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Water is usually transported from the source to the treatment plant (if there is one), and onward to the area of
distribution. Depending on the topography and local conditions, the water may be conveyed through free-
flow conduits, pressure conduits or a combination of both. The transmission of water is either by gravity or
by pumping.
Free-flow conduits must be laid under a uniform slope in order to follow closely the hydraulic grade line.
Pressure pipelines can be laid up- and down-hill as needed, as long as they remain a sufficient distance below
the hydraulic grade line.
The main purposes of the construction of water transmission and distribution pipelines are:
to make water available in close proximity to the consumers
to supply water in adequate quantities according to the demand of the consumers
to supply water with adequate pressure
to regulate water supply as per requirement.
Water transmission conduits, whether free-flow or under pressure require a considerable capital investment.
50-70% of the capital investments in the water industry is used for the pipes and fittings in the system of
water transport and distribution. For this reason, the standardization of materials and equipment is very
important. Some of the benefits of standardization are:
It allows the engineer to be precise in drafting specifications during the design phase.
The problems in operation and maintenance are reduced since repairs can be made using materials with
similar properties.
Product variety is reduced since specific quality levels are guaranteed for specific products.
Standardization gives the manufacturer the assurance that the required level is fixed and valid for all.
Standardization exists for all pipe fittings, materials, appurtenances (e.g. valves, fire hydrants, stopcocks, etc)
and for all parts of drinking water installations such as taps, water meters, etc.
The availability of materials for pipes and drinking water installations in a given location will depend partly
on the history. Some of the materials available for service pipes and drinking water installations are
polyvinyl chloride (PVC), medium density polyethylene, high-density polyethylene, copper, galvanized iron
and steel. In Uganda, the most commonly used pipe materials are ductile iron (DI), steel, galvanised steel
(G.S.), asbestos cement (A.C), unplasticised polyvinyl chloride (UPVC) and Polyethylene (P.E).
Pipes can be classified according to rigidity or permissible working pressures. The most common type of
classing is by permissible working pressure. For example class A to D pipes can withstand working pressures
of 10-150 m water column (0.1 1.5 Mpa). For a given material, the permissible working pressure will
depend on the average wall thickness. The selection of suitable pipe materials for a project is based on
technical and financial considerations. The factors that should be considered are:
Availability on the market in respect of lengths, sizes (diameters) and pressure classes
Cost price and that of associated valves and fittings
Mechanical properties of the soil and its aggressivity
The susceptibility to corrosion, mechanical damage, ageing and other causes of material
Ease of delivery and maintenance
Compatibility with the existing materials
Local weather conditions, for example, UPVC pipes can easily crack at high temperatures
Storage costs
Note: That the same factors apply for pipe fittings.
There are two main layouts of a distribution network:
1. Branched System
Lines to consumers
a) Trees

Main line

b) Parallels

2. Looped (or grid) configuration

a) Connections b) Loops

3.3.1 Advantages and disadvantages of Branched systems

Branched systems are associated with the following advantages:
Branched systems are simpler and cheaper to construct i.e. the length of pipe required is usually less.
Easy for hydraulic design and determining discharge and pressure at any point
Can be easily expanded to provide coverage to newly developed areas
However, branched systems have the following disadvantages:
Stagnant water, particularly at dead-ends, promotes sedimentation and water contamination, which can
occasionally result into odour problems
The reliability of the supplies in branched systems is low
The chances of contamination are higher since during repair works, a large section of the network is
Frequent blow-off or flushing is needed to keep the system clean.
Future expansions are likely to cause pressure problems; therefore it is not suitable in areas where
future expansion is envisaged.
3.3.2 Advantages and disadvantages of Grid systems
Grid systems are associated with the following advantages:
No stagnation of water, consumption of water at any point activates flow in the whole network
It has a higher reliability in case of breakdown in the network i.e., there is continuity of water supply
anywhere in the system despite any repair work to a main or sub-main
The system provides very good control over flow of water.

However, grid systems have the following disadvantages:

The design of the grid system is complex due to inability to tell the direction of water flow.
The system requires a relatively high initial cost
A large number of valves is needed, if control of flow in the system is desired.
In the design of networks, we want to meet the objectives. The objectives of the water supply network
system are:
To ensure continuity of the supply to all consumers of water with sufficient pressure, quality and
To ensure water supply at acceptable costs
In a water supply system, pressure is essential for reasons of transmission and hygiene. Pressure problems
may be caused by
Insufficient design
Inferior material quality
Unskilled workman ship
Lack of maintenance
Lack of pressure may result in an inadequate supply of possible contaminated drinking water. This
contamination with groundwater takes place mainly through the pipe joints and is caused by lack of
sufficient counter pressure in the water mains. This means that to maintain potability, pressure must be
sustained throughout the entire transport and distribution system.
3.4.1 Components of the Water Transport and Distribution System
Transmission line or trunk main: This is the pipeline for the transport of treated water from the
treatment plant to the distribution reservoir or distribution pumping system or in general to the
distribution area.
The main pipeline or distribution main: This transports treated water from the distribution pumping
station/reservoir to the various parts of the distribution area
Service pipe: This is the pipe from the main pipe directly either to a public standpipe, to a yard
connection or to a house connection (dwelling).
Public stand post/standpipe/Hydrant: This is a public and communal water point where a service pipe
from the distribution network terminates in one/more taps.
Yard connection: This is a connection where a service pipe terminates into one or more taps in a private
water point within a yard of a dwelling or a small number of dwellings.
House connection: This is a connection where a service pipe from the distribution network terminates at
a stop cock/meter of a private domestic installation within a dwelling.
Drinking water installation/Plumbing system/Domestic installation: This includes all piping; tap
points and appliances within a dwelling under the responsibility of a private consumer. The distribution
mains generally together with service pipes and drinking water installations form a single system known
as the distribution network system (Figure 1). Where, however, a transmission line does not
end/terminate into a distribution reservoir or pumping system, this pipe too forms part of the distribution
network system.
Service pipe
Water treatment Pumping
plant station
Yard connection
Transmission line Distribution line

Figure 1: Distribution network Tap

3.4.2 Pressure head

In Public Health Engineering, it is common practice to express water pressures in units of meters water
column, m.w.c, (instead of kilo pascals), where 1 m.w.c = 9.81 kPa. This makes the comparison of water
pressures with the heights of dwellings, hills and elevated reservoirs very easy. In water supply, flow in a
closed conduit/full bore flow is considered to be 'pressure flow', and the energy level at any point in the
conduit or pipe can be expressed in terms of head (m) of water.
Pressure distribution in gravity transmission mains

Source/ piezom
Reservoir etric li h = hL * L


D (Diameter of pipe)

