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Chapter 11

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Chapter 11. Gravity Fed Water Supply Systems 1

11.1 Fluid Mechanics and Pipe Networks

11.1.1 Quantity of Flow in a Pipe

As water flows in a pipe, a certain volume of water passes through per unit time. This is referred to as the flow rate or discharge, and is in units of volume per time (e.g., L/sec, m 3 /sec, or ft 3 /sec). For a given flow rate, if the pipe has a small diameter, then the water has a high velocity, and conversely, if the pipe is large, then the velocity is low. This can be quantified by Equation 11-1, which is referred to as the continuity equation:

Q = V×A

(11-1)

where Q is the volumetric flow rate (length cubed/time), V is the velocity (length/time), and A is the cross-sectional inside area of the pipe (length squared).

11.1.2 Pressure (or Head) at Various Locations along the Pipe

A pipe will carry its maximum discharge as long as the pressure anywhere in the pipe does not fall below atmospheric pressure. If the pressure does go below zero, then a siphon will be established. This is a negative pressure in the pipe that can result in contamination being drawn into the pipe if a crack or hole develops. Negative (or even low) pressures are therefore

1 Contributors: Matthew A. Niskanen, Nathan Reents, John Simpson, Stephen Good

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to be avoided. For this reason, it is important to be able to determine the pressure at all locations in the pipe network.

Assuming no change in elevation of a pipe, pressure diminishes in the pipe as water flows downstream. This pressure loss (also called head loss) is due to friction with the pipe walls and also to the swirling flow patterns found at the entrance to pipes, valves, pipe bends, and where the flow exits the pipe.

The pressure (or head) loss due to friction can be determined as follows, assuming fully turbulent flow:

h

L

=

16 f

LQ

2

2 g

π

2

D

5

(11-2)

In Equation 11-2, h L is the frictional head loss (length), f is a friction factor, L is pipe length (length), Q is flow rate in pipe (length cubed/time), g is the gravitational constant (length per time squared), π equals 3.1416, and D is the pipe diameter (length). Friction factors can be determined for different relative roughness and pipe diameters as provided in Tables 11-1 and

11-2.

In addition to losing energy due to friction with the pipe walls, losses occur in any kind of pipe fitting due to swirling flow patterns. These are called minor losses and can be quantified as follows:

h

L

(min

or

)

=

16

K

Q

2

2

2 gπ D

4

(11-3)

where K is a function of pipe geometry and type of fitting. Values of K can be found from Table

11-3.

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11.1.3 The Energy Equation

Using Equations 11-1 to 11-3 and Tables 11-1 to 11-3, it is possible to calculate the

amount of energy (or pressure) that is present at any location along any of the pipes in a water

distribution system. Pressure is sometimes conveniently expressed in terms of head, which is

the pressure divided by the specific weight of water, γ. The pressure at any point in a pipe can be

thought of as how far the water would rise if a vertical tube was connected to the pipe at that

point. The Energy Equation is used for this purpose and is written as follows:

Term (1) Term (3) 2 p 8 Q 1 1 + + z H 1
Term (1)
Term (3)
2
p
8
Q
1
1
+
+
z
H
1 +
2
4
γ
g
π
D
1

Term (2)

p

=

p

2

8

Q

2

2

γ

g

π

2 D

4

2

+

+ +∑ z h 2 L Term (4)
+ +∑
z
h
2
L
Term (4)

(11-4)

In Equation 11-4, p is pressure (force/length squared), γ is the specific weight of water

(force/length cubed), Q is the flow rate (length cubed/time), g is the gravitational constant

(length per time squared), D is the pipe diameter (length), z is the height above some reference

elevation (length), H p is the pressure head supplied by a pump (length), and Σh L is the total head

loss (length). In SI units, g is equal to 9.81 m/s 2 , and in English units, 32.2 ft/s 2 . The specific

weight of water is a function of temperature. At 10 o C (50 o F) the specific weight of water is

9.804 kN/m 3 (62.41 lb/ft 3 ).

The subscript 1 in Equation 11-4 denotes an upstream point in the pipe, and the subscript

2 refers to a downstream point. Term (1) in Equation 11-4 is called the pressure head, Term (2)

the velocity head, and Term (3) the elevation head. Term (4) is the head loss term. The Energy

Equation can be solved for D and is used to size pipes, as illustrated later in Example 11-1.

11.1.4 Use of the Hydraulic Grade Line

The hydraulic grade line (HGL) is a plot of z + p/γ (i.e, the elevation head plus the

pressure head). This is Terms (3) and (1) in the Energy Equation (Equation 11-4). The ground

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elevation is first plotted, and then a line of p/γ is plotted above that. Figure 11-1 shows a HGL in relation to the topography for the situation that will be examined in Example 11-1.

An easier and more intuitive method of plotting the HGL is to start at the upstream water surface (i.e., at the source) and then subtract head loss as you go downstream. There are minor losses in the inlet to the pipe at the source (term “a” in Figure 11-1), then friction losses along the pipe. When pipes are joined, the head at the downstream end of the upper pipe is the head available at the upstream end of the lower pipe. This process can be continued along the entire pipeline. The slope of the HGL will be steeper as D is decreased or Q is increased, since both situations will result in higher velocity and therefore higher head loss, as can be seen in Equation

11-2.

Using the Energy Equation (11-4) it is possible to plot the head at all points along the pipe, thereby allowing any points of excessively high or low head to be detected for later correction. (When determining whether the head is too high or too low, it is the pressure head

that is of concern. Visually, this is the elevation difference between the hydraulic grade line and the ground surface.) As stated above, low pressure regions may not be able to provide the needed discharge, and high pressures can burst the pipe. This is illustrated later in Example 11-

1.

Each type of pipe can withstand a different amount of pressure (or head). This maximum allowable pressure for a certain type of pipe can be found from the pipe manufacturer as is provided in Table 11-4. If you cannot find this information, then an approximate value to use is 150 ft of head for PVC pipe and 600 ft for galvanized iron pipe. These are low estimates. Actual values depend on the specific material, the wall thickness, and operating temperature.

