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close this book Water purification, distribution and sewage disposal for Peace Corps volunteers
close this folder Section 1: Water supply sources
View the document Overview:
View the document Background information
View the document Evaluation of sources
View the document Factors influencing the quality of water
View the document The quantity of water
View the document Types of sources
View the document Development of water sources
View the document The basic requirements of a water supply
View the document Selection of the source of supply
View the document Lesson plans


The purpose of a water supply system is to distribute water to the locations where it is needed. A source of water must be found which is adequate in quantity and quality. An understanding of the geological properties of the earth is necessary to recognize and evaluate the potential sources of water for this system.

This section is planned to familiarize the student with these basic geological properties. Also included is information on making topographic maps to aid in this evaluation. This background knowledge is then used to describe water sources and how they can be developed to provide potable and palatable water for distribution by the water supply system.

The learning activities in this section are primarily field exercises. The trainees will be in the field seeing actual examples of water sources. They will examine samples of the various rock types. The emphasis should be on individual participation. It is only through this experience that a trainee will be able to again recognize suitable sources when he is overseas.




OBJECTIVE: Locate and identify water supply sources and determine potential feasibility as village or rural water supply sources.


1. Procure existing topographic maps and sketches of the area and consult people with a knowledge of the same information on the types and locations of the sources.

2. Determine the location of any lakes or ponds, cisterns, springs, rivers, or wells with respect to the community.

3. Identify any lakes, ponds, rivers, springs, wells, or cisterns.

4. Roughly sketch the topography between the sources and the community.

5. Plot the location of any houses, livestock grazing areas, privies, etc. on an existing map or a simple sketch map.

6. Estimate by means of field determinations and past records the amount and the variation in the amount of water available from each source.

7. Identify the nature and quantity of any physical, bacteriological, and chemical pollutants of each source.

8. Identify the extent to which any developments would improve the quality or quantity of the various potentially productive sources.

9. Determine the cost of developments for each potential source.


1. Interpret and male simple topographic maps.

2. Use a compass.

3. Identify the various types of water supply sources.

4. Identify the basic rock and soil types and know the hydrological properties of each.

5. Know what factors influence the quantity of a given water supply source.

6. Know what factors influence the quality of a given water supply source.

7. Identify physical pollutants (the extent of chemical and bacteriological pollution will be determined by laboratory analysis).

8. Identify what developments can significantly reduce pollution or improve the yield of the various water supply sources.

9. List the relative costs of various types of source developments.


1. Given a compass, draw a simple topographic map of any prominent topographic features such as a hill.

2. In a field exercise, correctly identify the various types of water supply sources.

3. Correctly identify the basic rock and soil types.

4. Correctly list the factors which influence the quality and quantity of a given water supply source, and the extent that each factor influences that source as a water supply consideration.

5. Given a number of water samples, correctly identify all physical pollutants present in each sample.

6. Opposite each type of water supply source, correctly list the developments that may improve its quality or quantity.

7. On a written examination list the relative cost of given types of source developments.