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These systems pose particular hazards whether they are at residential or commercial locations.  The sprinkler heads, while usually acting as exit points for the distribution of water to the lawn, can act as entrances for contamination as well.  Because the heads are at ground level, they are subject to applications of fertilizers and pesticides, and infiltration by parasites and bacteria.  Without any type of protection, a backflow event could easily draw contaminates in through the sprinkler heads, through the irrigation piping system, and into the potable water distribution system.

• A pressure vacuum breaker may be used for irrigation systems with no injector pumps.

• A reduced pressure assembly is required for irrigation systems with injector pumps.


Depending on the type of irrigation system: Air Gaps, Vacuum Breakers (Pressure, hose or atmospheric depending on the application), or Reduced Pressure Assemblies are required to isolate the irrigation system from the potable water system.

A plumbing permit is required to install lawn irrigation sprinkler systems. Contact Lafayette Consolidated Codes Division at (337) 291-8461 to obtain permits.

How Clean is Your Drinking Water? (Video)