Interesting. And I have written to the NYC utility commission to verify what you wrote. In this area there is a minimum $10,000.00 fine for anyone working on water, gas, or electric lines prior to the meter. This is a state law, not a local one. The fine can also applies if you break the line, but the utility has to do the repair and they never do it cheaply. The gas and water companies also do not encourage users turning off the water to the house at the meters themselves. In one area I know that the meters have an internal device that shuts off the service if the main valve is closed and then the utility has to be called to reset it.