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The use of water by man, plants and animals is universal. Without it, there can be no life.
Every living thing requires water. The use of water is increasing rapidly with our growing
population. Already there are acute shortages of water. Careless pollution and contamination
of water sources has greatly impaired the quality of available water. Hence, there is a need for
proper water supply system to provide the end users with usable water free from pollutions.
The primary objective of water supply system is to take water from best available source and
to treat the water to ensure good quality, free from unpleasant taste or odour and free from
micro organisms that are detrimental to health. A typical water supply system consists of the
following units:
1. Collection works.
2. Transmission or intake works.
3. Purification or treatment works and
4. Distribution works.
Collection works: Collection works are meant for collecting water from different sources
(Section 4.2) like rivers, lakes, springs, wells, reservoirs etc.
Intake works: In many cases, the collection works may be far away from the city where
water is to be supplied. In that case, water is conveyed to the city through transmission or
intake works. These form the connecting link between the collection works and purification
works. Depending upon the topography of the area between the two sites, the transmission
works may be in the form of conduits, canals etc. The conveyance of water is discussed in
detail in Section 4.3.
Purification works: The water collected directly from source may not be safe for drinking
because of physical, chemical and biological impurities. The municipal water works must
deliver to the consumer the water that is:
a. Hygienically safe.
b. Aesthetically attractive and palatable and
c. Economically satisfactory for its intended use.

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Diseases like typhoid, cholera, dysentery etc. are water borne diseases. The principal aim of
purification works is to supply clean and bacteria free water. This is dealt in detail in Section
Distribution works: The treated and purified water is finally sent to consumers through
suitable distribution system. In order that water may flow in the water supply pipes under
pressure, the purified water is normally stored in an elevated service reservoir. There are two
patterns of water distribution system:
a. Branching pattern with dead ends, and
b. Grid iron pattern.
The plan, topography and location of the area with respect to the service reservoir establish
the type of distribution system and its character of flow.
Figure 4.1 shows the layout of water supply system with all the units.

Fig. 4.1: Layout of water supply system

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The objectives of operation and maintenance of sources of water supply schemes are:
1. The water sources should be able to supply water which is safe to drink after
2. The water sources should be perennial and should ensure sustainable yield.
3. The quality of water should not be allowed to deteriorate.
4. There should be least or no disruption in water supply systems due to depletion of
water sources.
5. There should be least possible expenditure on the repair and maintenance of the water
6. Proper record of the water sources should be maintained so that their time to time
performance could be known.
7. A methodical long-range programme of source inspection and monitoring should be
introduced to identify problems so that a regular programme of preventive
maintenance can guarantee reliability and continuity.
8. Survey maps shall be obtained or prepared for all possible sources of water like rivers,
reservoirs, lakes, canals, wells, and springs etc. The maps already available should be
updated from time to time.
4.2.1 Sources of Water
The sources of water are broadly classified into following categories:
Natural sources: Rain, snow, hail and sleet are precipitated upon the surface of the earth as
meteorological water and may be considered as the original source of all the water supplied.
Water, as source of drinking water, occurs as surface water and ground water. Three aspects
should be considered in appraising water resources e.g., the quantity, the quality, and the
reliability of available water.
Surface sources: Surface water accumulates mainly as a result of direct runoff from
precipitation (rain or snow). Precipitation that does not enter the ground through infiltration
or is not returned to the atmosphere by evaporation, flows over the ground surface and is
classified as direct runoff. Direct runoff is water that drains from saturated or impermeable
surfaces, into stream channels, and then into natural or artificial storage sites (or into the
ocean in coastal areas).
The amount of available surface water depends largely upon rainfall. When rainfall is limited,
the supply of surface water will vary considerably between wet and dry years.
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Surface water supplies may be further divided into river, lake, and reservoir supplies. Dams
are constructed to create artificial storage. Canals or open channels can be constructed to
convey surface water to the project sites. The water is also conveyed through pipes by gravity
or pumping.
In general, the surface sources are characterized by soft water, turbidity, suspended solids,
some colour and microbial contamination.
Sub surface sources: Part of the precipitation that falls infiltrates the soil. This water
replenishes the soil moisture, or is used by growing plants and returned to the atmosphere by
transpiration. Water that drains downward (percolates) below the root zone finally reaches a
level at which all the openings or voids in the earth's materials are filled with water. This
zone is called the zone of saturation. The water in the zone of saturation is called the ground
Ground waters are, generally, characterized by higher concentrations of dissolved solids,
lower levels of colour, higher hardness (as compared with surface water), dissolved gasses
and freedom from microbial contamination.
A well that penetrates the water table can be used to extract water from the ground basin.
Ground water that flows naturally from the ground is called a spring.
The extraction of ground water is mainly by:
1. Dug well with or without staining walls
2. Dug cum bore wells
3. Cavity Bore
4. Radial collector wells
5. Infiltration galleries
6. Tubewells & bore wells.
Table 4.1 shows the comparison between ground water and surface water in terms of quality
and quantity.
Table 4.1: Comparison of quality and quantity of ground water and surface water
Sl. No.

