Backflow Prevention Assemblies in Fire Protection Systems

Fire protection systems served with potable water usually require a backflow prevention assembly to be installed to protect the potable water supply. However, the installation of a backflow prevention assembly in a fire protection system can cause issues that need to be recognized and addressed for the system to operate properly. The type of backflow prevention, physical location, type of control valves, friction loss, forward flow test requirements, and supervision of the control valves need to be addressed during the design phase of the project. Failure to confront these issues may cause project delays, cost overruns, and systems that do not comply with the installation standards. Changes to NFPA 13 (2022): Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems that affect backflow prevention assemblies will be presented in this session.


John August Denhardt is Vice President of Engineering and Technical Services for AFSA. He is responsible for strengthening AFSA’s engineering and technical approaches to meeting member, industry, and operational priorities, with an emphasis on service, quality, and integrity. Denhardt is a Professional Engineer (PE) registered in the District of Columbia as well as Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. He is a NICET Level III in Automatic Sprinkler System Layout and Inspection and Testing of Water-Based Systems and an NFPA Certified Water-Based Systems Professional (CWBSP). A native of Maryland, Denhardt holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Fire Protection Engineering from the University of Maryland in College Park. He is a member of the NFPA 13  Sprinkler Discharge Committee, a Fellow in the Society of Fire Protection Engineers, and sits on the University of Maryland Department of Fire Protection Engineering’s Board of Visitors.


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