Most water services have a curb stop box (pictured above) on the street side of the meter pit (or near the front property line for inside meters). The cover for the curb stop is usually a 3-inch to 4-inch diameter disk, with a tube extending downward to a valve that is about 4 ½ to 6 feet deep. This valve helps the property owner and the district control the water flow if there is a leak in the service line or plumbing on the property. To serve its purpose, the stop box must be level with the ground around it and accessible to district operators.
There must be at least 2 to 5 feet of space around the stop box free of shrubbery, walls, or other obstructions that would interfere with turning the valve key. Maintenance of the stop box and valve are the responsibility of the property owner.
Over time, curb stop valves will wear out and become hard to operate, or the operating nut will break off. District operators have encountered several instances where they were unable to shut off customers’ water due to issues with their curb stop valve. It is the customer’s responsibility to assure the curb stop box is clean and accessible so your water can be easily shut off in the event of an emergency. If the district is unable to operate the valve, the homeowner will need to have it replaced or fixed by a licensed plumber.
While doing landscape projects, be sure the meter pit and curb stop lids remain exposed, level with the ground, and outside any fences or walls. Never put rocks, flower pots or other objects on the curb stop box and meter.