courtesy of KENS 5 – by Brian New
SAN ANTONIO – Metal thieves have found a new lucrative target in San Antonio as local plumbers say they’ve noticed an increase in the number of brass backflow prevention valves stolen.
Thursday, the VA San Antonio Clinic off of Henderson Pass was without water for several hours as a new backflow valve was installed.
The night before the clinic’s old valve was stolen.
These valves, that are often found above ground, are used to keep contaminated water from going back into the city’s pipes.
However, thieves sell them as scrap metal.
Chris Boubel of Guarantee Plumbing said the victims of this new crime are often unsuspecting.
“At least fifty-percent of those that call us think they just have a water leak,” he said. “We show up and have to inform them that it’s not a leak, but you actually had your backflow devise removed.”
Boubel said a residential backflow that’s attached to a sprinkler system costs several hundred dollars to replace, while a larger commercial one can cost several thousand dollars.