11.2 Components of a Gravity Fed Water Supply System

A gravity fed water system consists of many components as described in detail in this section. The hydraulic design process is demonstrated later in Example 11-1.

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Box 14-1. Eight items to consider when determining whether a gravity flow water project is feasible.

1. Water at the source should not appear turbid, have an odor, carry a lot of sediment, or be contaminated with pathogens or agricultural chemicals.

2. The owner of the land where the source is located should be trustworthy, educated on how their activities could influence the water source, and have provided written permission.

3. For gravity systems, the community houses should be located at an elevation below the source.

4. The minimum flow of the source (during the dry season) should cover the needs of the community else it must be supplemented with other sources of water.

5. If the source is located below the community, a pump system will be required and thus, the community has to have access to power (human, renewable, or fossil fuel) to lift the water. The availability of parts to repair a pumping device must also be considered.

6. There needs to be a suitable place for a storage tank located above the community.

7. There must be funds available from nearby organizations, government, and community members to construct the system initially.

8. The members of the community should show interest and be willing to provide labor and the funds to construct and maintain the system.

11.2.1 The Source

Gravity fed water supply systems typically begin by identifying an adequate and permanent source of safe water in an area of higher elevation than the community. This water could be surface water collected behind a dam or groundwater collected by means of a springbox. Water at the source should not appear turbid, have an odor, carry a lot of sediment, or be contaminated. If the flow of the source does not cover the needs of the community during the dry season, it will need to be supplemented with other sources of water. The owner of the land where the source is located should be trustworthy, understand how his or her activities could influence the water source, and provide written permission for use of the source.

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Dams are used when the available water source is a stream or river. The advantage of constructing a dam is that during the rainy season, the water will easily pass over the structure and not damage it. The main disadvantage is that this water source is more susceptible to contamination, and generally carries more sediment than the groundwater of a natural spring. Dams can be built out of many materials, depending on availability in the region.

Sedimentation tanks (Figure 11-2) are often needed when using dammed surface water, due particularly to the high turbidity of water during the rainy season. The tank is built in order to slow the flow of the water, causing particles to settle out by gravity.

For the tank to work properly, a plumber must periodically open the clean out valve to release sediment located in the bottom of the tank. Sediment in the conduction line can cause obstructions and unnecessary wear along the inner walls of the pipe. A sedimentation tank also serves as a break pressure tank (discussed later), because the pressure is returned to atmospheric pressure. However, they are typically placed near the source in order to remove sediments as early as possible so as to minimize damage to pipes caused by suspended particles

11.2.2 The Conduction Line

A conduction line transmits water from the elevated source to a storage tank. The tank then stores the water accumulated during periods of lower demand for use during periods of larger demand. Pipe material is typically PVC or galvanized iron. Table 11-5 compares the advantages and disadvantage of each, and an explanation of where they are typically used. As can be seen from this table, the choice of pipe material affects the roughness of the pipe, and therefore the head loss due to friction.

Water velocity through pipe is typically maintained between 0.5 to 3 m/s. If the velocity is lower than 0.5 m/s, suspended solids in the water may settle and collect in the pipe. This can increase head loss and lead to clogging in the pipe. Sediment clean out valves (wash outs) that

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are strategically placed at low points allow removal of accumulated sediment; however, a lapse in maintenance will lead to problems. If a low velocity cannot be avoided, frequent line flushing will have to take place, or a sedimentation tank may have to be installed at the beginning of the pipeline or the springbox can be sized to provide for sedimentation. If the velocity is greater than 3 m/s, the interior of the pipe can be seriously eroded leading to increased frictional losses and a reduction in the design life. A larger pipe size will reduce the velocity and also lead to lower frictional losses. Table 11-6 provides velocity limits for different pipe sizes.

Pipe sizing is not only based on survey data, but also peak flow from the water source. A conduction line is typically designed to carry the maximum daily flow from the source to the storage tank. The tank then acts to store the water carried during the periods of lower demand for use during periods of larger demand. Pipe diameters can change going from one pipe segment to another. Pipe sizes usually decrease as a pipeline progresses downstream from one pipe segment when there is decreasing discharge required. The head loss in the contraction fitting from a large to smaller diameter pipe should be included in calculations. Table 11-3 provided the coefficient to be used for contractions.

Pipe size can be calculated by hand if necessary (Reents 2002; Simpson 2003). Software

programs such as GoodWater (Good 2008) are also available to assist the design of gravity fed water systems. GoodWater is further unique because it also incorporates principles of sustainability. A copy can be obtained by contacting this book’s lead author. Commonly used

pipe size diameters are: ½, 1, 1.5, 2, 3, and 4 inches.

rural water projects. GI pipe is usually sold in 6 m (20 ft) sections and PVC pipe is usually solid in 19 ft sections. The actual pipe inner diameter is slightly different than the nominal size.

Larger, more expensive pipes are rare in

the nominal size. Larger, more expensive pipes are rare in Box 14-2. Community understanding of pipe

Box 14-2. Community understanding of pipe size.

You may observe that some individuals do not understand why the diameter of the pipe changes as the distribution system gets closer to the community. These individuals may suggest for

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example to use 2-inch pipe on the entire system instead of a smaller size pipe. They may initially look in disbelief when you explain the same or a larger pipe size will not be used for the whole transmission line. In this situation, the individual believes that the smaller 1.5-inch pipe was too small to provide water for the entire community and the system would run dry. They may visually show the difference in size of the diameters of the two pipes with their thumb and finger, and explain how the larger 2-inch pipe will carry more water. In this case, the individual is thinking about the amount of water the pipe could carry in a 2-D fashion, instead of thinking about the volume each diameter carries. The importance of careful planning and integration into a community will allow you to earn the trust and respect of community members, so you can then explain to them the fundamentals of fluid mechanics and the design in their terms.

of fluid mechanics and the design in their terms. Example 11-1. Using the Energy E quation

Example 11-1. Using the Energy Equation to solve for pipe size.