Pressure distribution in pumped transmission mains

e line

S = Pressure gradient

Pressure in m.w.c
Hmin above street level



The following components determine the pressure requirement, Hrequired at the pumping station. In general,
the pressure applied to the water at the pumping station should be sufficient to maintain the minimum
pressure requirement throughout the entire distribution system.
Hstatic is the pressure representing the difference in elevations between the highest point in the
distribution system and the pumping station. It may be either positive or negative.
Hmin is the required minimum pressure at any point in the distribution system. It usually ranges
between 5-25 m.w.c.
Hfriction is the pressure that is needed to compensate for the energy losses between the pumping
station and the point that determines the static head; Hfriction(water demand)2 that is HfrictionQ2
Hrequired is the required pressure at the pumping station and is given as Hrequired = Hstatic + Hmin +
Hfriction. This required head is the minimum pressure that should be delivered by the pump to satisfy
Hactual is the actual operating pressure caused by the pumps. This pressure is determined by the pump
characteristics. The pumps need to be selected such that for any given discharge, the actual pressure
delivered by the pumps is at least equal to Hrequired.
HOperational is the difference between Hactual and Hrequired. This pressure signifies the increase of pressure in the
network above Hmin.
Note: In gravity flow water distribution systems, static pressures should be kept as low as possible,
by breaking the pressure preferably in the storage (balancing) reservoirs or in special break-pressure
tanks. Pressure reducing valves are not recommended except in exceptional cases.
3.4.3 Hydraulic formulae for network calculations Energy Losses in the Mains
Energy is applied to the drinking water present in the network by means of pumps in case of pumped systems
and by gravity in gravity flow systems. The liquid mass is thereby rendered capable of flow. However, the
flowing liquid encounters all kinds of resistance along the wall and in bends and connections (e.g., T-and U-
bends etc), whereby energy is transformed into heat and sound. In addition, there are a number of flow
measuring appliances and valves to form additional obstacles in the system. And last but not least the
internal condition of the system is not uniform: there are corrosion products and deposits of different origin,
shape and size.
All the energy losses in the liquid can be ascribed to just two kinds of loss, friction and inertial loss. There
are many formulae for calculating the friction losses in the pipes, but the most commonly used are those of
Darcy-Weisbach and Hazen-Williams. Friction loss can be calculated with the aid of these formulae for any
pipe, whether it is a transmission line or a pipe in a drinking water installation. Friction loss in transmission
lines and distribution mains is determined chiefly by the length of the pipes. Inertial loss, on the other hand,
depends on the presence of bends, kinks, changes of diameter and appendages in the pipes. In brief, inertial
loss is caused by all kinds of obstacles.
Note: Friction plays the predominant part in calculating energy losses in transmission lines and distribution
mains. However, when calculating energy losses in drinking water installations, inertial losses are
comparable to friction losses. This is because installations have restricted length and relatively more
obstacles. Flow Formulae
In this section, some background information on the most common formulae for network calculations is
presented. The equation defines the relationship between the flow rates and the pressure head losses in a
a) Darcy-Weisbach
The Darcy-Weisbach equation is from the theoretical point of view the most recommended for calculating
head loss by pipe friction. This equation states:
L 2
h f . ..eqn 3.1
D 2g
h f = the loss of pressure head, due to friction in m over a pipe section with length L (or hL.L)
= the friction coefficient of the considered pipe section (synonymous with f-American or 4f-
early British system) is dimensionless and is determined by the type of flow
L = the length travelled between the two points of the considered pipe section in m
D = the diameter of the considered pipe section in m
= velocity head in m.
Q Q h f
Substituting V and introducing the pressure gradient (slope) S , the formula may
A 0.25D 2
be written as S 0.0826.. 5 eqn 3.1a
The friction coefficient can be calculated by the following formula, derived by Colebrook
1 k 2.51
2 log .eqn 3.2
3.71D Re
D/k = relative wall roughness
D = pipe diameter in mm
k = wall roughness, also referred to as the absolute roughness of the inner pipe wall in mm
Re = Reynolds number (dimensionless)

The Reynolds number indicates the flow regime:

Where: = the mean velocity in the pipe (m/s), D = pipe diameter in m,
= kinematic viscosity in m2/s.
Finally, the kinematic viscosity is dependent on the water temperature. For T in 0C
497 * 10 6
(T 42.5)1.5
Note: The Colebrook-White equation (eqn 3.2) is developed for a turbulent flow regime, i.e., Re-values
above 4000. The common values in practice are much higher, typically in the order of 10 4 and 105. If by
chance, the flow is laminar (Re<2000), the friction factor, , will be calculated as: 64 / Re .

Calculation using the Colebrook-White equation is not straight forward, as the - factor appears on both
sides of it (eqn. 3.2). The alternative formula of Barr can be used instead:
1 k 2.51289
2 log eqn 3.3
3.71D Re 0.89
To by-pass somewhat cumbersome computations, the work can also be facilitated by use of the Moody
diagram, hydraulic tables or pie charts. These tables/charts, which are produced for certain water
temperatures and k-values, show the velocities (flows) for a range of pipe diameters and hydraulic gradients.
Any of the three parameters (, D/K and Re) can be determined by fixing the other two.


0.04 D/k=100

Laminar dra
0.02 uli D/k=2000
c sm

103 104 105 106 107

Figure 1. The Moody-diagram for the determination of the friction coefficient, from the Reynolds
number Re and the relative wall-roughness D/k.

For pipe velocities between 0.5 and 2 m/s, and pipe diameters between 0.115 m and 1.0 m, the Reynolds
number is between 105 and 106 (turbulent flow). As may be seen from Figure 1, the coefficient for these
values of Re is mostly determined by the relative wall roughness D/k and is hardly influenced by the value of
The pressure gradients can also be read from the graphs and nomogrammes, where the relationship between
pressure gradient, flow rate and diameter is shown for the predetermined values of the wall roughness k and
the temperature. Figure 2 shows an example of such a nomogramme.

