fbpx Skip to main content
Category

backflow prevention theft

Backflow Prevention Devices Targeted by Thieves

By backflow prevention, backflow prevention theft No Comments

Local City Wide Plumber handles backflow prevention cages and backflow testing.

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:

  1. 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.
  2. Mount the cage to a cement pad.
  3. Stamp, label or identify the backflow preventer with a recognizable code or name.
  4. Paint the cage and the preventer to match the area around it so it blends in.
  5. 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.
  6. Set up cameras in the area to keep tabs on each device.
  7. 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

Protect Your Backflow!

By backflow cages, backflow device, backflow prevention theft, Gilbert Arizona, local news, Mesa Arizona, plumber No Comments

Recently there have been a rash of commercial irrigation and domestic water back-flow preventers stolen and sold for their scrap metal. While the scrap metal value for the brass and copper contained within these fittings is only about $50.00, day and night thieves are stealing as many as they can, sometimes twice from the same properties. Back-flow preventers are easily recognized, usually placed above ground along the street frontage for most commercial properties. The backflow preventer acts to prevent irrigation or other water from going back into the potable water source from the city in case of contamination. Most jurisdictions in Maricopa County have mandated the use of these valves in commercial buildings.

Thieves have posed as city employees wearing orange vests and have cut off the valve to the preventers using a battery powered sawzall. The whole process can take less than five to six minutes. These thefts have occurred in broad daylight and at prominent and visible locations. If yours is stolen, replacing it is very expensive and can cost as much as $2,000 to $4,000. Their removal will also interrupt water service for your property as well as create possible water damage caused by the water running uncontrolled through the open connection.

How to Protect Yourself

There is no perfect solution, but the following actions are being recommended by the ABPA, law enforcement, backflow installers, landscapers, and plumbing companies.

  1. Enclose your backflow valve(s) with a protective cage (if you haven’t already).
  2. Secure it with a tamper-proof lock (a “break-away” lock is easily opened and not recommended). In case of emergency, your maintenance crew should have a copy of the lock’s key.
  3. The cage should be securely mounted to the cement pad on the ground and painted a desert color to match landscape.
  4. Make sure the cage has lock guards to prevent their removal.
  5. Stamp, label, or identify the metal with a recognizable code or name of your own.
  6. Paint the unit with a desert color.
  7. Post a visible warning that there is video surveillance on the units. Also on the signs something to the effect of “theft and damage to this unit will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law”.
  8. Camouflage the unit by planting screening landscape a foot or so from the back-flow. This will make the unit less visible while still allowing for necessary maintenance access.
  9. Record model number and serial numbers of all backflow devices.
  10. Install a small wall to hide backflow devices.

The prices of the cages and installation vary according to design and size. We offer free estimates on all backflow products. For more information please call  480-966-8795.

Our plumbing experts are certified by the State of Arizona backflow device testers. ABPA membership number R1461.

 

It’s the Law: Before you dig, call Arizona Blue Stake!

By backflow cages, backflow device, backflow prevention theft, drain stoppages, freeze protection, Gilbert Arizona, local news, Mesa Arizona, Phoenix Plumbing, plumbing, plumbing tips, plumbing trouble, Slab Leaks No Comments

Arizona Blue Stake was established by utility owners as a one-call notification system to assist local homeowners and excavators in identifying the location of underground utilities to prevent damages to facilities.

Notify the Arizona Blue Stake Center at least two (2) working days (excluding weekends and legal holidays) before excavating to have all underground pipelines and facilities located and marked.

Calling 811 will help save lives and protect infrastructure. Knowing where underground utility lines are buried before each digging project begins helps protect you from personal injury, expense and penalties. There may be multiple utility lines in the same area at varying depths. Even simple digging projects can damage utility lines and disrupt vital services to an entire community. Having underground utilities located can help prevent undesired consequences

Wait for the project site to be marked by all utility owners. Once all utilities have been properly located, you are officially ready to dig.

Respect and protect the marks. Have utility lines re-marked if initial markings are more than fifteen (15) days old.

Use caution when digging. Always hand dig within two feet of either side of any marked line. Some utility lines may be buried at a shallow depth, and an unintended shovel

Be Aware utility companies may not mark where the line continues into your property (anything on your property is considered privately owned and maintained.

If damage occurs, notify the appropriate facility owner IMMEDIATLY.

Each marking represents the location of the underground facilities and the color represents the type of utility (gas, water, electric, communication, etc…). These marks are temporary and fade with time.

White– proposed excavation

Pink– Temporary Survey

Red– Electric, traffic signals and street lights

Yellow– natural gas, petroleum, nitrogen, butane, and propane.

Orange– Communication, cable television, fiber optics

Blue water systems, slurry pipes, irrigation and wells

Purple– reclaimed water

Green– Sanitary Sewer Systems

 

There is a penalty for failure to comply. Owners of underground facilities must locate and mark all their facilities at that location within 48 hours. Failure to do so could result in a fine of up to $ 5000. You or a contractor cannon begin excavating until all utilities have been marked or be subject to a maximum fine of $ 5000.

 

Information courtesy of:

Arizona Blue Stake

Arizona Corporation Commission

City of Mesa

City of Scottsdale

 

 

Call 480-966-8795

Call Now Button