Suppose the discharge from a pipe by a group of users is 0.7 ft 3 /s. We want there to also be at least a small amount of head available everywhere in the pipe, 10 ft, for example. This allows for sufficient flow and takes care of possible errors (e.g., in the land survey). PVC is readily available in this instance, so it is specified as the pipe material. Water enters the pipe from an inlet tank in which the water surface is 5 ft above the ground level. (Because we are designing the pipe that comes after the storage tank, we are designing the distribution line. The same process would also be used for the conduction line.)

The task here is to choose a suitable pipe diameter and then plot the head along the pipe to make sure that all points have sufficient pressure to allow the design flow rate (0.7 ft 3 /s) to pass, while no points have a pressure high enough to cause the pipe to burst. The ground levels are shown in Figure 11-1. There is a high point in the ground 200 ft downstream of the intake (Point A), and the end of the pipe (Point B) is another 100 ft from the high point. There will be a small amount of head loss at the entrance (indicated as “a” near the storage tank in Figure 11-1), but that will be considered later.

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The allowable head loss due to friction in the pipe until Point A is calculated by taking

the water surface elevation at the source (120 ft above mean sea level) and subtracting the

ground elevation at Point A (90 ft) but then adding in the 10 ft of head assumed to be available as

a safety factor. This results in a head loss (h L ) due to friction of 20 ft. Equation 11-2 is then

solved for D, using h L = 20 ft.

D =

2 LQ 5 16 f 2 2 gπ h L
2
LQ
5
16 f
2
2
gπ h
L

=

32 (200 ft )(0.7 ft / s ) 5 16(0.008) 22 2(32.2 ft / s
32
(200
ft
)(0.7
ft
/
s
)
5 16(0.008)
22
2(32.2
ft
/
s
)
π
(20
ft
)

==

0.25

ft

3.0

in

The idea here is to find a value of pipe diameter, D, that satisfies both Equation 11-3 and

Table 11-2. The value of f = 0.008 was guessed since we do not know D, which is required for

the k s /D ratio listed in Table 11-2. We will now check the value of f by using the value of D

(0.25 ft) that we got when using Equation 11-3.

k

s

=

0.0001 mm

 

D

 

(308.5

mm

/

ft

)(0.25

ft

)

= 1.3 10

x

6

This value of k s /D is less than the lowest value (0.00001) in Table 11-2. In this case, the

value of f could be lowered, but we don’t know how much since it is below the range of data

used to make Table 11-2. Maintain the value of f = 0.008 to be conservative. A high value of f

results in more head loss, so if the water will flow with a higher head loss, then it will surely

flow if the real head loss is less than we calculated.

If this value of k s /D hadn’t matched, then we would have needed to use the value of D

obtained to get another value of the friction factor, f, from Table 11-2, calculate D again and

check if k s /D matches that of Table 11-2. This is continued until Table 11-2 and Equation 11-3

are both satisfied. It may take 3 or 4 iterations of this procedure to converge on an answer.

If the resulting diameter is available as commercial pipe, we can stop here. If it is not

commercially available, we should round up to the next largest commercially available pipe size.

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10

Let’s assume that 3-in. pipe is not available, and that the next largest size is 4 in. This would lead to a head loss of:

h

L

LQ

2

==

2

25

gπ D

16

f

16(0.008)

(200

ft

)(0.7

ft

32

/

s

)

2(32.2

ft

/

s

2

2

)3.14 (0.33

ft

)

5

=

5.0

ft

Rounding up to a 4-in diameter reduced the head loss due to friction from about 12 ft down to 5 ft.

Now we can consider the head loss at the inlet calculated from Equation 11-3, with a value of 0.5 for K from Table 11-3, assuming a square-edged entrance with r = 0.

h

L

)

ml

Q

2

==

2 g

π

24

D

16

K

16(0.5)

(

0.7

ft

3

/

s

)

2

2(32.2

ft

/

s

2

)3.14

2

(

0.33

ft

)

4

=

0.52

ft

The minor head loss is thus 0.52 ft, which corresponds to “a” in Figure 11-2. The total head loss is the summation of the frictional head loss and the minor head loss:

H L-total = 5.0 ft + 0.52 ft = 5.52 ft

Using the Energy Equation (11-4) with the water surface in the tank as the upstream point, and Point A as the downstream point, we can simply subtract the total head loss, 5.52 ft, from the water surface elevation. This yields a value of 120 ft – 5.52 ft = 114.48 ft. This value is above the ground level at that point by a value of 114.48 ft – 90 ft = 24.48 ft, which is above our minimum specified value of 10 ft, so the correct discharge can go through this pipe.

If this value were not above the minimum value, then we would have had to increase the pipe diameter by one pipe size and check again. We would continue to increase the pipe size until we found the smallest commercially available pipe that would leave at least 10 ft of head at all points along the pipeline.

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To design the pipe size for the downstream section of pipe, we repeat the process, but using a head of 114.48 ft as the upstream value. If 4-in diameter pipe is maintained all the way until the downstream end of the pipe, the hydraulic grade line at the end of the pipe can be calculated by subtracting the frictional head loss from the value of head at Point A. The frictional head loss can be calculated as follows:

h

L

LQ

2

==

2

25

gπ D

16

f

16(0.008)

(100

ft

)(0.7

ft

32

/

s

)

2(32.2

ft

/

s

2

2

)3.14 (0.33

ft

)

5

=

2.5

ft

Therefore the value of the hydraulic grade line at the end of the pipe is 114.48 ft – 2.5 ft = 112 ft. Since the ground elevation here is 65 ft, that means the head is 112 ft – 65 ft = 47 ft. This 47 ft of head is now the inlet value for any pipe(s) attached here that continue downstream (not shown). Additional pipes can be calculated in the same manner, always using the outlet value from the pipe upstream as the inlet value of the pipe being calculated.

