What is an RPZ and Do You Need Yours Tested?

We would all agree how essential clean water is to our day-to-day functioning. From drinking water to running your washing machine, it is essential that your H2O be contaminant free. According to Illinois State Law and Illinois State Plumbing Code, Reduced Pressure Zones (i.e. RPZs) are back flow devices installed within the plumbing networks of all homes and commercial buildings furnished with in-ground irrigation systems, large boilers, in-ground swimming pools, and/or fire extinguishing sprinkler systems.

Believe it or not, impurities can enter all of these plumbing facets without notice. Fertilizers and pesticides can seep into your lawn’s irrigation system. Old boiler water or water within fire extinguishing sprinklers can sit stationary and collect bacteria or mineral buildup over time. If, for any reason, the water pressure in your home decreases below the pressure of your household systems, these contaminants have a chance of backing up into your drinking water.


A decrease or inconsistent level in water pressure can occur for several reasons. You may have a small leak, a local water main may break, the city may be conducting hydrant flushing or using a hydrant to extinguish a fire, or even the uneven usage of water within a neighborhood. All of these scenarios and more can be the cause of low, uneven water pressure in your home.

Luckily, when homes and businesses are equipped with functioning RPZ back flow valves, they open and expel the potentially impure water and prevent it from filtering into the property’s clean water supply. This not only protects you, but it also protects the surrounding neighborhood who also utilizes the same water source.

To ensure the operation of your back flow device, the law also mandates a yearly RPZ test. Luckily, J & R Herra specializes in this routine maintenance. We have multiple qualified individuals with Cross Connection Certification Licenses to administer the test and offer repairs where needed. Their experience and expertise in this area will ensure the proper water pressure and flow in your household/business plumbing network.

Give us a call today (630-365-6266) to discuss your specific setup, to schedule your next PRZ assessment, and to plan for your annual maintenance reminders.

Leave a Reply