Types of Water Distribution System

4 Types of Water Distribution System | Advantages & Disadvantages Water Supply Distribution System

What Is Water Distribution System?

The household consumers use water for many purposes like drinking, cooking, washing hands, and body, washing clothes, cleaning the house, watering animals, irrigating the garden, and often for many commercial activities.

Different sources of water may be used for different activities, and the water sources available may change with the seasons.

Water Distribution System comes under the water supply system. A domestic water supply system is a provision to deliver water from source to household with appropriate quality, quantity, and pressure by public utilities, usually by a system of pumps and pipes.

There are different types of water distribution systems which are discussed here.


What Is a Domestic Water Distribution System?

The domestic water distribution system means the source and infrastructure that provides water to the household. A domestic water supply system can take water from different sources like a stream, a spring, a hand-dug well, a boring hall, or from a rainwater collection system.

The system of withdrawing water from the treatment plant and making it available at all appliances (fixtures) for use is known as a domestic water supply system. As per the use, the water supply system carries hot & cold water throughout the house.

Pipes convey water from sources to various appliances. The flow of water to appliances is controlled by valves and faucets (taps). The used water is conveyed to the drain.


Basic Principles of Water Supply Distribution System

  • The quality of water should not get deteriorated in the distribution pipes.
  • Supply system should be capable of supplying water at all the intentional places with sufficient pressure heads.
  • It should be capable of supplying the needful amount of water during fire-fighting.
  • The pipe layout should be such that no consumer would be without a water supply, during the repair of any section of the system.
  • All the pipes in the distribution system should be preferably laid one meter away or above the sewer lines.
  • The system of pipes should be fairly water-tight to keep losses due to leakage to the minimum.

Types of Water Distribution System

The following are four major types of water distribution system,

  1. Dead-end or Tree Distribution system
  2. Gridiron Distribution System
  3. Circular or ring Distribution System
  4.  Radial Distribution System

1. Dead-end or Tree Distribution System

In this types of water distribution system, one main pipeline runs through the center of the building, and the sub-mains branch lines off from both sides.

The sub-main lines are then divided into several branch lines from which service connections are provided for particular houses.

Dead End Distribution of Water Supply System
Dead End Distribution of Water Supply System

Advantages of Dead-end Distribution System

  • The design of pipe laying is simple and easy.
  • A less number of cut-off valves are required and the operation and maintenance cost is low.
  • Pipe laying is simple and no skilled labor is required.

Disadvantages of Dead-end Distribution System

  • The system is less successful in maintaining satisfactory pressure in high-rise buildings and is therefore not favored in modern waterworks practice.
  • Only one pipe provides the water to the entire building which is quite risky.
  • The head loss is relatively high, requiring a larger pipe diameter and need pumping units.
  • The discharge available during firefighting is limited due to high head loss in the piping system.
  • The water pressure available is also lower which requires a pumping system.

2. Gridiron Distribution System

In this, the main supply lines run through the center of the building, and sub mains branch off in perpendicular directions. The branch interconnects the sub-mains.

The distinguishing features of this system are that all the type of pipes are interconnected and there are no dead ends.

Water can reach at the given point of withdrawal from many directions, which allows more flexible operation, particularly when repairs are required.

Types of water distribution system
Grid Iron- Water Distribution System

Advantages of Gridiron Distribution System

  • This system enables the free circulation of water, without any stagnation or sediment deposit.
  • Because of the fewer interconnections water is available at every point with minimum loss of head.
  • Adequate water is available with pressure for firefighting requirements from the various branch lines.
  • During repair, only a few houses are affected.

Disadvantages of Gridiron Distribution System

  • In this system, more cut-off valves are required.
  • This system requires longer pipe lengths with larger diameters.
  • The analysis of discharge, pressure, and velocity in the pipes is difficult and cumbersome.
  • As more pipes are required, ultimately increases the cost of the distribution system.

3. Circular or Ring Distribution System

In this types of water distribution system, the supply mains forms a ring around the area. The branch pipes are connected cross-wise to the mains and also to each other.

This system is most reliable for several buildings located in the same area planned locations.

4 Types of Water Distribution System | Advantages & Disadvantages Water Supply Distribution System
Ring Water Distribution System

Advantages of Circular or Ring Distribution System

  • The number of interconnection is less with minimum loss of head.
  • The discharge is also higher when compared to other methods of distribution.
  • Fewer consumers are affected at the time of repairs as separate main lines available for each household.

Disadvantages of Circular or Ring Distribution System

  • The length of pipe laying is more which ultimately leads to higher cost.
  • Several valves are required to control the flow and discharge of water.

4. Radial Distribution System:

In this types of water distribution system, the whole buildings are divided into several distribution areas.

Each building has a centrally located elevated reservoir from where distribution pipes run radially towards the periphery of the distribution areas.

This system gives swift service, without much loss of head.

The design of the pipe laying system is much simpler.

4 Types of Water Distribution System | Advantages & Disadvantages Water Supply Distribution System
Radial Distribution System

Advantages of Radial Distribution System:

  • Generally, in high-rise buildings, a radial system is used for the water distribution system.
  • In this system, water is available with higher discharge and with minimum head loss.
  • Fewer numbers of the consumer are affected while repairing.

Disadvantages of Radial Distribution System:

  • The design of the pipe laying system is complicated.
  • More length of pipe is required as the connection is more in this system.

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