Figure 2: The relationship between flow rate, diameter and pressure gradient

The wall roughness k, normally expressed in mm, is a pipe material constant, and a measure of the hydraulic
roughness of the internal pipe wall. The value for the roughness may be obtained from the manufacturers'
data sheets or from the handbooks. In internally unprotected steel and cast-iron pipes, the wall roughness
usually increases with age, as corrosion and formation of incrustations on the pipes takes place. Furthermore,
it has to be noted that in all pipe materials, precipitation may occur and microbiological slime layers may
develop, especially in raw water transmission lines.
b) The Hazen-Williams Formula
The Hazen-Williams formula is simpler, although less accurate than the Darcy-Weisbach formula. This
formula states, for SI-units;
0.355Chw D 0.63 S 0.54 eqn 3.4
Where = the mean velocity in the pipe (m/s),
Chw = the Hazen-Williams friction coefficient
D = pipe diameter in m
S = pressure gradient (dimensionless)

10.26 Q 1.85
4.87 or S
h f 10.26
C 1.85 D 4.87
C D hw
Where: h f = the loss of pressure head, due to friction in m over a pipe section with length L
S = pressure gradient
Chw = the Hazen-Williams friction coefficient
Q = flow in m3/s
D = pipe diameter in m.
Note: This formula compares quite well with the Darcy-Weisbach equation: S 0.0826.. (eqn 3.1a).
However, whereas the value for depends on wall roughness (k), diameter (D) and flow condition (Re), the
value for the friction coefficient Chw is a pipe material constant and is independent of diameters and flow
The process involved in the design is to make a pipe layout, assume the pipe size and then workout the
terminal pressure head that could be made available at the end of each pipe section when discharging the
peak flow. The available pressure heads are checked to see if they correspond to permissible residual
pressure heads. If not, the pipe size is changed and the system is re-investigated until satisfactory conditions
are obtained.
Table 3.1 gives some values for the wall roughness k and friction coefficient Chw for use in the Darcy-
Weisbach and Hazen-Williams formulae
Table 3.1: Values for wall-roughness k (Darcy-Weisbach) and friction coefficient Chw (Hazen-Williams)
Pipe materials Common k-Value C-Value (Chw)
Name Abbreviation Colebrook Hazen-Williams
Polyethylene<200 mm HDPE 0.01 mm 140
Polyvinylchloride<200 mm PVC 0.01 mm 140
Glass fiber reinforced plastic GRP 0.02 mm 140
Polyvinylchloride200 mm PVC 0.05 mm 130
Asbestos cement AC 0.1 mm 120
Pre-stressed concrete (smooth) PC 0.2 mm 120
Pre-stressed concrete (rough) PC 0.5 mm 120
Ductile iron (cement-coated) DI (C) 0.5 mm 120
Cast iron (cement-coated) CI (C) 1.0 mm 100
Cast iron, new CI 1.0 mm 100
Cast iron, old CI 1-5 mm 100-60

c) The equation to calculate the Inertial Losses

Inertial loss can always be expressed as follows
hinert eqn 3.5
Where hinert = the loss of energy head due to inertia, in m
= the coefficient of inertia of the obstacle concerned
= velocity head in m.
Inertial losses can be calculated from an accurate analysis of the installation (as designed). Suitable tables are
available for this purpose. Instead of calculating this exactly for any fitting met in the installation, quite often
an overall addition to the developed length is assumed. Note that all the losses are then assumed to be
friction losses which is - although not true- nevertheless very practical for the calculations.
There are two major types of water transport and distribution systems namely:
i) Gravity distribution systems
ii) Pumped systems (with or without storage)
Some times the two are used together in what is called a combined system.
3.5.1 Gravity Distribution Systems
The principal idea of these systems is to make use of the existing topography. Gravity flow distribution
systems are possible when the source of supply is a lake or impounding reservoir at some elevation above the
supply area so that sufficient pressure can be maintained in the system for domestic and fire service. The
distribution of water then takes place without pumping but under acceptable pressures.
Gravity flow systems have the following advantages:
Requires no energy to operate as water is conveyed by gravity.
Fewer operational problems because of fewer mechanical parts, general independence of electric
power supply and therefore there are lower maintenance costs for a gravity flow system.
There are no sudden pressure changes.
However, Gravity flow systems are associated with the following disadvantages:
Water loss by leakage and wastage is comparatively higher as the system remains under constant
It is dependent on topography and so is limited in its application i.e. it is not applicable in flat areas
where an elevated source of water supply is not available.
It is hard to adjust the system for future expansion as the demand increases.
Because of small gradients, gravity flow generally requires large diameters of pipes, which are
If there is a hill on the land, they have to be placed around the hill which would increase the length
of pipeline required.
3.5.2 Pumped Systems
These may be with or without inclusion of a storage system. Distribution by means of pumps with more or less storage
In this method, the excess water pumped during periods of low consumption is stored in the elevated tanks or
reservoirs. During periods of high consumption, the stored water is drawn upon to augment that pumped.
These systems have the following advantages:
The system is more reliable and can cope with fluctuation of water demand.
The pumps can be operated at rated capacity, resulting in higher efficiency and economy of
Reasonable pressure can be maintained with varying water demand and there is no possibility of
inflow of polluted water in the system.
However, they are associated with the following disadvantages:
Relatively higher initial cost.
Comparatively higher loss due to leakage and wastage. Use of pumps without storage
In this method, the pumps force water directly into the mains with no additional outlet other than the water
This system is associated with the following advantages:
Water can be pumped only when required.
Low water loss due to system leakage.
However, the system has the following disadvantages:
Direct pumping at a uniform rate is not able to meet varying water demand and maintain required
pressure under varying rates of consumption.
A power failure means breakdown of the system unless there is an alternative power supply
Maintenance and operation costs are high.
Inflow of water through leaks may cause water contamination during non-pumping hours.

Maximum Demand
Head due to
Minimum Demand

Pumping station Combined System
On some sections of the water distribution line, the water flows by gravity while pumps are employed on
some other sections depending on the topography. Head falls at a faster rate during periods of maximum

Pressure line Q constant (calculated using

maximum daily demand)

Minimum Demand

Balancing reservoir Maximum Demand Hmin

[Vres 1 day capacity]
Q (t)
[depends on
hourly demand]

A combined system must always have storage capacity to balance the inflows and outflows (production and
demand). The location of the balancing reservoir is determined by topography.
Query: Why is it necessary to have storage of water in the distribution system?
Water is stored for the following purposes:
i) To equalize pumping rates over the day.
ii) To equalize demand and consumption over a long period of high consumption.
iii) To furnish water for such emergencies as fire fighting or accidental breakdowns.
3.5.3 Design Procedure
The following considerations must be taken into account in the design of water distribution systems
Design Parameters
For the conduit/pipe, the design parameters to consider are pipe length, diameter and roughness/ friction
factor. Flow variables are velocity and discharge. For the reservoir, the main parameter is the volume.
If the design life of our system is say, Tyrs, the system must be working in the T th year and for this
reason, one can therefore use parameters for the T th year. However, this would be an over design of the
present requirement in the year 0 and would therefore be uneconomical. To solve this, one would
introduce a concentrated headloss like a valve which is opened gradually over the design life.
Suction Pressures
This is especially important in the design of gravity flow systems (Figure below).

Reservoir Hydraulic grade line H- Static head

(Piezometric line)

Hava Available head


Between A and B, negative pressure may occur (pressure below atmospheric).

