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KIGALI INSTITUTE OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY


FACULTY OF ENGINEERING
DEPARTMENT OF CIVIL ENGINEERING AND ENVIRONMENTAL TECHNOLOGY

Water Supply and Distribution


by
Charlotte UWIMPUHWE
Assistant lecturer
CEET department

MODULE CODE AND TITLE: WEE 3313: Water Supply and Distribution
Brief Description of Aims and Content
This course intends to provide the students with understanding of the importance of water supply
systems in society and with a good understanding of water demand estimation, design of water

supply system including storage capacity and appurtenances of water network.


It will cover five chapters
Chapter 1: INTRODUCTION
Chapter 2: WATER DEMAND AND QUANTITY ESTIMATION
Chapter 3: SOURCES AND WATER STORAGE
Chapter 4: STEAD FLOW IN PRESSURIZED NETWORK
Chapter 5: DESIGN OF WATER TRANSPORT AND DISTRIBUTION SYSTEMS
References:
WATER SUPPLY ENGINEERING by PUNMIA et all (1998). KIST library
WATER SUPPLY AND WASTEWATER ENGINEERING by Raju B S N (2002). KIST library
WATER SUPPLY: WATER DISTRIBUTION by UFC (unified facilities criteria) (2004).
WATER SYSTEM DESIGN MANUAL by Department of Health, Olympia, WA. Available at:
http://www.doh.wa.gov/ehp/dw.

Y3WEE & Y4 CE, S1-2011

Chap 1. INTRODUCTION
1.1 WATER SUPPLY SYSTEM

A water supply system is a system for the collection, transmission, treatment, storage and
distribution of water from source to consumers, for example, homes, commercial establishments,
industry, irrigation facilities and public agencies for waterrelated activities (firefighting,
street flushing and so forth).

1.2WATER DISTRIBUTION SYSTEMS


Distribution system is used to describe collectively the facilities used to supply water from its

source to the point of usage. The water distribution system starts where the main supply conduit
from the treatment or source ends. The purpose of distribution system is to deliver water to
consumer with appropriate quality, quantity and pressure.

Function of Water Distribution


Water Distribution Systems main function is to supply treated water safe for human consumption
and complying with increasingly stringent quality regulations.

Requirements of Good Distribution System


1. Water quality should not get deteriorated in the distribution pipes.
2. It should be capable of supplying water at all the intended places with sufficient pressure
head.
3. It should be capable of supplying the requisite amount of water during fire fighting.
4. The layout should be such that no consumer would be without water supply, during the repair
of any section of the system.
5. All the distribution pipes should be preferably laid one metre away or above the sewer lines.
6. It should be fairly water-tight as to keep losses due to leakage to the minimum.
Water distribution usually accounts for 40 to 70 % of the total cost of the water supply scheme.
Therefore, it is important to make proper design and layout of the system.

Systems of distribution
-

Gravitational system

In a gravitational system, water flows from the source to the treatment plant and from treatment
plant to the distribution area by gravity. This system is reliable and economical.
-

Direct pumping

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In direct pumping, water is pumped from the source to the treatment plant and from treatment

plant to the distribution area. The disadvantages are: the system is costly; water supply fails

whenever power supply fails and pressure at the consumers end fluctuates a lot.
-

Combined

Water flows from the source to the treatment plant and from treatment plant to the distribution
area by gravity or pumping. The advantages are: pump can work at convenient schedule, uniform
pressure can be maintained during water supply, and water from distribution reservoir can be
used when pump fail and the quality of water would be improved due to detention of water in the

elevated reservoir.

1.3 SOME DEFINITIONS


Piping
Water service pipe means a pipe on the property that conveys potable water from a water works
or private water source to the inside of the building
Water mains
Water mains can be divided into three categories:
i.
Trunk mains
ii.

Secondary mains

iii.

Service pipes

Trunk mains
These carry water from a source of supply (reservoir, pumping station etc.) without supplying
consumers directly.
Secondary main
These are distribution mains fed from a trunk main and supplying the consumers connections.
Service pipes
The branch supplies from the secondary mains that serve individual premises.