The maximum pressure occurs at the location where the difference between the hydraulic grade line and the ground elevations is the largest. This occurs at point B in Figure 11-2. 47 ft is not more than the maximum allowable pressure for PVC (150 ft), so the pipe will not burst.

However, if the pressure is too high at any point in the pipe, you can decrease the pipe diameter upstream to increase the amount of head loss, or you can put galvanized iron pipe in the spots with excessively high pressure. An additional option is a break pressure tank, discussed in Section 11.2.3. If a smaller diameter pipe or a break pressure tank is used, make sure you have enough head to get the water back up any hill downstream of this point. If the head is greater than 600 ft, the maximum allowable pressure for galvanized iron pipe, then you must decrease the pipe diameter(s) upstream. If a large amount of pressure is needed to cross a valley and then carry the water back up the other side, and no pipe is strong enough to withstand the pressure, the pipe can be suspended across the valley.

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11.2.3 Break Pressure Tanks

Static head is the difference in elevation from the source to any point on the ground profile. Static head must always be considered because excessive pressure in the pipe from

elevation head can rupture the pipe or pipe connections. Piping is rated by its ability to withstand an internal pressure without breaking. This is a function of the type of pipe material and the

thickness of the pipe wall.

of particular piping material.

Previously, Table 11-4 provided information on the pressure limits

Break pressure tanks are strategically placed along the pipeline to eliminate excessive pressure that will rupture the pipe or cause failures at the joints. The function of a break pressure tank is to allow the flow to discharge into the atmosphere, thereby reducing its hydrostatic pressure to zero, and establishing a new static level. Figure 11-3 depicts a break pressure tank and its components. In Figure 11-3, as the entry pipe turns vertically downward, there are holes placed in its sides to help dissipate the pressure and protect the inside of the box from damage.

A storage tank will also function like a break pressure tank. A general rule of thumb is that static

head at any given point within the conduction line (with a good factor of safety) should not exceed 100 meters of head. This means that a break pressure tank should be installed approximately every 100 m change in elevation from the source yet still leave enough pressure to flow to the storage tank.

There is no minimum required capacity for a break-pressure tank, as long as water is able

to drain from it as quickly as it is discharged. The dimensions of the tank are influenced more by

the size of the fittings (such as control valves, float valves) which must fit inside of it, and the

size of the pipe wrenches which must be able to be rotated inside as well (Jordan 2000).

adding a break pressure tank, similarly to when reducing pipe size, it is important to check that

the head that will be lost is not needed farther downstream to bring the water back up to a localized high point.

When

Figure 11-4 shows what happens to the HGL of a system when a break pressure tank is added to the system and the frictional pipe loss plotted over the ground profile. Proper location

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13

of break-pressure tanks is an important part of a successful design. The ideal placement is a

location where the exiting flow will have an immediate drop in elevation to regain energy. In general, the top of a hill is a good location for a break-pressure tank as long as the next high

point along the conduction line is at a lower elevation.

There is sometimes a float valve (similar to western-style toilet) located inside the break pressure tank that helps regulate flow inside the tank. In this case, the float valve shuts off when

the break pressure tank is full (water is not being used downstream).

does not shut off, water is lost in the overflow tube. Most float values have much lower pressure head limits (around 60 m of head) then standard tubing materials, and if break pressure tanks are

to be installed, the final pressure at the tank entrance should be double checked. The other

option is that the break pressure tank will overflow when the water demand is not great which is allowable when the water source provides more water than necessary. Placing rocks or something hard where the water falls will disperse energy and avoid erosion at this spot. Float

valves break fairly often, therefore, it is important to minimize the number of break pressure tanks and make sure the water committee has replacements and knows how to install them.

However if the float value

11.2.4 Clean Out Valves and Air Release Valves

Collection of sediment and air in the pipe are the two most common obstructions found in

Figure 11-5 shows

a typical profile of a water supply system and proper placement of air release and sediment clean

out valves. Air relief valves are best installed at high spots along the conduction line marked as

B and D. Not all high points will require air relief valves however, and once the system is

completed, air valves can be installed starting from the source, working downward until air

blockages are not a problem.

along the pipeline which are marked as A, C, and E.

always ensure that sediment clean out valves are installed at the low points in the terrain and the air release valves are installed in the low points of the terrain. This may require that a section of pipe is cut.

water systems that result in partial and/or complete blockage of the pipeline.

Sediment cleanout valves should be installed at any low spots

During construction it is important to

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14

The minimum size for sediment clean-out valves is typically a 1-in gate valve.

For

larger mainlines a relationship of D/3, where D is the inner diameter of the mainline, can be used to calculate the size of the required valve.

The purpose of an air valve is to release this trapped air. Because air is less dense than water, it sometimes is retained in the higher areas of the pipeline, and thus blocks the movement of water at the design flow. The location of air valves is especially important where the hydraulic grade line is close to the level of the terrain. Commercially-available air-release valves are available that work by a spring attached to a ball that allows air to escape if it builds up to enough pressure to push the ball away from the opening and seal itself again when the pressure reduces. Blockages due to air typically occur after pipes have been emptied for cleaning or service. Standard, non-automated valves can also be installed if the cost of automatic air release valves is too high, or they are not available in the area. In this case the person or persons servicing the pipeline opens all the air valves while walking up the pipeline to the area to be cleaned. After the work is completed, these persons can return the same way, closing the air

valves manually once water has arrived at each location and all air has been forced out.

valves are typically enclosed in a concrete box to provide easy access and prevent damage by

humans and animals.

These

Installing too many clean out and air release valves will not only increase the cost, but also make the system more susceptible to leaks and vandalism during the operation of the system. Financially, the engineer must review the cost impact of adding cleanouts and air relief valves as they can become a very expensive portion of the system cost. The maintenance and upkeep of these types of valves are very important to prolonging the operating life of the system.