Suspended solids
Dissolved solids
Problems in distribution

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Ground water
Very high
Very high
Not palatable
Not required
Causes incrustation

Surface water
Very high
Very less
Very much required
Causes corrosion

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Contamination from other
sources such as industrial,
agricultural etc.,
Capital investment
Running cost
Effect of power failure



Available near the point

of usage
Sufficient for drinking
faecal Chances are very less
Chances are very less



Generally not available

near the point of usage
May or
Chances are very high
Chances are very high

the Less serious


Water is conveyed or transported from the source to the community through various types of
conduits. These may be either open or closed types depending upon whether the necessary
energy is to be provided by gravity or by pumping. The various types of conduits used are:
open channels, tunnels and pipe lines. Open channels and tunnels are generally used to
convey raw water from the source to the water treatment plants. However, the transported
water must be safeguarded pollution by inferior water sources. This is a special problem
when open channels or conduits operating at low pressures are used. Due to this, pipe lines
are invariably used for conveyance of water. Another advantage of using pipe lines is the
reduction of conveyance losses, such as evaporation and seepage losses.
Open channels are designed to convey water under conditions of atmospheric pressure. The
channels may be lined or unlined depending on the velocity of flow, slope of channel and
quantity of water supply. Pressure tunnels are constructed to cross rivers and valleys. They
must be operated under pressure or act as open channels. Pipe lines used in important
transportation systems may require gate valves, check valves, drains, manhole, pumping
stations etc.
Pipes are circular closed conduits through which the water may flow wither under gravity or
under pressure. Pipes may be made of following materials: cast iron, wrought iron,
galvanised iron, cement concrete, steel, asbestos cement, plastic, copper and wood.

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For the purpose of classification, the characteristics of water may be divided into the
following three categories.
1. Physical characteristics.
2. Chemical characteristics.
3. Biological characteristics.
Physical characteristics: The following are the physical characteristics,
a. Turbidity: Turbidity is caused due to presence of suspended and colloidal matter in
the water. The character and amount of turbidity depends upon the type of soil over
which the water has moved. Ground waters are less turbid than the surface water.
Turbidity is a measure of resistance of water to the passage of light through it.
Turbidity is expressed as NTU (Nephelometric Turbidity Units) or PPM (parts per
million) or Milligrams per litre (mg/l).
b. Colour and temperature: Colour in water is usually due to organic matter in colloidal
condition but some times it is also due to mineral and dissolved organic impurities.
The colour produced by one milligram of platinum in a litre of water has been fixed as
the unit of colour. The colour in water is not harmful but objectionable.
Temperature of water is measured by means of ordinary thermometers. The
temperature of surface water is generally at atmospheric temperature, while that of
ground water may be more or less than atmospheric temperature. The temperature
above 35 C is unfit for public supply, because it is not palatable.
c. Taste and odour: Taste and odour in water may be due to presence of dead or live
micro-organisms, dissolved gases such as hydrogen sulphide, methane, carbon
dioxide or oxygen combined with organic matter, mineral substances such as sodium
chloride, iron compounds and carbonates and sulphates of other substances. The tests
of these are done by sense of smell and taste because these are present in such small
proportions that it is difficult to detect them by chemical analysis. The water having
bad smell and odour is objectionable and should not be supplied to the public.
Chemical characteristics: Typical chemical characteristics of water can include varying
amounts of solids and/or salts, also referred to as total solids (TS), total suspended solids
(TSS). It also includes hardness, pH of water.
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Total solids and suspended solids: Total solids include the solids in suspension colloidal and
in dissolved form. The quantity of suspended solids is determined by filtering the sample of
water through fine filter, drying and weighing. The quantity of dissolved and colloidal solids
is determined by evaporating the filtered water obtained from the suspended solid test and
weighing the residue.
pH value of water: pH value denotes the concentration of hydrogen ions in the water and it is
a measure of acidity or alkanity of a substance. For pure water, PH value is 7 and 0 to 7
acidic and 7 to 14 alkaline ranges. For public water supply PH value may be 6.5 to 8.5. The
lower value may cause tuberculation and corrosion, where as high value may produce
incrustation, sediment deposits and other bad effects.
Hardness of water: It is a property of water, which prevents the lathering of the soap.
Hardness is of two types.

