Day

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For the second year, National Backflow Prevention Day will be held on Aug. 16, recognizing the role of backflow prevention and cross-connection control and those who install, maintain, and test backflow preventers. 

It marks the day in 1933 when a backflow incident occurred at two Chicago hotels resulting in 98 deaths and 2,000 illnesses. The two hotels shared a rooftop water source for their potable water. On Aug. 16, both hotels were filled to capacity due to the Chicago World’s Fair. Unfortunately, unsafe cross connections led to a dysentery contamination in the shared water supply for the packed hotels.

Although backflow incidents have continued to be an issue in the United States, modern regulations and backflow assemblies have been crucial in preventing water safety disasters like what took place on Aug. 16, 1933. The incident led to the founding of the Foundation for Cross-Connection Control and Hydraulic Research and to new, safe plumbing regulations for backflow assemblies. 

Watts will mark the day by hosting a live-stream event on its YouTube channel focused on sustainability in backflow prevention.

To learn more about National Backflow Prevention Day and how to observe it, visit or


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