The slope of the hydraulic grade line is the hydraulic gradient. For open channels, it is the slope of the
water surface. For closed conduits, the hydraulic grade line slopes according to the head loss per unit
length of pipe. For gravity flow systems, the pipeline generally follows the contours of the land and for
this reason, some parts of the pipeline may experience negative pressures (say A-B), an effect known as
"suction". This can lead to formation of air bubbles, which can lead to reduction in the capacity of the
pipes. Suction of the pollutants into the pipeline can occur where the pipeline passes through for example
agricultural estates or close to sewers etc. For this reason, the pietzometric grade line should always be at
least 2-5 metres above the ground level. Query: How is this ensured? By elevating the tank/reservoir, but
this increases costs.
The draw off of water from the supply system varies throughout the day, with taps opening and closing,
and drawing off water at different rates. This leads to pressure changes, which cause oscillations in the
pipes. The effect of oscillations is minimized by introducing a minimum head of 10-15 m. Minimum
pressure head (Hmin) is required for hygienic reasons (at least 5 mwc). High pressures of course make
heavier demands on the pipe materials; there is a direct relation between high pressure and the
percentage of leak. Generally speaking, no greater pressures will be adopted than max. 60 mwc to
70 mwc (600 to 700 kPa). Regarding the operation of drinking water installations, very big fluctuation in
pressures has to be avoided. Pressure reducing valves may be used if necessary.
Storage Reservoir
A reservoir must supply adequate water for the design period. For gravity flow systems, the reservoir
must give adequate head for all points in the distribution system i.e. the reservoir must provide adequate
head to the highest tap in the distribution area. As a rule, an additional head is given to houses. For small
houses, an additional head up to 6 metres is given, while for large houses, the additional head is 10 m.
Where pressure heaters are to be installed, an additional head of 3-4 metres is required. Future expansion
of settlements e.g. to a hilly area and future construction of high-rise buildings must also be considered.
The design can then be made for the highest point in the possible expansion area.

Estimation of Minimum Head

Max. WL
Min. WL
Hydraulic grade line

Tallest Building h1
H = h1 + h2 + h3 + h4
Consideration Extra head required
h1 = Height of the house Varies
h2 = Minimum head (at tap) 4-6 m or up to 10 m for large houses
h3 = Maximum oscillation 10-15
h4 = Depth (effective) of the 4-5

Elevated Tanks
These are usually used either in pumped systems or combined systems. The capacity of an elevated tank
is usually dependent on acceptable regulations but common design considers a one-day capacity. The
total capacity of the tank is calculated as:
VD = One days demand and depending on economy can consider it to be the day of maximum
Vu = Dead water volume (allows for sedimentation of particles, after which the tank is cleaned by
opening the washout valves) - quantity that cannot enter the conduit.
VFF = Fire fighting demand
The fire fighting demand is a fixed quantity and is usually QFF = 1 m3/min or hff = 2-6 atmospheres.
Break Pressure Tank
These are simply reservoirs or tanks that are put in the system to reduce the pressure to acceptable levels
and prevent the pipes from bursting.
Leakages/ Unaccounted for water
Leakages are catered for by supplying an additional discharge during design. This may be up to 5% more
than the demand by the community. However, in the developed countries where the plumbing is very
good, unaccounted for water may be as low as 2% whereas in the developing countries, this may be as
high as over 40% of the water demand. Leakages vary depending on local soil conditions, and on the age
as well as operation and maintenance of the distribution system.
3.5.4 Schematisation
Larger urban distribution systems are usually of grid type but may have been developed from branched
systems. When designing the initial stage of a growing network, one may either: -
a) Consider starting with a cheaper branched system, which can be converted into a grid system during
later extensions or,
b) Start with the final grid system but reduce it to a branch system for the first stage of operation.
Service pipes are always branches and are not relevant for schematization. A network is always schematized
before calculations by:
i) Concentration of the demand at the nodes. A node is a junction of two or more pipes.
ii) Neglecting the relatively small pipes because of their relatively small capacities and for that reason
the very small influence on the results of the network calculations.
iii) The introduction of equivalent pipe diameters and or lengths for computation purposes.
Distribution main
Q1 Q2

Schematized network:
Qtotal Q4

Q1 Q3

3.5.5 Design Methods

There are two main methods for the manual calculation of distribution networks
1. Equivalence method for the calculation of branched systems
2. Hardy-Cross method for calculation of grid systems
For systems of more than four loops, the Hardy-cross method becomes very time consuming and less
accurate. Larger grid systems are therefore calculated using specially designed software on a computer. The
computer may also be used for testing/checking manual calculations, for simulating extreme demand
situations and for simulating special circumstances for example pipeline breakdowns and demand during fire
fighting. Equivalence Method for Design Branched Systems
The following design procedure is adopted for branched systems:
a) Collect/prepare a map of the area to be served with roads, streets and other features and make a layout
of mains, sub-mains and branches including location of valves and other appurtenances.
b) Estimate the peak flow at different points and determine the quantity flowing through each section of
the pipe. Peak flow = average daily flow x peak factor.
c) Assume sizes of all the pipes in the network (to calculate approximate pipe size, the velocity may be
assumed to be around 1m/s).
d) Calculate the frictional head loss per unit length of pipe and then multiply by length of the pipe to find
the total head loss.
e) Determine the terminal pressure head taking the change in the elevation of the pipe into account.
f) In case of a difference between the computed terminal pressure and the permissible pressure head,
revise the pipe size. The Hardy-Cross Method
The Hardy-Cross method is an iterative method often used to determine heads and flows in a pipe network.
Cross, suggested two different iterative procedures. The first procedure is called "The Method of Balancing
Flows" and the other "The Method of Balancing Heads". Both methods are based on the hydraulic laws of
The first law of Kirchhoff also known as the continuity equation in a node states that "The algebraic sum of
all in-going and outgoing flows in a node is zero" that is, Q = 0 E.g., Q1+ -Q2+-Q3+-Q4= 0



Kirchhoffs second law states that "The algebraic sum of all head losses in a loop should be zero" that is,
H = 0. E.g., H1+H2+H3+H4=0

1 2
H4 H2 = H1-H2+H2-H3+H3-H4+H4-H1
= H12 + H23 + H34 + H41
4 H3

a) Method of Balancing Heads

In this iterative method, pressure heads at each node in a loop are first estimated, with selected diameters and
friction factors, the flow rate to and from a node can be calculated. These should add up to zero according to
Kirchhoffs first law; but many times the sum may not be equal to zero and therefore there is need for a
corrective head H at each node within the loop.
2 Qij
j 1 1 1
H i , Where C ij , from H fQ 2 or Q H
n C ij

f f
j 1 H
After several corrections, when Q is near zero enough, actual pressure heads can be calculated from the

original estimates corrected for the various H 's used in the successive iterations, H actual = Hest + H
b) Method of Balancing Flows
In this method the diameter of the pipes in the loop or grid system are estimated basing on the flows. Next,
the flow rates in the pipes are estimated. From these two data sets (Q and D), knowing the pipe length, the
pipe material and the water temperature, the pressure loss in each pipe of the loop can be calculated. From
the second law of Kirchhoff, the sum of all head losses should be zero. If it is not, which usually is the case,
a correction flow is applied to the whole loop in an effort to get the sum of the head losses as near to zero as
possible. The correction flow Q is given by:
After several corrections, done in tables, the sum of the head losses is approximately equal to zero and the
actual pipe flows are the estimated flows corrected with the Q (sum of corrections) from successive
Qactual Qestimated Q

