I had a leak in my yard and when I dug up the mud to figure out the problem, I found that somebody had buried the pipe/riser(?) for accessing the shutoff valve right on top of my water line. I was further actually quite surprised to find the shutoff buried there in the first place because there was no indication that the shutoff valve even existed.

My question is what do you call the metal tube that you would open up and run the curb key down in order to shut off the water? It reminds me of a round irrigation control box, but none of the things that I have googled have turned up what I found buried. It has a pentagonal bolt on top to keep joe schmo from opening the tube and I would like to get a new one that is slightly shorter than the one I unburied because the buried one would stick about 3 inches out of my yard.

  • 1
    I had a problem with the same tube being below grade level. I called the water company and they came and raised it for free, and said that it was their responsibility.
    – d.george
    Jun 15, 2017 at 10:18
  • I'm jealous. My local water company told me "tough luck. It's on your side of the meter." They didn't say those exact words, but that was the sentiment from several different phone calls.
    – Secundus
    Jun 15, 2017 at 15:38
  • Now that you know the right term, it might be worth calling the utility again. If you were referring to it as the 'main shutoff' they may've assumed you meant the one in your house. I would really think this is their responsibility, as there's nowhere upstream of this to shutoff your supply without shutting off a substantial number of homes. Might be worth seeing if they will send someone out to look at it.
    – Drew
    Jun 15, 2017 at 17:39
  • They came out and looked, which is what led to the initial problems. I have a shutoff right at my meter, and this was actually a second shut off that I found buried in the yard when the pipe that was connected to it broke. In the hole I dug to figure out the leak, I found a metal version of this pipe, but as it's all "on my side of the meter" they said I have to deal with it.
    – Secundus
    Jun 16, 2017 at 0:57

2 Answers 2


In my locale they are called

Water Pipe Stop Tap Chamber

Picture of water pipe stop tap chamber

  • Thank you! all of the answers were helpful, but seeing one that lets me build whatever length is needed really took the gold.
    – Secundus
    Jun 15, 2017 at 15:27

I recently had a similar problem fixed; the city called this a curb stop valve.

Alternate reference (using the terms "curb valve" and "sidewalk valve"): http://www.harriswatermainandsewers.com/news/article/water-line-curb-valve-sidewalk-valve-how-they-function

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