Temporary hardness: It is caused due to the presence of carbonates and sulphates of

calcium and magnesium. It is removed by boiling.


Permanent hardness: It is caused due to the presence of chlorides and nitrates of

calcium and magnesium. It is removed by zeolite method.

Hardness is usually expressed in gm/litre or p.p.m. of calcium carbonate in water. Hardness

of water is determined by EDTA (Ethylene Diamine Tetra Acetic acid) method. For potable
water hardness ranges from 5 to 8 degrees.
Bacterial and microscopical characteristics: The examination of water for the presence of
bacteria is important for the water supply engineer from the viewpoint of public health. The
bacteria may be harmless to mankind or harmful to mankind. The former category is known
as non-pathogenic bacteria and the later category is known as pathogenic bacteria. Many of
the bacteria found in water are derived from air, soil and vegetation. Some of these are able to
multiply and continue their existence while the remaining dies out in due course of time.
Table 4.2 shows the characteristics of some natural water sources.
Table 4.2 Characteristics of water sources (Ref: Water supply Engineering, B. C. Punmia)
Surface runoff

Gases, vapours, particulates, salt nuclei, radio-active fall out
Particulates, organic matter, nitrates, phosphates, biocides
Carbonates, Chlorides and Sulphates of Calcium and Magnesium, Iron

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Lake water
River water

and Manganese, SO2, H2S

Algae, odours, tastes
Particulates, organic matter, waste waters


Sl. Parameter

Limit mg/l

Permissible limit in
the absence of
alternate sources
May be extended up to
25 if toxic substances
are suspected
Unobjectionable Agreeable
May be relaxed up to
25 in the absence of
May be relaxed up to
9.2 in the absence





hardness as
CaCO3, Max


May be extended up to

Iron as Fe


May be extended up to

Chlorides as


May be extended up to

Free residual
Calcium as


Applicable only when

water is chlorinated


May be extended up to

Copper as


May be extended up to





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Undesirable effect
outside the desirable
Above 5, consumer
acceptance decreases
--Above 5, consumer
acceptance decreases
Beyond this range the
water will affect the
mucous membrane and / or
water supply system
Encrustation in water
supply structure and
adverse effects on
domestic use
Beyond this limit
taste/appearance are
affected, has adverse effect
on domestic uses and
water supply
structures, and promotes
iron bacteria
Beyond this limit tast,
corrosion and palatability
are effected
-Beyond this palatability
decreases and may cause
gastro intentional irritation
Encrustation in water
supply structure and
adverse effects on
domestic use
Astringent taste,
discoloration and
corrosion of pipes, fitting
and utensils will be caused
beyond this
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as Mn


May be extended up to


Sulphates as


May be extended up to


Nitrates as


No relaxation


Fluoride as F

0.6 to 1.2


Cadmium as
Cyanide as
Mercury as
Zinc as Zn


If the limit is below 0.6

water should be
rejected, Max. Limit is
extended to 1.5
No relaxation


No relaxation


No relaxation


Arsenic as
Lead as Pb


No relaxation


No relaxation



Beyond this limit

taste/appearance are
affected, has adverse effect
on domestic uses and
water supply
Beyond this causes gastro
intentional irritation when
magnesium or sodium are
Beyond this
takes place
Fluoride may be kept as
low as possible. High
fluoride may cause
Beyond this, the water
becomes toxic
Beyond this, the water
becomes toxic
Beyond this, the water
becomes toxic
Beyond this limit it can
cause astringent taste and
an opalescence in water
Beyond this, the water
becomes toxic
Beyond this, the water
becomes toxic


The available raw waters must be treated and purified before they can be supplied to the
public for their domestic, industrial or any other uses. The extent of treatment required to be
given to the particular water depends upon the characteristics and quality of the available
water, and also upon the quality requirements for the intended use.
The layout of conventional water treatment plant is as follows:

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Fig. 4.2: Typical layout of water treatment plant

Depending upon the magnitude of treatment required, proper unit operations are selected and
arranged in the proper sequential order for the purpose of modifying the quality of raw water
to meet the desired standards.
The typical functions of each unit operations are given in the following table:
Unit treatment
Aeration, chemicals use
Chemical methods

