Recent increase in Backflow Preventer Theft

Rowland Water District has recently been experiencing an increase of backflow preventer assembly theft. These assemblies are located near your properties water meter, near buildings, and on private fire service’s. The assemblies contain brass components, which can be sold for scrap or melted down. Cost to replace or repair stolen assemblies is the customer’s responsibility. In addition to cost and nuisance of replacing a stolen backflow assembly, you could potentially be without water until the backflow equipment is replaced, inspected, and certified. Although there is no perfect solution to eliminate the theft of the units, the following actions are being recommended by law enforcement, landscapers, and plumbers:

– Enclose your backflow assemblies with a protective cage securely mounted to the ground. (RWD requires enclosures on devices 2” and below)
– Secure assemblies with a non-tamperproof lock. In case of emergency, your maintenance crew should have a copy of the lock’s key.
– Post a visible warning sign with something to the effect of: “Theft and damage to this unit will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
– Inform your onsite building management, security or other staff of the problem and make sure they keep an eye out for thieves. It is also a good idea to inform your tenants so they can contact you should they see something suspicious near these assemblies.

If you experience assembly theft or require further information, please contact RWD Backflow Prevention Department (562) 383-2350.