They’re not easy to steal. You’d probably have to wrap a chain around a tow hitch to yank a backflow prevention device out of the ground. But due to their scrap value, some people will find a way.
Imagine the cost
Not just the cost of the valve, but the labor — possibly at overtime or emergency rates — to replace it. And the downtime your company will experience until it’s replaced and your building or site has water flowing again. Average costs in the Central Valley are $1,500 and more in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Make it harder to find
If your landscaping permits it, plant shrubs around your backflow device so it will be less visible and tempting a target. But this will only work if the shrubs blend into your existing landscaping. A bunch of shrubs in the middle of the entrance way lawn is a dead giveaway.
Make it less worth their while
To discourage metal theft, paint your backflow prevention device. Paint devalues the metal. While Senate Bills 1387 and 1045 make it illegal, but some unscrupulous scrap dealers will still buy your stolen property.
Alternatively, build a locked, metal enclosure that is anchored to a concrete platform. This will slow down or convince potential thieves to look for an easier target. A locked enclosure can cost $500-$800 plus the cost of installation.