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Distribution System

Tech Brief: Water Quality in Distribution Systems - Water producers need to understand the sources of water quality degradation during the distribution process because, in addition to taste and odor problems that can occur, research also suggests that degraded water quality increases the risk of gastrointestinal illnesses.

Tech Brief: Water Hammer - Water hammer refers to fluctuations caused by a sudden increase or decrease in flow velocity. These pressure fluctuations can be severe enough to rupture a water main. Potential water hammer problems should be considered when pipeline design is evaluated, and a thorough surge analysis should be undertaken, in many instances, to avoid costly malfunctions in a distribution system.

Tech Brief: Leak Detection and Water Loss Control - Utilities can no longer tolerate inefficiencies in water distribution systems and the resulting loss of revenue associated with underground water system leakage. Increases in pumping, treatment and operational costs make these losses prohibitive. To combat water loss, many utilities are developing methods to detect, locate, and correct leaks.

Tech Brief: Cross Connection and Backflow Prevention - When drinking water is transported to a consumer, it is possible for contaminants to be introduced in the distribution system. This situation may occur due to connections between potable water lines and non-potable water sources or by a water flow reversal, resulting in water. This Tech Brief, discusses cross connections and backflow, and explores ways to prevent these situations.

Tech Brief: Repairing Distribution Line Breaks - Occasionally, water systems encounter situations where they must repair distribution system pipes. Corrosion and tuberculation (i.e., buildup of sediment, dirt, or rust) may have caused small leaks in the lines, or worse, a major line break may occur, creating an emergency situation. This Tech Brief discusses ways to manage these situations and outlines steps a utility may take to repair the distribution system.

Tech Brief: Locating Distribution Lines - Finding water distribution lines can be a daunting task. Fortunately, there are several techniques for finding your pipes. This Tech Brief examines as-built drawings, locating devices, geophones, and tapping the expertise of previous employees as useful methods for locating distribution lines.

Tech Brief: Line Pigging - Line pigging is an internal pipe-cleaning process used to remove biofilms or other foreign matter from the inside of water pipes. If performed correctly, line pigging will renew the flow rates to restricted piping systems and reduce pumping pressures. This Tech Brief discusses some of the techniques and processes used in cleaning waterlines in distributions systems.

Tech Brief: Valve Exercising - Every water system has valves—devices that regulate, stop, or start the flow of water in the distribution lines. Being able to operate these valves at a moment’s notice is extremely important. This Tech Brief examines typical valve exercising programs that can help maintain the useful life and operation of water system valves.

Tech Brief: Fundamental Concepts of Hydraulics: PressureHydraulics is the branch of engineering that focuses on the practical problems of collecting, storing, measuring, transporting, controlling, and using water and other liquids. This Tech Brief will discuss some fundamental hydraulic problems and will focus primarily on pressure.

Tech Brief: Fundamental Concepts of Hydraulics: Flow Hydraulics is the branch of engineering that focuses on the practical problems of collecting, storing, measuring, transporting, controlling, and using water and other liquids. This Tech Brief provides basic information about hydraulic problems and will focus on calculating flow rates in water or wastewater conveyance (distribution and collection) systems.

Tech Brief: System Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA)As small water systems continue to struggle to become more efficient, technology provides good ways to improve operations. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the application of control and communications systems—namely SCADA [System Control and Data Acquisition]—and their ability to provide system and information management that can help utilities meet regulatory requirements, reduce operating costs, and improve customer service.

Tech Brief: Point-of-Use/Point-of-Entry Systems (POU/POE)Numerous households use point-of-use/point-of-entry (POU/POE) systems primarily to deal with aesthetic concerns, such as taste and odor. These treatment devices are installed just as their name implies—at the point where water enters a household or where it is used, such as a faucet.

Tech Brief: Cross Connection and Backflow Prevention PosterPlumbing cross connections can link a potable water supply to a contamination source, causing a serious public health hazard. Cross connections can be controlled, but it takes vigilance and knowledge to carry out a good crossconnection control program. This poster illustrates some mechanical devices and methods used to control cross connections in commercial and industrial applications as well as for homeowners.

Tech Brief: ValvesValves direct, start, stop, mix, or regulate the flow, pressure, or temperature of a fluid. Valves range from simple water faucets to control valves equipped with microprocessors. Many different valve types exist; however, the most common types include gate, plug, ball, butterfly, check, pressure relief, and globe valves.

Tech Brief: PumpsFrom start to finish, pumps play an important role in all water distribution systems. They are used to transfer raw water to the treatment plant; they supply water to sections of a distribution system where it is not possible to supply it by gravity; they add appropriate chemical doses during treatment; and they transfer sludge from settling chambers for further treatment and disposal. Pumps will provide long-term efficient service if they are properly operated and maintained.

Tech Brief: Water MetersAny viable business must be able to determine how much product it is making and selling and if that product is profitable. Water is a business. And, the best way for a water utility to measure or account for the water produced and then sold is by using water meters. This Tech Brief, discusses the different types of meters, their applications, and their importance for a water utility business.

Tech Brief: Reservoirs, Towers, and Tanks - Drinking Water Storage FacilitiesAfter water leaves the treatment plant but before it reaches the customer, it must be adequately and safely stored. This Tech Brief explores the various aspects of water storage.