1.4 COMPONENTS OF WATER DISTRIBUTION


There are major Components of a Water Distribution System including Pipes, Valves, pumps,
Flush Hydrants, fittings, water meter, storage tanks and reservoirs. Each component plays a role

in ensuring adequate water service and in maintaining quality water.

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Because the pipes and valves are buried, a detailed map is needed to gain quick access to the

system for maintenance and repairs.


Pipes
The systems of pipes that transport water from the source (such as a treatment plant) to the
customer are often categorized from largest to smallest as transmission or trunk mains,

distribution mains, service lines, and premise plumbing.


Transmission or trunk mains usually convey large amounts of water over long distances such as

from a treatment facility to a storage tank within the distribution system.


Distribution mains are typically smaller in diameter than the transmission mains and generally

follow the city streets.


Service lines carry water from the distribution main to the building or property being served.
Service lines can be of any size depending on how much water is required to serve a particular
customer and are sized so that the utilitys design pressure is maintained at the customers

property for the desired flows.


Premise plumbing refers to the piping within a building or home that distributes water to the
point of use. In premise plumbing the pipe diameters are usually comparatively small, leading to

a greater surface-to-volume ratio than in other distribution system pipes.


Valves
The two types of valves generally utilized in a water distribution system are isolation valves (or

stop or shutoff valves) and control valves.


Isolation valves (typically either gate valves or butterfly valves) are used to isolate sections for
maintenance and repair and are located so that the areas isolated will cause a minimum of
inconvenience to other service areas. Maintenance of the valves is one of the major activities

carried out by a utility.


Many utilities have a regular valve-turning program in which a percentage of the valves are
opened and closed on a regular basis. It is desirable to turn each valve in the system at least once
per year. The implementation of such a program ensures that water can be shut off or diverted
when needed, especially during an emergency, and that valves have not been inadvertently

closed.

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Control valves are used to control the flow or pressure in a distribution system. They are
normally sized based on the desired maximum and minimum flow rates, the upstream and

downstream pressure differentials, and the flow velocities.


Typical types of control valves include pressure-reducing, pressure-sustaining, and pressurerelief valves; flow-control valves; throttling valves; float valves; and check valves. Most valves
are either steel or cast iron, although those found in premise plumbing to allow for easy shut-off
in the event of repairs are usually brass. They exist throughout the distribution system and are

more widely spaced in the transmission mains compared to the smaller-diameter pipes.
Other appurtenances in a water system include blow-off and air-release/vacuum valves, which
are used to flush water mains and release entrained air. On transmission mains, blow-off valves
are typically located at every low point, and an air release/vacuum valve at every high point on
the main. Blow-off valves are sometimes located near dead ends where water can stagnate or
where rust and other debris can accumulate. Care must be taken at these locations to prevent

unprotected connections to sanitary or storm sewers.


Pumps
Pumps are used to impart energy to the water in order to boost it to higher elevations or to
increase pressure. Pumps are typically made from steel or cast iron. Most pumps used in
distribution systems are centrifugal in nature, in that water from an intake pipe enters the pump
through the action of a spinning impeller where it is discharged outward between vanes and
into the discharge piping. The cost of power for pumping constitutes one of the major operating

costs for a water supply.


Flush hydrants
Flush hydrants are the most visible part of the water distribution system. They must be at the end
of all lines to remove accumulated corrosion products from dead-ends. Flush hydrants should
also be installed throughout the system to provide for periodic flushing to maintain high water

quality.
Hydrants are also primarily part of the fire fighting aspect of a water system. Proper design,
spacing, and maintenance are needed to insure an adequate flow to satisfy fire-fighting
requirements. Fire hydrants are typically exercised and tested annually by water utility or fire

department personnel.
Fire flow tests are conducted periodically to satisfy the requirements of the Insurance Services
Office or as part of a water distribution system calibration program (ISO, 1980). Fire hydrants

are installed in areas that are easily accessible by fire fighters and are not obstacles to pedestrians

Y3WEE & Y4 CE, S1-2011