Different Types of Water Distribution Systems, Common Problems and Solutions

October 22, 2020

The needed water supply of buildings and properties within a community is provided by a water distribution system. This specific system is comprised of a water supply network that has engineered hydrologic and hydraulic components capable of carrying potable water from a treatment plan or wells to residents or consumers. 

The collection, treatment, storage, and distribution of water are all carried out by a water distribution system. While the main functions of the system are straightforward, the continuous changes in the present and future demands alter the way the system usually works and functions.

Types of Water Distribution Systems

The changes in the demands of the system have paved the way for the existence of different types of water distribution systems. The following system types differ according to their general layouts but can be combined to cover a specific place.

  • Grid Iron System: Grid iron system can be done in places wherein the water mains and branches are laid and installed in rectangles. With this type of system, the water supply has a great flow and circulation since there are no dead ends. And despite the occurrence of water-related problems to some parts of the system, other properties would still have a steady water supply.
  • Ring Systems: Ring systems, on the other hand, are usually placed along the peripheral roads and sub mains that are branched out from the main connections. This type of water distribution system likewise follows the grid iron system when it comes to its flow pattern. The water supply and connection from ring systems can come from different directions.
  • Radial System: Radial systems usually cater to places that are divided into different zones. The water supply for these systems is pumped into the distribution reservoir that is installed in the middle of each zone. What makes radial systems great is that they can easily provide the needed water of properties. They can also make the calculation of pipe sizes easier.
  • Dead-End System: Dead-end systems are recommended for places that have no definite or strict road patterns. Compared to other water distribution systems, dead-end systems are cheap and affordable. They can also determine discharges and pressure more convenient since the required number of valves is lower than other systems.

Solving Common System Problems

One of the most common problems with most water distribution systems is the presence of leaks. While visible leaks and can be resolved right away, more leaks are left unchecked as they cannot be seen on the surface. This practice of passive leakage control does not truly help solve the leakage problem. 

In solving all types of leakage problems, those who oversee the maintenance of water distribution systems can a more reliable solution. They can hire leak detection specialists who can regularly check the pipes. These specialists are equipped with instruments that can detect leaks on the pipes and other components of the systems even without going underground. With all their gathered data, they can easily compute and analyse the condition of the systems and subsequently recommend the next actions.

Another problem with water distribution systems is the occurrence of commercial losses. This specific problem can easily decrease the billed volume and a decrease in revenues. To solve this problem, all illegal connections and other forms of water theft must be identified and cut off. Problems and errors in metering, data handling, and billing must also be resolved right away.

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