H2 1

From Kirchhoffs law the algebraic sum of head losses = 0

H12 H13 H 23 0 , But H ij f ij Qij ; f12Q12 f13 Q13 f 23Q23 0
2 2 2 2

Since the Q's are estimates, the equation does not equate to zero and therefore to minimize the deviation from
zero, all the flow rates in the pipes must be corrected by Q. The equation becomes:
f12 (Q12 Q) 2 f13 (Q13 Q) 2 f 23 (Q23 Q) 2 0
Simplify the equation and noting that (Q)2 = 0 since Q is small then we have the following
f i Qi Qi
( f12Q12 f13Q13 f 23Q23 ) H
2 2 2

Q , Q i 1 or Q
2( f12Q12 f13Q13 f 23Q23 ) 2 f i Qi 2
For both the above methods, the challenge is to determine head losses across different pipes in the network.
In order to determine the head loss in the pipe caused by a flow Q, the formula of Darcy-Weisbach and the
Colebrook white formula are used:
L v2 1 k 2.51
H . 2 log
D 2g 3.71D Re
For the solution of these two equations, usually charts and the Moody diagram are used. is primarily
determined by the type of flow characterized by the Reynolds number. The transition from laminar to
turbulent flow occurs at the critical Reynolds number of 2320. Flows in pipelines are normally turbulent
(pumped systems) that is Re > 2320.
a) Laminar Flow
In the Moody diagram (Figure 1), laminar flow usually occurs in ground water or oil pipeline flow or
sedimentation/setting tanks. On the Moody diagram, a laminar flow is represented by a straight line, whose
equation is given by .
b) Turbulent Flow
For example mainstream flow in sewers and water supply pipes, the Reynolds number is usually greater than
3000-4000 and = (D, k), where k = wall roughness factor, D = pipe diameter. is proportional to D/k,
with k having units of metres (m).
The value of can be obtained from the moody diagram which is a result of many research experiments. For
computation reasons, instead of the Darcy-Weisbach and Colebrook equations, the following two modified
equations are used:
For diameter 400 mm
H 0.1255L.D 5.25 .k 0.1695.Q 2 ..eqn. 3.6
For diameters 400 mm
H 0.1241L.D 5.198.k 0.1645.Q 2 .eqn. 3.7
Where H = head loss (m), L = length of the pipe (km), D = pipe diameter (m), k = wall roughness factor
(mm), Q = flow rate (1000m3/hr)
Turbulent flow on the Moody diagram is characterized by 3 types of wall roughness (Figure 1):
1. Hydraulic rough sector: This is with complete turbulent flow conditions where depends merely on
the relative wall roughness D/k and not Reynolds number. The head loss in the pipeline in this section is
proportional to the square of the velocity as is constant.
2. Hydraulic smooth: Here, the laminar boundary is thicker than the irregularities of the pipe wall. In this
case, is determined by the Reynolds number only and not by the relative wall roughness, D/k. This is
true for very large values of D/k.
3. Transition area: The flow conditions in water and sewage conducts are practically always in the
transition region i.e. between hydraulic rough and smooth. In this case, is dependent on both D/k and
the Reynolds number.
The Wall Roughness, k
The wall roughness, k, in mm for different pipes and open channel materials is given in the following Table
Table 3.2: Wall roughness, k (mm) for different pipes and open channel materials
Material k (mm)
Plastic pipes, PVC, PE 0.01-0.05
Asbestos cement (AC) pipes 0.025-0.1
Concrete centrifugal pipes 0.1
Concrete with a smooth surface 0.2-0.4
Concrete in a bad condition 5-20
Glazed stone ware pipes and glass 0.02-0.05
Steel and welded steel pipes 0.1
Corroded steel 1-2
Brick work 1-5
Stone masonry 2-5
Earth channels and in bad condition with vegetation 10-500
Earth channels with grit transport 1-10

The k-values applied for the calculation of water supply and sewer pipelines also caters for the turbulent
losses caused by pipe joints, bends, change in pipe gradients, pipe junctions and valves. In practice, the
following values are commonly used. For water distribution mains, k = 0.2 or k = 0.4.
Encrustation in water mains causes an increase in friction losses. To cater for these losses, an allowance is
made in calculation by either a reduced pipe diameter or an increased k- value. The presence of encrustations
can be determined by comparing the ideal flow rate and the actual flow rate in the mains.
Pipeline AD is connected to a transmission main with a guaranteed pressure of at least 45m.w.c. the
following data is valid.
Ground level (m.a.s.l) Node A = 0 Node B = 0 Node C =9 Node D = 2
Total number of dwellings along section 140 210 250
Section length (km) 5 8 12

Per capita water demand = 100l.p.c.d

Average occupancy per dwelling = 4 people
Fire fighting demand = 20 m3/hr
Minimum pressure requirement = 10 m.w.c. (above ground level)
Maximum hourly peaking factor = 2.4

i) What is the most favourable location for the fire fighting demand?
ii) Calculate the design flow rates in the various distribution sections
iii) Calculate the maximum pressure loss over distance AD
iv) Calculate the maximum pressure gradient over AD
v) If the water temperature = 10oC, k = 0.5 mm, select the pipe diameter for the sections AB, BC and CD.
vi) Determine the pressures of the water in the pipe at points B, C and D.
vii) Plot the pressure line from A to D relative to the ground.

A water supply system consisting of two pipes supplies a hospital with water at a normal pressure of 28
m.w.c. The hospital is located between the reservoir and the storage tank. The supply reservoir may be
assumed to be at zero elevation, the storage tank at an elevation of 30 m and the hospital at an elevation of 15
m. The discharge pressure of the reservoir is 53 m.w.c. The height of the water in the storage tank is
maintained at 30 m above ground level. The piping installed between the reservoir and the hospital consists
of a 760 m long cast iron pipe of 250 mm diameter. The piping between the storage tank and the hospital
consists of 1200 m long cast iron pipe of 200 mm diameter. For cast iron pipes, use C = 140 for the pipe
i) Calculate the hydraulic head at the storage tank, reservoir and the hospital.
ii) Determine the flow available for the hospital from the reservoir and the storage tank.
iii) Determine the power demand in kilowatts for this operation if the overall efficiency of the reservoir
pump and motor is 75%.