11.2.5 The Storage Tank

Storage tank design is covered in a separate chapter. The tank should be located to allow for at least 10 m of head at all points in the distribution network (some suggest this value can be 5-10 m of head). It is also preferable that it be located close to the community for easy maintenance. Because storage tanks act as break pressure tanks, they should be placed at a

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15

location where the exiting flow will have an immediate drop in elevation in order to regain energy.

11.2.6 Distribution Lines

Distribution networks consist of the pipe and accessories required to connect the storage tank to the users. Similarly to the design of the conduction line, distribution pipe design should follow the process described previously in Example 11.1 or use of software such as GoodWater.

Branched Networks

A branched system is one in which there are no loops in the network. In other words, water can reach each tap stand by only one path. Many water systems in the developing world are branched systems, except perhaps in large cities.

As previously mentioned, the flows required for any pipe in a branched network (not a looped one) are determined by the user demand at the end of that pipe. The flow of any pipe coming into a junction is the sum of all the flows going out of that junction. Figure 11-6 illustrates this point.

As discussed above, the hydraulic grade line of each pipe can be determined using the value at the downstream end of the pipe just upstream of the pipe in question as the new upstream head value. HGL calculations proceed from the source to the end of each branch line once the pipe diameters have been selected.

Looped Systems

If there is a tap stand in a system that water can reach by more than one path, then the system has one or more pipe loops. This provides the advantage of adding redundancy to the design. If there is a blockage or break in a pipe, water can still go to the downstream taps through an alternate path. It adds cost to the design, however, due to the need for more piping.

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16

It also makes it harder to calculate the flow and pressure at points throughout the system. For analyzing looped networks, there are computer programs as well as the classical Hardy-Cross Method that can be done by hand (although it takes a while) or spreadsheet (Crowe et al. 2001).

Tap Stands

11.2.7 Tap Stands

Water is distributed from the distribution line to a user via a tap stand. Tap stand design is based on community needs, especially the type of container commonly used for collection. Consideration should also be given to what activities (e.g., washing dishes, laundry) will take place near the tap stand in addition to water collection.

Typically, ½” PVC piping is used to connect each tap stand to the distribution line. Piping within the community is not buried as deep as in the main conduction line. It is usually 60 cm deep for normal terrain and 80 cm deep to cross roads. In areas of erosion, GI pipe may be used to cross roads.

A water distribution system can be based on community tap stands, or separate tap stands

can be provided for each participating household. The collection and sanitary disposal of

greywater is a design consideration as well. Figure 11-7 shows the components of a typical tap

stand.

greater collection, drainage, and shutoff valves. Concrete skirts not only inhibit erosion at the tap stand, but can allow a user to direct excess water to nearby gardens.

Figure 11-8 depicts various types of tap stands, and Figure 11-9 shows the integration of

A larger PVC pipe (approximately 10 cm diameter) that is cut in half length wise and

held together with hose clamps or bailing wire can work as a mold for the taps shown in Figure

11-7 and the top illustration of Figure 11-8.

For this particular design, the piping and fittings

that exit the top and bottom of the tap stand are placed inside the mold, which is filled with concrete and then cured. Encasing the tap stand pipe in concrete protects it from large animals, children, and carts.

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17

A minimum head of 10 m pressure is recommended at the tap to ensure the delivery of sufficient flow from the tap. When determining the minimum head required at the tap, it is important to consider the frictional losses at the elbows and gate valves shown in Figure 11-7. Standard taps purchased at a hardware store can generally withstand approximately 60 m of head before they are damaged. If the static head is over 60 m prior to the placement of community tap stands, a break-pressure tank with a float valve or a break pressure valve can be installed (Reents

2003).

Valves

Valves are typically placed outside of each house, enabling the plumber to control access to the system. The valves should be enclosed in a valve box which may be locked so that only the plumber can adjust them. If the water fee is not paid, water supply can be terminated. Lockable faucets can also be purchased. Valve boxes should be located on public property close

to the road for ease of access. Additional valves should be installed to isolate sections of the

water system for repairs.

for part of the day to each section of the town. damage from water hammer.

With strategically located valves, access to the system can be given

Valves should be closed slowly to prevent

11.2.8 Other System Components

The components discussed in previous sections form the basic parts of a water system. Other non-traditional items may also be included. In order to improve the quality of the water in the system, other components should be considered. These components can add significant cost and maintenance constraints to a system and their additions should be carefully considered. Aeration units can be installed in the line to improve the taste and smell of water. These are simple tanks where water enters from above and falls through the air to an outlet at the bottom of the tank.

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18

An aeration unit will not remove pathogens. In this case, different filters may be installed along the pipeline. A simple rock or sand filter can be installed at the intake if water is of poor quality. These will require maintenance though and cannot be guaranteed to remove pathogens. Slow sand filtration can also be used to improve water quality. These filters can require large amounts of space and can also be complicated to install. Water may also be treated at the home with point-of-use filtration systems.

To manage water in the network splitter-boxes can be installed. These boxes can be much more cost effective then installation of valves and more precisely control the distribution of water. They consist of a simple box where water enters, flows over a partition, and exits into different tubes. These boxes are particularly important where water must be divided into specific fractions, for example, when one community must receive exactly half or a quarter of the water from a source. The partition divides the box into two halves, and the half where the water exits may be sub-divided into as many sections as the designers requires. The placement of these sub- sections corresponds exactly to the ratio of water which that subsection is to receive. For instance if the user wants the water distributed into three pipes, one with 50% of the water, one with 25% of the water, and one with 25% of the water, a Splitter-box with three sub-sections should be installed (Figure 10-10). The partitions of the sub-sections are arranged so that water flows over the main partition in the correct rations.

In addition to the standard tap stand, there are various other types of extraction points which can be included in a water system. Locations such as schools, churches, and community centers are locations where special needs may need to be addressed. Public bathing or showering areas may also be a priority in the community. A specially designed area for washing clothes that has multiple faucets can also be considered in communities that have a traditional washing area.