Function (removal)
Colour, Odour, Taste
Floating matter
Iron, Manganese, etc.
Suspended matter
Suspended matter, a part of colloidal matter and bacteria
Remaining colloidal dissolved matter, bacteria
Pathogenic bacteria, Organic matter and Reducing substances

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The types of treatment required for different sources are given in the following table:
Treatment required
1. Ground water and spring water fairly free from No treatment or Chlorination
2. Ground water with chemicals, minerals and
Aeration, coagulation (if
necessary), filtration and
3. Lakes, surface water reservoirs with less
amount of pollution
4. Other surface waters such as rivers, canals and Complete treatment
impounded reservoirs with a considerable amount
of pollution
Sewage indicates the liquid waste from the community. It includes sullage, discharge from
latrines, urinals, stables industrial waste and also the ground surface and storm water that may
be admitted into the sewer. It is extremely putrescible; its decomposition produces large
quantities of malodorous gases, and it may contain numerous pathogenic or disease
producing bacteria.
Sources of Sewage: Sewage includes sanitary, commercial, industrial, agricultural and
surface runoff. The wastewater from residences and institutions, carrying body wastes
(primarily faeces and urine), washing water, food preparation wastes, laundry wastes, and
other waste products of normal living, are classed as domestic or sanitary sewage. Liquidcarried wastes from stores and service establishments serving the immediate community,
termed commercial wastes, are included in the sanitary or domestic sewage category if their
characteristics are similar to household flows.
Wastes that result from industrial processes such as the production or manufacture of goods
are classed as industrial wastewater. Their flows and strengths are usually more varied,
intense, and concentrated than those of sanitary sewage.
Surface runoff, also known as storm flow or overland flow, is that portion of precipitation
that runs rapidly over the ground surface to a defined channel. Precipitation absorbs gases
and particulates from the atmosphere, dissolves and leaches materials from vegetation and
soil, suspends matter from the land, washes spills and debris from urban streets and
highways, and carries all these pollutants as wastes in its flow to a collection point.
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Wastewater characteristics: Wastewater characteristics can be listed as follows:

1. Physical characteristics
a) Colour Fresh wastewater light brownish gray.
With time dark gray
More time black (septic).
Sometimes pink due to algae or due to industrial colours.
b) Odour Odour is produced by gas production due to the decomposition of organic
matter or by substances added to the wastewater.
c) Temperature Temperature of wastewater is commonly higher than that of water
supply. Depending on the geographic location the mean annual temperature varies
in the range of 10 to 21oC with an average of 16oC.
d) Turbidity Turbidity is a measure of the light scattering ability of suspended
matter in the water. Waste water is more turbid than raw water.
e) Solids Solid material in wastewater may be dissolved, suspended, or settleable.
Total dissolved solids (TDS) are measured as the mass of residue remaining when
a measured volume of filtered water is evaporated. The mass of dried solids
remaining on the filter is called total suspended solids (TSS). Settleable solids are
measured as the visible volume accumulated at the bottom of an Imhoff cone after
water has settled for one hour.
2. Chemical characteristics
a) Biochemical Oxygen Demand (B.O.D): If the water is contaminated with sewage,
the demand of oxygen by organic matter in sewage is known as biochemical
oxygen demand. The aerobic action continues till the oxygen is present in sewage.
As the oxygen exhausts the anerobic action begins due to which foul smell starts
coming. Therefore indirectly the decomposable matters require oxygen, which is
used by the organisms. The general range of BOD observed for raw sewage is 100
to 400 mg/L.
b) Chemical Oxygen Demand (C.O.D): The COD gives the measure of the oxygen
required for chemical oxidation. It does not differentiate between biological
oxidisable and non-oxidisable material. However, the ratio of the COD to BOD
does not change significantly for particular waste and hence this test could be used
conveniently for interpreting performance efficiencies of the treatment units. In