A gravity distribution system is schematized into a 3000 m long transmission main of 400 mm diameter (k =
0.2mm). The water pressure at the end of the main should not drop below 35m above the datum. The
reservoir that feeds the transmission main has a constant water level of 43m above the datum.
i) What is the maximum discharge that can be supplied from the reservoir while satisfying the pressure
ii) What should be the diameter of an additional pipe (in parallel to the existing one) if the discharge is
increased to 600m3/hr? (k = 0.2 mm)
iii) Instead of laying a parallel main, a booster pump can be laid in the 400 mm main to ensure that the
pressure is maintained at the required level. Calculate the head to be added by the pump for the flow of
iv) What is the pressure requirement of this pump in kW, assuming a pump efficiency of 80%?

3.5.6 Pipeline Fittings

1. Maintenance Fittings
In order to prevent iron deposits, sediment build-up and so on, aeration to remove iron and emptying to
remove blockages is necessary. Valves are therefore provided in the pipeline at high points and low points:
High points are provided for aeration while low points are provided for removal of sediments. They are also
located at the end of the pipeline (dead points) especially in the branched system.

Air valves

Emptying (Flushing)

2. Control Fittings
Controls are necessary to provide for over flows, wasteage, and suction. There are two major controls:
(a) Bottom-up controls: These regulate the demand by the use of floating valves in the home of a consumer
to prevent wastage.
(b) Top-down controls: Regulate the demand by the use of floating valves in the reservoir. If the demand is
less than the supply, the valve closes off the source of flow. If the demand is greater than the supply, the
demand is satisfied until the tank is almost empty, then an air lock is formed.

Air lock

Dead water

(c) Other fittings: These include junctions, tees, bends, pressure valves, water meters, gate valves, etc. These
pipeline fittings are installed in manholes for protection of the parts and for easy access.
3.5.7 Location and Sizing of Reservoirs
The reservoirs may be located at a treatment plant, at the end of a transmission system or in a distribution
system. The main aim of a reservoir is to even out differences between the incoming supply and the outgoing
demand. Reservoirs are financially justified when their costs are off set against the lower cost of the supply
main that can be reduced in diameter when designed to supply average instead of peak demands. Reliability
consideration is another justified cause for including a reservoir in the distribution system.
The two approaches to the design of volumes of reservoirs are the calculation method and the graphical
method. Calculation Method
The required capacity of a reservoir depends on the variation of supply and demand. The reservoir volume
required to equalize the supply and demand can be calculated if the fluctuation in supply and demand is
A sample calculation of storage volume required is hereby presented. At the starting point, we have 5%

1 2 3 4 5 6
Time span Water demand (% age Water demand Water production Production less Fluctuation of
(hr) of hourly demand) demand (4) (3) storage (5)
Expressed as % age of daily demand
0-3 25 3 12.5 +9.5 14.5
3-6 35 4 12.5 +8.5 23
6-9 130 16 12.5 -3.5 19.5
9-12 200 25 12.5 -12.5 7
12-15 160 20 12.5 -7.5 -0.5
15-18 120 15 12.5 -2.5 -3
18-21 85 11 12.5 +1.5 -1.5
21-24 4.5 6 12.5 +6.5 5
Note: In column 5 when the sign is positive, excess production goes to storage. When the sign is negative,
excess demand is supplied by storage.
The maximum fluctuation in storage is 23% between 3-6 hrs. This means that it is required that the daily
storage should be at least 23% of the daily demand. Graphical Method
The required storage volume can also be found graphically using the following procedure.
1. Draw a cumulative demand curve (Fig. 3).
2. Draw a cumulative supply curve (Fig. 3).
3. Scale maximum ordinates a and b between supply and demand lines.
4. Calculate the required storage as the sum of a and b.
5. Choose the exact volume to be constructed based on the evaluation of steps 1-4 in terms of accuracy,
future developments, reliability, etc.

Demand (b) taking water

from storage
Cumulative supply/demand (%)

Storage = (a) + (b)

Uniform supply

(a) storing water

0 6 12 18 24
Time (hr)
Figure 3: Supply and Demand Curve (also known as the mass curve)
In case of uniform supply i.e. with treatment plant operational 24 hrs a day, the typical storage requirements
to even out differences between supply and demand is 25-35% of the average daily demand. For longer
transmission lines (greater than 20 Km), this storage volume is constructed at the end of the transmission
main. Some addition storage of 5-10% of the average daily demand is constructed at the treatment plant to
overcome temporary interruptions of production and to provide for internal water requirements.
Table 3.3: Required volume of stored water as a % age of the average daily demand
Length of transmission line (Km) Required volume of stored water as a percentage of the average daily demand
At the treatment plant In the distribution area
<20 Km 35-40 No storage
20-50 5-10 25-35
50-100 5-10 75
>100 5-10 100-150
Other Concepts on Pumped Flow
a) Pressure Gradient (or slope): This is the loss of pressure head per unit length. It can be expressed in
m.w.c. per metre (m/m) or commonly in m/km.
b) Pressure Line: This is the line, which represents the available pressure head at all sequential points of
the considered pipeline.
c) The pipeline or network characteristic (system characteristic), is the line, which shows the pressure
requirement at the pumping station for different water demand situations. In general, the pipeline or
network characteristic is parabolic: H fQ 2 . For example, for pump at point A of the network, looking
at demand at node B, the pipeline characteristic is as illustrated below.

HA Pipeline/Network

Hstatic + Hmin

d) The pump characteristic: This is the line, which represents the pressure head down stream the pump or
pump combination and depends on the characteristic of the pump or pump combination. The pump
characteristic should be supplied by the manufacturer of the pump.
In general, the pump characteristic is parabolic: H aQ 2 bQ c

Head a a
2 pumps in series (2a)

2 pumps in parallel (2a) Parallel

One pump (a) a a


When combining pump and pipeline characteristic in one figure, the performance of the pump or pump
combination can be determined.
Pipeline characteristic
Efficiency curve
Head Efficiency

Hp Pump Characteristic

Hstatic + Hmin

Qd Water demand, Q

3.5.8 The Most Economic Design

When designing a new transport and distribution system, or the extension of an existing system, there are
usually a number of technically acceptable solutions. These solutions may be compared on the basis of
reliability of supply, flexibility with regards to future extensions and on the basis of costs. When comparing
on the basis of costs, the objective is to find the solution that conveys the water at a minimum cost. The
minimum cost includes NOT only the construction cost (capital cost) but also the operation and maintenance
costs. The most economic design is defined as that technical acceptable alternative which implies the lowest
unit price for drinking water.
The continued investigation for the most economic diameters for the pipelines seems to be attractive but
there is one main problem. Alternative investments of long duration can be judged on their merits only
within a framework of an all-embracing plan for the longer period. However, there is no independent relation
between all different components of a water supply system. Only for a transmission line ending in a
reservoir, this part of the reservoir system can be considered and calculated more or less separately from the
other components.

