I used to get very mucky turning a customer's water off from the street in an emergency but not since I bought this tool, ace. Very often water stop cocks are protected from frost by infilling the chamber with soil, tarmec or whatever and i used to dig it out, not any more. I just wind this into the mess until I feel the tap and robert is your father's brother. A good length and a blade one end of the handle in case you forgot your screwdriver to lever the lids off. Worth having.
Also consider the draper or monument inspection cover tools, they are very useful too.