How To Look At A House
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site-built, mobile/manufactured and modular homes
Why is the cover plate of some water meter boxes in the ground painted purple?
Monday, June 18, 2018
The American Public Utilities Association (AWPA) has established a uniform color code standard for marking underground utilities. It is used for the tiny flags you see along the side of the road to mark location of utilities below, along with the spray paint markings on the ground where future work is planned. Red indicates electrical, orange is telecommunications, yellow means natural gas, green denotes sewer lines, and so forth.
It is also used for meter boxes. Purple means reclaimed water and the tops of boxes for recycled water are often painted purple to distinguish them from the meters for drinking water. Blue is the color used for drinking water, and you may also see meter boxes painted blue. But, in our area, usually only the reclaimed water boxes are painted to differentiate them. By the time you see one, the color will likely have faded in the sun to something more like lavender.
The in-ground boxes for sprinkler system solenoid controls may also be purple if they are using reclaimed water. Some boxes will even have an embossed marking like the one shown below.
To understand the standards for reclaimed water, see our blog post What is the difference between regular tap water and recycled/reclaimed water for landscape irrigation?
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