Figure 4 shows the costs per m3 water conveyed for a transmission line for which various diameters were

capital costs

recurrent costs

diameter (mm)
Figure 4: Optimization of a transmission line, considering capital costs and recurrent costs

The calculation of the most economic diameter of a single pipeline within a grid network is of course
impossible. But even regarding the calculation of the most economical diameter of a transmission line, an
additional remark has to be made. The calculation result is not very reliable due to the many uncertainities
that surround the selection of values for the various design criteria e.g.: water demand, day and hour factors,
leak percentages etc. One may evaluate of course the already predicted interest rate, energy prices, inflation
rates and even manpower costs, which assumptions may prove to have been rather unrealistic.
Selecting the most economical design from several alternative designs has some of the same disadvantages.
The rather unpredictable variation in the water consumption results in a water demand pattern, which
influences the optimal operation of the system and thus the variable costs considerably. Nevertheless,
comparing alternative designs is necessary, although not only on the economical merits of course. After this
selection is done, optimization of the most promising alternative is required.
To meet somewhat the problems of the less predictable water consumption pattern, it is necessary to enlarge
the flexibility of the operation of the system, which is done easiest through the most flexible component of
the system i.e. the (booster) pumps. Pumps have comparatively short economic lifetimes, and can be
exchanged easily. They can therefore be utilized to compensate for the differences between anticipated and
actual development of water demand.
Whilst the lay-out of a pumping station (the civil works) should look ahead much further, the selection of a
suitable set of pumps may be on the basis of anticipated demands of a limited period, say 5 years. At the end
of this period, the situation is reviewed on the basis of recent developments and new projections. This may
lead to the decision to replace some of the originally placed pumps with others, or to add pumps, depending
on how a revised set of pumps can best meet the newly anticipated demand. A combination of some well
selected centrifugal pumps and one additional small variable rotating pump in general will give sufficient
operating flexibility.

In order to transport drinking water from a water treatment plant to a distribution area, two technically
acceptable solutions are considered (Fig. A and B).

transmission line

Pumping Q = variable

Fig. A
Case A: The transmission line is designed for the maximum hourly demand on the maximum day at the
end of the design period

transmission line
Q = constant
Pumping P.S

Fig. B
Case B: The transmission line is designed for the average hourly demand on the maximum day at the
end of the design period, and a storage reservoir is constructed at the end of the transmission line.

Comparing on the basis of costs, it is noted that in case of alternative B, there is additional investment in a
storage reservoir and a pumping station, and a saving in the cost of the transmission line that has a smaller
capacity. Obviously, the economic feasibility of case B over case A will depend on the length of the
transmission line.
Comparing on the basis of reliability, alternative B has an advantage over A, as in the case of a pipe failure
in the transmission line, supply can be continued for some time from the buffer in the storage reservoir. In
case of alternative A, supply discontinues abruptly if such a failure arises. Reliability of alternative A can be
increased by constructing the transmission line in two (here equally-sized) pipes. In that case, continuation of
supply, although at a lesser maximum flow rate is guaranteed.
Assuming a required diameter of 700mm in case A, the transmission lines could be constructed as 2x600mm.
In this case, the investment in the second main can be delayed to the time when the maximum hourly
demand exceeds Q A 2 ( Q B )
The pump-characteristic and considered different pipe-characteristics are shown in the Figure 5.

Pump characteristic

Pipe characteristic
Q A1 = maximum hourly demand at the end of the design period = capacity requirement of the
transmission line in case A.
Q B = average hourly demand at the end of the design period = capacity requirement of the transmission
line in case B. Q
Pump-characteristic and considered different pipe characteristics
Q A2 = maximum hourly demand at a certain moment during the design period Q B .
Figure 5 shows that when selecting a double pipe in case of A, a supply interruption caused by breakage of
one of the two pipes will enable supply to continue to at least a maximum of
Q A2 0.6Q A1 QB .
3.5.8 Other Points on Fittings
Valves are generally provided in transport and distribution systems to make it possible to prevent or allow
the flow of water in certain sections.
There are different types of valves, each with its own specific purpose:
- Gate valves are used to control the flow rate of water. They are usually either fully opened or fully closed;
- Butterfly valves serve the same purpose as gate valves. They are also used to regulate the flow rate, in
which case they are partially opened;
- Non-return valves allow the flow of water in one direction only;
- Pressure-reducing valves (PRV) and flow controllers: These are used to control pressure or flow rates in a
- Air valves allow air to escape from the pipeline when filling it and during operation and allow air to enter
when draining the pipe.
The choice between gate valves (gate moves perpendicular to flow) and butterfly valves (gate rotates around
the axis that is perpendicular to flow rate) for shut-off purposes is usually a matter of cost. Butterfly valves
have numerous advantages over gate valves in large pipelines, including lower cost, compactness, minimum
friction wear, and ease of operation. Butterfly valves are generally cheaper from 300 mm upwards.
However butterfly valves are not suitable for sewage and other fluids containing matter, which might prevent
their complete closure.
Non-return valves prevent backflow by means of a hinged gate, a spring loaded gate or membrane. In
distribution systems, a spring loaded gate or a membrane type is used mostly in service pipes and internal
plumbing, while the hinged gate type is mounted in the main pipes.
Air valves are mounted on top of the pipe at high points in the pipeline. They are fitted with a floating or
spring loaded ball that seals off the valves opening to the atmosphere except when air needs to pass.
Fire Hydrants
The principal goal of a distribution system is to supply drinking water to the urban or rural population.
Another goal may be to supply water for fire-fighting. The provision of fire-fighting water in a community
may be by open channels, ponds or special fire-fighting reservoirs, or by fire hydrants that are part of the
distribution system. In the latter case, the design criteria for fire fighting in terms of flow rate and pressure
must be formulated, and the distribution system should be checked for its ability to satisfy these criteria.
In areas with high water demand (such as high density residential areas, commercial or industrial areas), the
network in general has sufficient capacity to cope with fire-fighting requirements. In areas with smaller
demands, however, pipe diameters may need to be enlarged to cope with fire-fighting design flow rates. In
that case, the provision of fire-fighting facilities is costly as in addition to the hydrants themselves, there will
be extra expenditure on the pipes and fittings.
Once installed, fire hydrants can also serve as laboratory sampling points, as flushing points in the
distribution system, and as distribution points for drinking in case of an emergency. Hydrants are usually
placed 200 to 300 m apart, suitably located near street corners and at strategic locations, in consultation with
the fire service.

