How to Turn Off Your Water

Turning off water at the meter
Utility technicians use a meter valve key tool to operate the meter, available at local hardware stores. Another option: keep a crescent wrench and screwdriver inside the meter box for easy access in an emergency.

If a water pipe in your home or yard breaks, do you know how to shut off the water to avoid flooding?

Most homes have a shut-off valve inside, typically in a basement or garage. If you don't have one, it's recommended to install. But in an emergency, and in case your underground water pipe breaks, you should know how to turn off your water at the water meter safely.

Locate your water meter and shut off valve:

Water meters, owned and maintained by the City of Bellevue, are located in a small meter box in the ground near the street or edge of the property.

Look for a white stripe six- to eight-inches long painted on the curb. Crews use this stripe to quickly find the shutoff during emergencies. The water meter and shut-off valve are both located inside the meter box.

Can't find your water meter? Call us at 425-452-7840 for help.

To shut off your water at the meter:

Suggested tools to turn off water at the meter
  • Grab your tools. An adjustable wrench and screwdriver work well. You can also purchase a meter valve key from local hardware stores.
  • Carefully lift the meter box lid.
  • Locate the meter shut off valve (you may need to dig around dirt - used for insulation).
  • Carefully turn the valve CLOCKWISE 90 degrees (see graphic at right)

Need help? Call us 24/7 in emergencies:

If you can't locate or operate the water meter safely, contact us at 425-452-7840. Crews are ready to assist 24/7 in emergency situations.

Please maintain safe and direct access to your water meter. By eliminating obstructions such as overgrown vegetation, gravel and parked vehicles, meter readers will be able to read the meter more easily, and it will be easier to turn off your water in the event of an emergency.