Mains shut off valve

Some one tell me why this shut off valve is so close to the ground ??? You can not actually operate it without skinning your knuckles??? Also what is the purpose of the pressure regulator valve ?? Is it that the system can not handle mains pressure ?? or the pressure in this area is so high that this is required here??

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Looks like the pressure regulator is for the home and the irrigation system is not regulated. Common with larger yards or sprinkler systems. The area looks like it was backfilled with gravel, maybe as a non-freeze measure. So dig the area out and put a $5 plastic box around it.

What often happens is the neighborhood is built. The local utility gets the water pressure just right for the area.

Then a new neighborhood is built further up the road, or up the hill. The city increases the water pressure to push water to the new area. The first set of houses are then getting more water pressure than they can handle, so they need a regulator to deal with the increased pressure.

It’s pretty common to see.