Water supply system

Water supply system

leading the treated
water to consumers
through distribution

Drawing of water
from the source,
known as intake

Storage reservoir

Leading water from
intakes to
purification plants

Purification plant

• Mechanical device or arrangement by which
the water is caused to flow at increased
• Purposes
– Increase pressure
– Raw water from source to treatment plant
– Clear water to elevated storage reservoir
– Throw water directly to distribution system

Types of pumps
• Air lift pump
– for pumping water from deep wells
– For lifts about 60m

• Centrifugal pumps - Used in water supply
• Displacement pumps
– Reciprocating pump and Rotary pump

• Hydraulic ram – lift of about 30m
• Jet pump – deep wells of about 50 ltrs/second

Conveyance of water
• Through gravity conduits or pressure conduits
• Gravity conduits
– Open channels
– Considerable loss of water due to evaporation,
percolation, etc.
– Chance for contamination

• Pressure conduits
– Form of pipes
– Size of pipe (A) is determined by considering two
• Discharge through pipe (Q)
• Permissible velocity of flow in pipe (V)

• Pipe material is selected depending on forces
to be resisted, type of water, durability etc
• Usual stresses
– Change of direction
– Internal water pressure
– Soil above pipes
– Water hammer
– Yielding of soil below pipes
– Temperature stresses

Types of pipes

Asbestos cement pipes
Cast-iron pipes
Cement concrete pipes
Copper pipes
Galvanized iron (GI) pipes
Lead pipes
Plastic pipes
Steel pipes

Asbestos cement pipes
• Made from a mixture of asbestos fibres and
• Used to convey water at very low pressure
• Use is very much restricted

Asbestos cement pipes
• Advantages
– Inside surface is very smooth
– Joints are easy
– Anti-corrosive and cheap
– Light weight and easy to handle
– Suitable for small size

Asbestos cement pipes
• Disadvantages
– Brittle
– Cannot stand impact forces
– Cannot resist traffic vibrations under roads
– Not durable
– Cannot be laid in exposed places
– Can only be used for very low pressures

Cast-iron pipes
• Extensively used
• Available in diameter about 1200mm or more
• Inner and outer surfaces are given anticorrosion treatment
• Classified into four categories – based ability
to withstand pressure

Cast-iron pipes
• Advantages
– Moderate cost
– Easy to join
– Not subject to corrosion
– Strong and durable
– Life time of about 100 years

Cast-iron pipes
• Disadvantages
– Breakages are common
– Carrying capacity is seen to decrease with time
– Not used for pressures greater than 0.7N/mm2
– Heavier and uneconomical at larger diameters

Cement concrete pipes
• May be plain, reinforced or prestressed
• Diameters 500mm to 2500mm

Cement concrete pipes
• Advantages
– Inside surface can be made smooth
– Low maintenance cost
– Durable
– Can be cast at site
– Can be used under water, not affected by
– Does not require expansion joints

Cement concrete pipes
• Disadvantages
– Heavy and difficult to transport
– Likely to crack during transport and handling
– Affected by acids, alkalies and salty waters
– Can cause leakage due to porosity

Copper pipes
• Used in conveyance of hot water in buildings
and steam boilers
• Do not sag or bend due to hot water
• Not liable to corrosion
• Can be bent easily
• Very costly
• Not used for water distribution

Galvanized iron pipes

Widely used for service connections
Diameters 6mm to 75mm
Cheap, light weight, easy to handle
Easy to join
Affected by acidic and alkaline water
Short life – 7 – 10 years

Lead pipes
• Not adopted for conveying water – lead
• Easily bent – less number of fittings required
• React with acidic water
• Used for apparatus required for alum or
chlorine dosages
• Sag and bend due to heat

Plastic pipes

Various types of plastics available
Low density polyethylene pipes are flexible
High density polyethylene pipes are tough
Black in colour and resistant to most
• PVC pipes are three times as rigid as PE
• Used in water mains

Plastic pipes
• Advantages
– Cheap
– Durable, enough strength to resist impact,
sunlight and atmospheric conditions
– Flexible, lightweight, easy to bend join and handle
– No corrosion
– Electric insulators

Plastic pipes
• Disadvantages
– Co-efficient of expansion is very high
– Difficult to obtain uniform composition
– Less resistant to heat
– May impart taste to water

Steel pipes
• Made from mild steel
• Diameters greater than 1200mm
• Surfaces are generally galvanised

• Structure constructed across the surface of
water so as to permit the withdrawal of water
from the source
• To be constructed watertight, and be designed
for all forces likely to come upon it
• Four types: Canal intakes, reservoir or lake
intakes, river intakes, portable intakes

Purification plants

Sedimentation tanks
Water softening
Miscellaneous processes

Water softening

Water should not be very hard
Affects dyeing systems
Causes corrosion of pipes
More consumption of soap
Makes food tasteless, tough and rubbery
Scales on boilers and water heaters

