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close this book Water purification, distribution and sewage disposal for Peace Corps volunteers
close this folder Section 5: Construction techniques
View the document Overview:
View the document Scheme
View the document Concrete
View the document Construction at the source
View the document Construction at the pumping station
View the document Construction at storage facility
View the document Construction on supply line
View the document Lesson plans


The preceding sections have covered the background knowledge that a trainee must have to recognize and evaluate sources of water and to plan the development of a distribution and treatment system. Regardless of the planning, a system is only as good as its construction &flows. This section covers the techniques needed by the volunteer to adequately construct the system he has designed.

The emphasis of this instructional material is on doing. The trainee should learn by doing, for no amount of lecture can impart "how", it is only through doing that the trainee will be able to understand when, for example, concrete is wet enough,

This section covers construction with concrete, and specific projects for building and installing the mayor components of a treatment and distribution system.


OBJECTIVE: Develop, purify and distribute water in a given community.


1. Develop the selected source to meet the requirements specified in the design.

2. Build an intake site and install intake pumping facilities.

3. Test the water so obtained for sanitary standards.

4. Build a treatment plant appropriate for treating water from the above developed source.

5. Construct a storage tank with a predetermined capacity; apply protective coatings on tank and pipes against heat, chemical corrosion and Insect pests.

6. Lay and connect pipes for the conveyance of water from the distribution reservoirs (storage tank) to the various service connections.


1. Recall characteristics of various types of sources.

2. Dig, drill, and bore a well in such a way as to obtain maximum yield from it.*

3. Mix concrete of a desired strength.

4. Build protective casing for a well, spring, or pump base.*

(*This skill is optional, depending on the scope of the particular training program.)

5. Build a small pumphouse to specification.

6. Determine conditions which would require low or high lift-pumps for intake of water.

7. Build a screen of wire or other materials of desired mesh around an intake terminal in a pond, lake, stream, river or any other reservoir to keep out silt, water life and vegetation, and the stress from water flow.

8. Recognize relevant treatment processes for water from a given source.

9. Construct or assemble the various treatment processes such as, filters, sedimentation tanks, etc.

10. Connect various treatment stages in their proper order.

11. Read and follow an instruction manual.

12. Put together a prefabricated structure, using reinforced concrete, painting or spraying the needed parts, and welding, soldering or riveting pipes together.


1. At a given location develop a water source from underground water which will meet the water demand of the community.*

(*This skill is optional, depending on the scope of the particular training program.)

2. Given raw materials required to produce concrete, mix concrete of a specified strength and show it meets the specification.

3. For a given source, install an intake pump.

4. Given the plan and all materials, build a house over a well (or pump).

5. In a given distribution system. state where you would use: a. Low lift pump b. High lift pump

6. Design and build a model of an intake terminal of a system if the source is: a. Lake or pond b. River or stream c. Well or cistern

7. For a given source of water, carry out purity tests and state what kind of treatment the water requires.

8. Construct separately the various component parts of a treatment system and test the efficiency at the various treatment stages.

9. Given a model treatment plant in the laboratory, assemble the various treatment units in order of performance (e.g., sedimentation-filtering).

10. Given a package of all parts of a tank or pump (or the respective models) with an accompanying instruction manual, assemble the parts and test for proper fittings.

11. Given a storage tank and its gross weight, design a foundation for its elevation to a given height above the ground.

12. Construct a tank of specific volume with reinforced concrete.

13. Given a storage tank and distribution pipes, coat to protect them from: a. Corrosion from ground and atmospheric chemicals b. Excessive heat c. Insect and other pests.

14. In a workshop, join several pipe lengths using different methods at each joint, e.g. welding, riveting, etc.