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19

11.3 Construction Tips

Typically, the community digs the trench and installs the pipeline. It should be buried about one meter below ground, because it may cross agricultural fields which get plowed on a regular basis or may be burned to clear brush. The erosion of soil due on hilly terrain can also expose piping which has not been buried deeply enough. In addition, burying the conduction line reduces illegal tapping for household or agricultural use. One-meter sticks can be cut and provided for workers to measure consistent depth along the trench. Small marks can also be notched on picks and shovels to identify trench depth.

PVC pipe is connected as described in Chapter 7. As discussed in that chapter, PVC pipes are glued so that the bell end (i.e., the female end) is positioned against the flow of water to prevent future leakage. Be careful not to accidentally introduce sediment into the pipes during joining. Extreme care must be taken when connecting pipes of different materials, especially PVC to galvanized iron. These areas are especially problematic, as the connection sleeve is often very short. A longer section of PVC can be glued the night before into the adaptor so that the connection is much stronger.

Experience suggests that 20-30 pieces of 6-m PVC pipe can be laid through rocky soil during a normal work day with a work brigade of 15 persons. The count can increase to approximately 40 pieces of pipe if the soil is sandy and absent of rocks. When installing sections of galvanized iron piping it is important to install universal unions every 8 to 10 pieces of pipe. Having an ax available to cut through roots and narrow shovels as well can reduce the time required to dig a wide trench.

as well can reduce the time required to dig a wide trench. Box 11-3. Typical Water

Box 11-3. Typical Water Project Construction Timeline.

Water supply projects are large endeavors requiring the coordination of laborers, materials, weather, and other factors. The order in which a project is constructed can

Chapter 11

20

significantly affect its progress. Below is a suggested project plan and justification for its ordering.

1. First 1/3rd of Main Pipeline

2. Intake Structure(s)

3. Finish Main Pipeline

4. Storage Tank

5. Entire Distribution Network

6. All Tapstands

Starting with the conduction line is easier then staring with a complicated intake structure, which often necessitates hauling cement and other heavy materials. Use this time to organize labor brigades and work out any problems. Connect pipes to bring water where people are working

Interest in the project will be highest near the beginning, take advantage of this time to work on sections farthest from the community.

Once the conduction line is finished water can be brought to the tank location. This will excite community members and provide further motivation.

Working on the storage tank once the conduction line has been completed allows water to be available water to mix concrete and cement without hauling water long distances.

The distribution network will proceed rapidly as community members are working near their homes and can see daily progress.

It is important that all tap stands are connected at the same time. Workers are liable to stop working on the project once water arrives near their homes. To be fair to all community members ensure that all tap stands are installed over a short timeframe.

11.4 Operation, Maintenance, and Security

The operation and maintenance of a water supply system is vital to its long term sustainability. The most important asset of a well-operated water supply system, aside from its design, is the formation and management of a community water committee (see Chapter 3). This group of elected individuals has the task of assuring the water system will last as long as

Chapter 11

21

possible. They collect fees to maintain the system, determine what to do if users do not pay their fees, and arrange necessary system repairs and maintenance.

The second most important asset of operating and maintaining a gravity fed water supply system is to have several trained plumbers who reside in the community. Training local plumbers starts during the project’s conceptual design, and begins in earnest on the first day of construction. During the duration of the construction, these individuals should learn how to install and replace every element of the system. Additionally, they need to be trained: 1) to walk the conduction line; 2) inspect the line for leaks; 3) release air from the system, if present; 4) clean sediment valves; 4) inspect and clean an emptied storage tank once a year; 5) maintain bleach in a system chlorinator, if required; and 6) understand how to purchase parts that need replacement and/or repair. Compensation for these individuals is a decision made by the community water committee, and can be monetary or in kind (e.g., rice, beans).

A final aspect of water supply system design is security. While designing a system, provide secure boxes/hatches to access the valves, tanks, and other places where a system has potential for tampering. The hatches on valve boxes and tanks, whether concrete or steel, can be designed with a padlock for security. This also includes protecting vulnerable areas such as the springbox or intake dam from animals.

Insert Table 11-7

Further Reading

American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) (1969). Design and construction of sanitary and storm sewers, ASCE Press, New York, New York.

Annis, J. (2006). Assessing progress of community managed gravity flow water supply systems using rapid rural appraisal in the Ikongo District, Madagascar. Master’s Report.

Chapter 11

22

Michigan Technological University, Houghton, Michigan.

<http://www.d80.mtu.edu/Resources.html>

(January 14, 2008).

Crowe, C.T., Roberson, J.A., and Elger, D.F. (2001). Engineering fluid mechanics, 7 th Ed. John Wiley and Sons, Inc., New York, New York.

Good, S. (2008). Development of a decision support system for sustainable implementation of rural gravity flow water systems, M.S. Thesis, Civil & Environmental Engineering, Michigan Technological University. <http://www.d80.mtu.edu/Resources.html> (January 14, 2008).

Jordan, Jr. T.D. (1980). A handbook of gravity-flow water systems, Intermediate Technology Publications, London.

Menon, Shashi. 2005. Piping Calculations Manual. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.

Niskanen, M.A. (2003). The design, construction, and maintenance of a gravity-fed water system in the Dominican Republic, M.S. Report, Civil & Environmental Engineering, Michigan

Technological University. <http://www.d80.mtu.edu/Resources.html>

2008).

(January 14,

Purcell, Patrick. 2003. Design of Water Resource Systems. London, UK: Thomas Telford

Reents, N. (2002). Designing water supply systems in rural Honduras, M.S. Report, Civil & Environmental Engineering, Michigan Technological University.

<http://www.d80.mtu.edu/Resources.html>

(January 14, 2008).

Servicio Autónomo Nacional de Acueductos y Alcantarillados (SANAA) (1999). Normas de Diseño para Acueductos Rurales V.1.0, Tegucigulpa, Honduras.