Temporary hardness
• Carbonate hardness
• Due to soluble bicarbonates of calcium and
• Can be removed either by boiling or adding
• Forms insoluble carbonates which can be
removed in sedimentation tanks

Permanent hardness
• Non-carbonate hardness
• Due to sulphates, chlorides and nitrates of
calcium and magnesium
• Water softening treatment is required
– Lime-soda process
– Zeolite process
– Demineralisation process
– Reverse osmosis

Lime-soda process
• Lime and sodium carbonate are used
• Hardness brought down to 3-4 degrees
• By-products
– CaCO3 and MgCO3 are separated by sedimentation
– Ca(OH)2 and Mg(OH)2 are insoluble
– Na2SO4 and NaCl doesn’t cause hardness

Zeolite process

Base-exchange or ion-exchange process
Compounds of aluminium, silica and soda
Excellent property of interchanging base
Naturally available zeolite – green sand
Most common artificial zeolite – permutit
Hard water is passed through a bed of zeolite
Ca and Mg are replaced by Na
Hardness is reduced to 0

Demineralization process

Deionisation process
Similar to zeolite process
Hard water passed through a bed of resin
Ca and Mg are replaced by H
• H2Y + CaCl2 = CaY + 2HCl
• Acids can be removed by adding alkaline
• Mainly used in industries


Methods of distribution
• Gravity system
– Water is conveyed by gravity only
– Most reliable method
– Source of water supply is at higher level

• Gravity and pumping system combined
– Treated water is pumped and stored in an
elevated reservoir

• Pumping system
– Water is directly pumped into the mains leading
to the consumers

Service reservoirs
• To store clear, treated water before it is
dispatched to the consumers
• Serves as storage for emergencies such as
breakdown of pumps, heavy fire demand,
interruption in power supply, etc.
• Three types:
– Surface reservoirs
– Elevated reservoirs
– Stand pipes

Systems of supply of water
• Continuous system
– Water is supplied to consumers for 24 hours a day
– Most ideal system of supply
– Disadvantage - considerable wastage of water

• Intermittent system
– Water is supplied during certain fixed hours of day
– Usual period is about one to four hours in the
morning and about the same period in the afternoon
– Main disadvantage - quantity of water available may
not be sufficient to meet with various demands for


Dead-end method
• Tree system
• One supply main
• Sub-mains are taken
from it
• Again divide into several
branch lines
• Service connections are
taken from branch lines

Grid iron
• Interlaced system or
reticulation system
• Main, sub-mains and
branches are

Circular method
• Ring system
• Ring of mains is formed around the
distribution area
• Distribution area is divided into rectangular
• Mains are laid on the periphery

Radial system
• Water is taken from the
mains and pumped into
the distribution
reservoirs which are
situated at centres of
different zones
• Water is supplied
through radially laid


Air valves
Bib cocks
Fire hydrants
Reflux valves
Relief valves
Scour valves
Sluice valves
Stop cocks
Water meters

Air valves

Air relief valves
Air locking reduces discharge
Provide exit for accumulated air in pipes
Located at higher points

Bib cocks
• Water taps attached to end of pipes
• Operated by turning a handle
• Push type bib cocks close automatically

Fire hydrants
• Outlet provided for tapping water in case of a
• Generally placed at street junctions
• Flush hydrant and post hydrant

Reflux valves
• Check valves or non-return valves
• Automatic device, allows water to go in one
direction only
• Valve swings around the pivot when water
flows in one direction
• When the flow is reversed, it pushes the valve
back to its closed position

Relief valves
• Automatic cut-off valves or safety valves
• Located at points where pressure is likely to
be maximum
• When pressure exceeds a limit, valve opens
automatically and lets out the water or air
until the pressure is normalised

Sluice valves
• Gate valves, shut-off valves or stop valves
• Control the flow of water and divides the
water mains into sections
• Placed at 150 – 200m intervals and junctions
• Opening and closing is done by rotating the

Scour valves
• Blow-off valve, drain valves or washout valve
• Ordinary sluice valve at dead-ends or lowest
• To remove sand or silt deposited in the pipe
• Operated by hand and closed as soon as clear
water starts coming out

Stop cocks
• Small sized sluice valves, installed in service
• Operate just like sluice valves
• Placed on water pipes leading to flush tanks,
wash basins, water tanks etc

Water meters
• Devices which measure the quantity of water
flowing at a particular point along the pipe
• Helps in working out the quantity of water
supplied and the consumers can be charged
• Positive displacement type and velocity

Hammer, Hammer Jr. (2011). Water and Waste Water Technology. PHI Learning Private
Rangwala, S.C. (1998). Fundamentals of Water Supply and Sanitary Engineering.
Charotar Publishing Company, Anand.
Panchdhari, A.C. (1993). Water Supply and Sanitary Installations. Wiley Eastern Limited.