Having a backflow issue can cause serious financial burden upon the owners of a commercial property. In May of 2000 in a subdivision in Pineville, it was discovered that the drinking water supply had been contaminated with sewage. The people of this subdivision sued the city for the cost of damages including medical costs. The lawsuit ended up settling for around 1.2 million dollars. This settlement took almost three years to reach, however it did end in the favor of the families that were affected by the backflow issue.
This huge settlement was due to the lack of consistent backflow testing. If the area would have had a backflow test more often, then the damages would not have been so high. In this case the amount paid out to each family varies depending on the cost of medical care that the family accumulated.
Backflow testing is affordable for large commercial properties, it only costs a few thousand dollars to have a backflow device tested. If this property would have had a backflow prevention assembly tester come to the area and perform tests regularly, this disaster could have been avoided. One of the residents was quoted saying “I knew the one who made the mistake was not out to harm anyone”, however the fact remains that people were harmed. Due to the lack of testing, this disaster took place, it could have been easily prevented.
Since this disaster took place the city’s water and sewerage department has been reorganized in an effort to show residents that the city has done everything it can to prevent anything this extreme from happening again. With the right preventative measure, there should never be an accident of this magnitude again in this city.