Chapter 11

23

Simpson, J.D. (2003). Improvement of existing gravity-fed rural drinking water systems in Honduras, M.S. Report, Civil & Environmental Engineering, Michigan Technological

University. <http://www.d80.mtu.edu/Resources.html>

(January 14, 2008).

Chapter 11

24

Figure Captions

Figure 11-1. Topography and hydraulic grade line (HGL) from a water storage tank (at 120 ft

elevation) to a water user (at 65 feet). The drop in the HGL represented by the letter ‘a’ after the

water tank is the minor loss caused by the pipe inlet.

Figure 11-2. Profile view cross section of horizontal settling tank and components.

Figure 11-3. Profile view cross section of break pressure tank and components. Float valves can be

installed to prevents the overflow of water.

Figure 11-4. Pressure head plotted over ground profile (determined by the topographic survey) to

create the HGL. The top solid line shows the frictional head loss, which is determined by the source

flow and the size of pipe. Here the difference in head from the source to the storage tank is

approximately 260 m, therefore 1-2 break pressure tanks might have been recommended. In the

real scenario depicted here only one break pressure tank was recommended for the midpoint of the

elevation change. This was because of issues of land use and to project costs. Note that the static

head at the midpoint is 130 m, which is greater than the 100-m rule of thumb mentioned in the text.

However, if PVC RD17 pipe was used, the allowable pressure would be 176 m (Table 11-4) so the

system should not fail from pipe rupture (Niskanen 2003).

Chapter 11

25

Figure 11-5. Locations of sediment clean out valves (points A, C, and E) and air release valves

(points B and D) (adapted from Jordan 1980).

Figure 11-6. Determination of flow rate in each pipe of a branched system. Neighborhood needs

are determined by adding individual user needs. In this system, the flow rates would be calculating

by starting at the right and working backwards to the left.

Figure 11-7. Components of a typical tap stand design.

Figure 11-8. Tap stands with concrete post and concrete erosion protection (top), concrete post and

underground pipe to minimize erosion (middle), and detached wooden post and large stones to

provide erosion protection (bottom).

Figure 11-9. Tap stand design integrated with greywater evacuation, drainage, and optional

shutoff valves and meters.

Figure 11-10. Splitter-box that divides water into 50%, 25%, and 25% pipes.

Chapter 11

26

Chapter 11 26 Figure 11-1. Example how topography and hydraulic grade line (HGL) change from a

Figure 11-1. Example how topography and hydraulic grade line (HGL) change from a water storage tank (at 120 ft elevation) to a water user (at 65 feet). The drop in the HGL represented by the letter ‘a’ after the water tank is the minor loss caused by the pipe inlet.

the water tank is the minor loss caused by the pipe inlet. Figure 11-2. Profile view

Figure 11-2. Profile view cross section of horizontal settling tank and components.

Chapter 11

27

Chapter 11 27 Figure 11-3. Profile view cross section of break pressure tank and components. Float

Figure 11-3. Profile view cross section of break pressure tank and components. Float valves can be installed to prevents the overflow of water.

Chapter 11

28

Ground Profile - Frictional Losses/ Spring to Tank - Los Arroyos/Los Botados

1000 --2" diam. friction loss 950 1-1/2" diam. friction loss-- 900 --pressure returns to zero
1000
--2" diam. friction loss
950
1-1/2"
diam. friction
loss--
900
--pressure returns to zero
850
--2" diam. friction loss
ground profile
Break-pressure
800
Tank
1-1/2" diam. friction loss--
750
700
0
200
400
600
800
1000
1200
1400
1600
Elevation (m)

Distance (m)

Figure 11-4. Pressure head plotted over ground profile (determined by the

topographic survey) to create the HGL. The top solid line shows the frictional head loss,

which is determined by the source flow and the size of pipe. Here the difference in head

from the source to the storage tank is approximately 260 m, therefore 1-2 break pressure

tanks might have been recommended. In the real scenario depicted here only one break

pressure tank was recommended for the midpoint of the elevation change. This was

because of issues of land use and to project costs. Note that the static head at the midpoint

is 130 m, which is greater than the 100-m rule of thumb mentioned in the text. However, if

PVC RD17 pipe was used, the allowable pressure would be 176 m (Table 11-4) so the

system should not fail from pipe rupture (Niskanen 2003).

Chapter 11

29

Chapter 11 29 Figure 11-5. Locations of sediment clean out valves (points A, C, and E)

Figure 11-5. Locations of sediment clean out valves (points A, C, and E) and air release valves (points B and D) (adapted from Jordan 2000).

Chapter 11

30

Neighborhood needing Q=0.4 ft 3 /s Neighborhood needing Q=0.1 ft 3 /s Q=0.6 ft 3
Neighborhood
needing
Q=0.4 ft 3 /s
Neighborhood
needing
Q=0.1 ft 3 /s
Q=0.6 ft 3 /s
+ 0.4 ft 3 /s
= 1.0 ft 3 /s
Q=0.1 ft 3 /s
+ 0.3 ft 3 /s
= 0.4 ft 3 /s
Water
Source
Q=0.4 ft 3 /s
+ 0.2 ft 3 /s
= 0.6 ft 3 /s
Neighborhood
needing
Q=0.3 ft 3 /s

Neighborhood needing Q=0.2 ft 3 /s

Figure 11-6. Determination of flow rate in each pipe of a branched system. Neighborhood needs are determined by adding individual user needs. In this system, the flow rates would be calculating by starting at the right and working backwards to the left.

Chapter 11

31

Chapter 11 31 Figure 11-7. Components of a typical tap stand design.

Figure 11-7. Components of a typical tap stand design.

Chapter 11

32

Chapter 11 32 Figure 11-8. Tap stands with concrete post and co ncrete erosion protection (top),
Chapter 11 32 Figure 11-8. Tap stands with concrete post and co ncrete erosion protection (top),
Chapter 11 32 Figure 11-8. Tap stands with concrete post and co ncrete erosion protection (top),

Figure 11-8. Tap stands with concrete post and concrete erosion protection (top), concrete post and underground pipe to minimize erosion (middle), and detached wooden post and large stones to provide erosion protection (bottom).

