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close this book Water purification, distribution and sewage disposal for Peace Corps volunteers
close this folder Section 4: Characteristics of an adequate system
View the document Overview:
View the document Essential components of an adequate system
View the document General requirements for an adequate system
View the document Relationship of distribution system to community
View the document Headloss and distribution systems
View the document Lesson plans


There are many technical problems and factors to be considered in the design of a distribution system, The layout of the system, the sizes of the pipes, the loss of pressure, and many other factors must be considered in the actual planning of the system.

This section provides the trainee with an understanding of the characteristic of an adequate system. With this understanding he will be able to plan the technical aspects of the project and avoid mistakes in the construction phase of the program.


OBJECTIVE: Define and evolve a detailed plan for the construction of the basic components in an adequate system.


1. Draw to scale the plan and profile illustrating the relative locations of the component parts of the system.

2. Prepare a detailed account of the characteristics of the chosen source, and state how it is to be developed.

3. Analyze data (collected in Section I) and decide what type of treatment processes are required.

4. Describe how water will be transferred from the source to treatment plant or distribution reservoirs, and the sanitary precautions to be taken.

5. Describe the safety precautions to be taken during the construction and operation of the treatment plant; i.e., to avoid recontamination and protect personnel.

6. Determine the storage requirement for the system.

7. Based on the location of the tank, select the material (s) to be used in its construction.

8. Identify sanitary and servicing provisions to be followed in constructing the storage tank.

9. Decide which system of distribution best suits the community.

10. Determine the required pressures at service connections and design the pipes and joints for distributing.


1. Recall the essential components of an adequate system.

2. Draw topographic, plan, and elevation maps. List data which should be included on a topographic map of an adequate distribution system. Measure elevation of points.

3. Identify safe water.

4. Recall functions of component parts of a treatment plant. Use high and low lift pumps. Describe and evaluate the various treatment processes described in Section 2.

5. Recall relationship between distribution systems and various community patterns.

6. Calculate required head, headless. Read from tables the relationships between pipe sizes, pipe joints, and headless.

7, Recall relationship between different pumping facilities and size of community.

8. Identify the relevant structural properties of materials.

9. Identify properties of coating paints.

10. Recall safety standards to be maintained in the construction and operation of a system.


1. For a given community layout, design a distribution system which best suits it, and draw to scale the plan and profile showing the locations of the various component parts of the water distribution system, pipe lengths and size, and valve locations along the line.

2. Given a number of water samples, identify those defined as "safe".

3. In a given treatment system, state in detail what happens as the water passes through the successive stages.

4. Given a source and treatment plant, and/or distribution reservoir some distance apart, list all sanitary precautions which should be taken while transferring the water.

5. List all sanitary and personnel safety provisions to be taken into consideration while planning the construction and operation of e treatment plant.

6. Choose the appropriate materials for constructing storage tanks,

a. underground

b. on the ground

c. above the ground

7. Determine the difference in height between a given storage plant and service connection, and calculate the required head And headless in the section.

8. From given tables, choose pipe sizes that will deliver water with a specified residual pressure at a service connection distance ( ) units away.