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general, the COD of raw sewage at various places is reported to be in the range
200 to 700 mg/L.
c) pH: The hydrogen ion concentration expressed as pH, is a valuable parameter in
the operation of biological units. The pH of the fresh sewage is slightly more than
the water supplied to the community. However, decomposition of organic matter
may lower the pH, while the presence of industrial wastewater may produce
extreme fluctuations. Generally the pH of raw sewage is in the range 5.5 to 8.0.
d) Solids: Though sewage contains only about 0.1 percent solids, the rest being
water, still the nuisance caused by the solids cannot be overlooked, as these solids
are highly putrescible and therefore need proper disposal.
e) Nitrogen and Phosphorous: The principal nitrogen compounds in domestic sewage
are proteins, amines, amino acids, and urea. Ammonia nitrogen in sewage results
from the bacterial decomposition of these organic constituents. Nitrogen being an
essential component of biological protoplasm, its concentration is important for
proper functioning of biological treatment systems and disposal on land.
Phosphorus is contributing to domestic sewage from food residues containing
phosphorus and their breakdown products. The use of increased quantities of
synthetic detergents adds substantially to the phosphorus content of sewage.
Phosphorus is also an essential nutrient for the biological processes.
f) Chlorides: Concentration of chlorides in sewage is greater than the normal
chloride content of water supply. The chloride concentration in excess than the
water supplied can be used as an index of the strength of the sewage. The daily
contribution of chlorides averages to about 8 gm per person. Based on an average
sewage flow of 150 LPCD, this would result in the chloride content of sewage
being 50 mg/L higher than that of the water supplied.
g) Organic material: Organic compound present in sewage are of particular interest
for sanitary engineering. A large variety of microorganisms (that may be present
in the sewage or in the receiving water body) interact with the organic material by
using it as an energy or material source. The utilization of the organic material by
microorganisms is called metabolism. The conversion of organic material by
microorganism to obtain energy is called catabolism and the incorporation of
organic material in the cellular material is called anabolism.
h) Toxic metals and compounds: Some heavy metals and compounds such as
chromium, copper, cyanide, which are toxic may find their way into municipal
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sewage through industrial discharges. The concentration of these compounds is

important if the sewage is to treat by biological treatment methods or disposed off
in stream or on land. In general these compounds are within toxic limits in
sanitary sewage. However, with receipt of industrial discharges they may cross the
limits in municipal wastewaters.
3. Biological characteristics
a) Bacteria: Sewage consists of vast quantities of bacteria, most of which are
harmless to man. However, typhoid, dysentery, and other intestinal disorders
causing pathogenic (disease-causing) organisms may be present in wastewater.
Bacteria can also be classified according to their dissolved oxygen requirement.
Aerobic bacteria are bacteria that require dissolved oxygen to live. Anaerobic
bacteria cannot live if dissolved oxygen is present. Facultative bacteria can live
with or without dissolved oxygen.
b) Viruses: Wastewater often contains viruses that may produce diseases. Outbreaks
of infectious hepatitis have been traced through water systems because of
wastewater entering the supply.
c) Parasites: There are also many species of parasites carried by wastewater.
The life cycle of each is peculiar to the given parasite. Some are dangerous to man
and livestock, particularly during certain stages of the life cycle. Amoebic
dysentery is a common disease caused by amoebic parasites.

Stages of purification: The wastewater treatment is a broad term that applies to any process/
operation or combination of processes and operations that can reduce the objectionable
properties of water carried waste and render it less dangerous with the following:
(i) Removal of suspended and floatable material.
(ii) Treatment of biodegradable organics.
(iii)Elimination of pathogenic organisms.
A typical sewage treatment process is shown in figure. The different stages are explained in
brief below.

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Fig.4.3: Sewage treatment process

Preliminary Treatment: As the wastewater enters the plant it passes by a Protective Coarse
Bar Screen and large solid items are caught before the water enters the Grit Settling Tanks.
The grit settling tanks allow sand, gravel and other heavy materials to settle out of the water.
The solid materials caught at this stage are sent to a sanitary landfill for disposal. At the
comminution stage remaining solid materials are mechanically broken down into smaller
particles prior to entering primary treatment.
Primary Settling: The screened wastewater flows into large tanks known as primary settling
tanks, where it is detained for several hours, allowing more solids to settle to the bottom of
the tanks. Large paddles skim off the oil, grease and scum. The settled sludge and the scum
are collected and pumped to large digestion tanks for further treatment.
Aeration: The wastewater then flows by gravity to aeration tanks where it is mixed with
"activated sludge" containing aerobic bacteria (bacteria which uses oxygen). Air is pumped
into the tanks to aid the bacteria which feed on the organic material remaining in the
wastewater. The water remains in the aeration tank for several hours.
Final Settling: The "activated sludge" settles out of the wastewater in final settling tanks and
is either returned to the aeration tanks to replenish the aerobic bacteria or is sent to anaerobic
digestion tanks for further treatment.
Chlorination: An application of chlorine kills harmful microorganisms before the cleaned
wastewater, now called final effluent, flows back into the lake. Ultra-violet disinfection is
used in place of chlorination at several plants.

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