Scrappers, thieves who steal metal objects and turn them in for scrap metal, are now targeting backflow prevention devices in area.
Backflow preventers are placed above the ground, usually along the street fronts, and tie into water supply lines to keep clean water flowing into homes and businesses around town. When backflow preventers are removed from water lines without warning, contaminated water can flow into your home or business, making water unsafe to use in any way, even watering your garden.
According to police reports, these scrappers cut open the metal cages around the valves to remove the backflow prevention device, a process that takes approximately 5-6 minutes. Thefts happen mostly at night and in areas like business and apartment complexes, and motels. They have most recently been targeting Tempe, Mesa, Ahwatukee, and Phoenix, Arizona.
Because a new backflow prevention device costs between $2,000-$4,000 and replacement is absolutely necessary to maintain water safety for your business, here are some ways to protect your building:
- Enclose your backflow prevention device with a cut-proof cage and secure it with a tamper-proof lock. Make sure your maintenance crew has the key.
- Mount the cage to a cement pad.
- Stamp, label or identify the backflow preventer with a recognizable code or name.
- Paint the cage and the preventer to match the area around it so it blends in.
- Plant a screen of greenery and/or a fence to camouflage the devices, making them more difficult to see from the road and passers-by.
- Set up cameras in the area to keep tabs on each device.
- Post a visible warning to would-be thieves, telling them that there is video surveillance on the devices.
Do you still have questions? Contact your local City Wide Plumber and let the pros do it for you. 480-966-8795