The city of Chicago approves aboveground enclosure. New backflow guidelines for Chicago are completed. The amendment, dated November 7, 2012, amends their fire line installation guidelines for non-residential, non-urban projects throughout the city. Separate from the wave of changes sweeping the country regarding domestic water from double-check (DC) backflow preventers to reduced pressure principle backflow preventers, this amendment maintains the DC and instead focuses on firefighter safety.
All new combination (fire and domestic) services shall require a domestic meter and an approved backflow device with bypass meter for the fire system. If these services are in excess of 50′ for 2 inches (15.25 m:50 mm) or 100′ for 3 inches (30.5 m:75 mm) they must meet the above requirement and shall require the backflow preventer to be installed in an aboveground heated enclosure “Hot box” located as close the property line as physically possible.
It may well be that this endorsement of the aboveground enclosure may soon spread to other cold weather cities. Long thought of as a dubious freeze-protection device by cold weather cities like Chicago, Cleveland, and Buffalo, some of these reluctant parties may be joining the fray. Buffalo and Rochester, New York claim to have new standard details underway that also specify this device as preferred methodology for containment backflow preventer installation. Will Cleveland be next?