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Here is the overall view of the valve access box: valve access box The valve is turned off because the pipe directly after the valve has come loose from the valve. I'd like to repair this, but I'm not sure what the grey/brown piece just below the valve is: grey/brown piece just below the valve Here are a few more shots of the side and the cap on the part that sticks down: Side cap

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    That looks like a part used in draining the line. Either it is opened to drain the line or is a place to apply air pressure to blow out the lines to the watering heads. – Michael Karas Sep 24 '17 at 21:20
12

That is a strainer wye. There is a metal mesh filter in there to trap sediment/debris; it can be removed and cleaned as necessary.

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2

It looks like a backflow preventer. Its purpose is to prevent the water in the irrigation system from being drawn into and contaminating your house hold water supply. If the water pressure to your home were to drop the pressurized water in the pipe could flow into your home.

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    I agree it looks like a check valve but it could also be a strainer pull the plug if there is a shaft it is a check valve a screen that is tubular it is a strainer. – Ed Beal Sep 24 '17 at 23:09
2

It's an old Zurn Wilkins backflow preventer. They're still in business.

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