Design criteria for fire hydrants may differ, but generally a flow rate of 60m3/h at a pressure of 10 m.w.c.
above street level is required. The minimum size of the distribution main in which the hydrant is placed is
generally 100mm, whilst the main should preferably be supplied from two sides. Hydrants are not normally
placed on mains with a diameter above 300mm.
Pipe slopes and covers
Pipelines should be laid in straight lines between changes in gradient, and pipeline slopes should at no place
be less than 0.5%. Local high points, where air pockets can develop in a pipeline, without having the chance
of being released, must be avoided.
To prevent the breakdown of a pipeline due to overloading or corrosion, technical requirements relating to
strength and durability of the pipe material must be laid down. Additionally, the pipe must be given
minimum soil cover to protect it from traffic loads:
- for transmission lines, the minimum cover is 1.00 m;
- for main pipes, the minimum cover is 0.80 m;
- for service pipes, the minimum cover is 0.60 m.
Thus, to minimize changes in pipeline slopes, pipe cover can be varied from a minimum of 0.6 m to a
maximum of 3 m. However, the minimum cover over pipelines laid below road surfaces and reserves should
be 0.9m. Such pipelines should be laid in a manner approved by the Ministry of Works, Housing and
Except for water mains, many other conduits are constructed immediately below ground level, such as
sewers, gas distribution mains (less commonly), electricity and telephone cables. The distance and elevation
of water mains in relation to these other conduits should be at least 0.20 m.
With regard to proximity of sewer lines, the groundwater flow should be observed and the water mains
should be laid preferably upstream of and at a higher elevation than the sewers.
Material Selection
The selection of suitable pipe materials for a project should be based on technical and financial grounds. The
selection should tend to standardization i.e. to a limited number of pipe materials and to a limited number of
diameters within the required range. This is of extreme importance as it affects the value and volume of
stocks to be maintained, as well as the ease of maintenance of the distribution system. The same applies to
fittings etc. to be selected with the pipe material.
In fact, a water supply company preferably should work out an overall plan, a material policy, based on
local conditions (soil condition, costs, local manufacturing, competitive supplies, delivery time, service etc.)
leading to the selection of pipe materials for use in the entire supply region. It may even be advantageous to
consult neighbouring companies to adopt regional or even national policy guidelines with respect to material
use. To ensure technically sound operation on the pipelines, specifications for material purchases should
refer to relevant standards for pipes, fittings and appurtenances.
Section 3.2 highlights the pipe materials most commonly used in Uganda as well the criteria for suitability of
a given pipe for a particular application.. Among the criteria is susceptibility to corrosion. Corrosion aspects
should be considered carefully in the process of pipe material selection. For steel and iron pipes, external
corrosion can pose a much greater problem than internal corrosion. The same constituents that affect pipes
from the inside can also attack from the outside. Soil resistivity and corrosion have a close relationship, and
soil resistivity values of less than 7 ohm-m indicate highly corrosive soil conditions. In such conditions,
special protective measures such as cement mortar or coal-tar linings and coatings, or cathodic protection
should be provided as recommended by pipe manufacturers.
D.I, G.S and steel pipes are strong, and they are the pipes of choice for very high operating pressures and for
large size pipelines exceeding 300mm in diameter. However, the costs of fittings and valves increase rapidly
with higher pressure classes. It is therefore necessary to keep reducing pipe pressures through the provision
of break-pressure tanks or pressure-relief valves whenever appropriate. Unauthorized tapping from D.I, G.S
and steel pipelines is not easy.

A.C pipes are technically acceptable, and have been used extensively all over the world. However, owing to
the health hazards associated with the inhalation of asbestos fibres during the manufacture and installation of
A.C pipes, they are no longer recommended for use.
UPVC pipes have the advantage of easy handling and installation, and also high corrosion resistance.
However, the pipes suffer some loss in strength when exposed to direct sunlight, and care should therefore be
taken to keep them sheltered when they are in the open. UPVC pipes are also easily damaged by careless
handling and transportation. The pipes are manufactured in several classes to satisfy different design and
operational pressures, and they are generally most suitable for use in small size pipelines of diameters not
exceeding 160mm. Unauthorized tapping from UPVC pipelines is quite easy.
Polyethylene is very suitable for small-diameter pipelines because it can be supplied in rolls, thus reducing
the numbers of the joints and bends required. Polyethylene does not deteriorate when exposed to direct
sunlight. However, unauthorized tapping from polyethylene pipelines is quite easy.
Pipe sizes
Specific data on pipes commonly used in Uganda is given in separate handouts.
Of the UPVC pipe sizes available in Uganda, the following have been selected as the standard ones (DWD
Design manual, 2000): 63, 90, 110, 160, 200, 250, 315 and 400 mm.
Of the G.S and steel pipe sizes available in Uganda, the following have been selected as the standard ones
(DWD Design manual, 2000): 15, 20, 25, 32, 40, 50, 65, 80, 100, 150, 200, 250 and 300 mm.
Detail Drawings
Detail drawings in the construction documents should be complete, or if appropriate, referenced to standard
system drawings for:
1. A plan view having a scale of not more than 100 feet to the inch.
2. Profiles or crossing details with a vertical scale of not more than 10 feet to the inch should be
considered where pipeline projects encounter areas of numerous utilities that cannot be easily located,
such as storm and sanitary sewers, and that have potential conflicts with the proposed pipeline. Profiles
should also be provided for pipelines proposed through a streambed, or as may be otherwise justified by
special project conditions.
3. Location, size and material of construction of all proposed pipelines within the project area. Show all
hydrants, valves, meters, etc.
4. Identification of lots served under the project scope of work by new distribution mains serving divisions
or subdivisions.
5. Typical construction details of all new pipeline and connections to the existing pipelines.
6. Typical details of pipeline trench cross-section indicating bedding, backfill and compaction
7. Typical details of thrust blocking or restraints.
8. Service connection details (where appropriate).
9. All other buried utilities, including storm and sanitary sewers, dry wells, buried telephone, natural gas,
power and cable TV lines, within the project area (existing or proposed concurrent with pipeline
construction) should be shown to the extent known, given existing records available to the designer.
Construction details should note that all buried utilities are to be field located prior to construction.
Standard construction specifications
Various construction methods and details that would be incorporated into the standard specifications include
such features as:
International certification for all materials that are in contact with drinking water, trenching
alignment (including staking and deviations);
Trench excavation (depth, width, debris handling, daily covering requirements, etc.);
Adherence to manufacturers recommendation for installation and maintenance;
Tunneling requirements;
Bridge and highway crossing specifications;
Hydrant installation (including spacing and appurtenances);
Installation details for underground appurtenances (valves, meters, pressure reducers, etc.);
Hydrostatic testing (conditions of test, inspections, allowable leakage, etc.);
Installation and testing of valves;
Disinfection and flushing of mains and laterals, road development or resurfacing, service
connection elements (customer notices, metering, cross-connection control aspects, etc); and
any other system specific elements as determined by the water system and its engineering and/or
planning consultants.