Chapter 11

33

Chapter 11 33 Figure 11-9. Tap stand design integrated with greywater evacuation, drainage, and optional shutoff

Figure 11-9. Tap stand design integrated with greywater evacuation, drainage, and optional shutoff valves and meters.

Chapter 11

34

Figure 11-10. Splitter-box that divides water into 50%, 25%, and 25% pipes.

Chapter 11 34 Figure 11-10. Splitter-box that divides water into 50%, 25%, and 25% pipes.

Chapter 11

35

Table 11-1. Roughness (k s ) of various pipe materials (Crowe et al. 2001).

Pipe Material

PVC

Copper, Brass

Steel

Galvanized Iron

Cast Iron

Concrete

Riveted Steel

3.3x10

4.9x10

k s (ft)

-7

-6

1.5x10 -4

4.9x10

8.5x10

9.8x10 -4 to 9.8x10 -3 3.0x10 -3 to 3.0x10 -2

-4

-4

Table 11-2. Friction factor for use in Equation 11-1 for various relative roughness/pipe diameter ratios (k s /D), assuming fully turbulent flow (Crowe et al. 2001).

k s /D

f

0.00001

0.008

0.00005

0.011

0.0001

0.012

0.0002

0.014

0.0004

0.016

0.0006

0.018

0.0008

0.019

0.001

0.02

0.002

0.024

0.004

0.029

0.006

0.032

0.008

0.036

0.01

0.038

0.015

0.044

0.02

0.05

0.03

0.056

0.04

0.065

0.05

0.07

Chapter 11

36

Table 11-3. Minor loss coefficient (K) values for various fittings (Crowe et al. 2001)

Pipe Entrance

Contraction

d r D 1 D 2 θ
d
r
D 1
D 2
θ

r/d

0.0

K=0.50

0.1

K=0.12

>0.2

K=0.03

D

2 /D 1

K for θ=60 o

K for θ=180 o

0.0

0.08

0.50

0.20

0.08

0.49

0.40

0.07

0.42

0.60

0.06

0.27

0.80

0.06

0.20

0.90

0.06

0.10

D 2 D 1 θ
D 2
D 1
θ

Expansion D

1 /D 2

0.0

0.20

0.40

0.60

0.80

90 o Sharp Miter Bend

Pipe Fittings

0.20 0.40 0.60 0.80 90 o Sharp Miter Bend Pipe Fittings Globe valve – wide open

Globe valve – wide open Angle valve – wide open Gate valve – wide open Gate valve – half open Return bend Tee

straight through flow side-outlet flow 90 o elbow 45 o elbow

K for θ=20 o

K for θ=180 o

 

1.00

0.30

0.87

0.25

0.70

0.15

0.41

0.10

0.15

K=1.1

K=10.0

K=5.0

K=0.2

K=5.6

K=2.2

K=0.4

K=1.8

K=0.9

K=0.4

Chapter 11

37

Table 11-4. Standard values for typical pipe materials (from Menon 2005; Purcell 2003) (1 bar equals 10.197 m of water).

Material

Hazen-Williams C

Pressure Limit (Bars)

Pressure Limit (m of head)

PCV (Class B)

150

6

61

PCV (Class C)

150

9

91

PCV (Class D)

150

12

122

PCV (Class E)

150

15

125

PE (medium density)

150

12.5

127

PE (high density)

150

16

163

Iron Tubing

120

40

407

Prestressed Concrete

120

20

204

Chapter 11

38

Table 11-5. Typical Pipe Material Sizes, Advantages, and Disadvantages.

Pipe Material

Lengths and Types*

Advantages

Disadvantages

Typically Appl

     

Limited allowable

pressure

Lower

PVC Pipe

Typically 10' or 20' lengths

Low cost

pressure areas

Possible damage due to blunt force

Easier to vandalize

(Polyvinyl Chloride)

1/4" - 4" diameter

Flexible, easy to place in a trench

Becomes brittle when exposed to sunlight for an extended period of time

Areas not vulnerable to impa

Also available in long spiral sections, which will require fewer joints

Modification by cutting or burning

Smoother, therefore causes less head loss and allows a smaller diameter to be used

GI Pipe

Typically 20' lengths

Very durable

Higher cost

High pressure area

(Galvanized Iron)

1/4" - 4" diameter

Allowable pressure is much higher

Added labor to bend or modify

Stream or gorge crossings, and othe locations where pipe is exposed. Another option for scenario is to have larger-diameter PV pipe surrounding t smaller-diameter p that actually carrie water, in order to p

Additional tools required to install

Requires pipe

threading

Can experience corrosion and blockage due to calcium deposits

*Subject to specific availability in each country

Chapter 11

39

Table 11-6. Pipeline Flow Rate Design Limits (L/s) for Different Pipe Sizes

Pipe Diameter, mm

 

25

32

40

50

80

100

Minimum

0.35

0.60

0.90

1.4

3.5

6.0

Maximum

1.4

2.0

3.5

5.0

n/a

n/a

Chapter 11

40

Table 11-7. Common Water Myths.

Myth Decreasing pipe size increases pressure at the tap.

If there is not enough pressure at the tap, then the control valve just has to be opened more.

Water does not flow uphill.

Having a sudden drop in the pipeline is not good.

Fact The Energy Equation (11-4) shows that if you decrease the pipe size, there is more head loss, meaning that more pressure is “burned off” due to friction by the time the water reaches the end of the pipe.

Opening the valve may help, but if there are other causes of head loss (too small a pipe, blockage by sediment, etc.) then you still won’t get enough flow.

Water can flow uphill if there is enough pressure to push it up the hill. This can be seen in the Energy Equation (11-4) by solving for all of the pressure terms on one side of the equation. All that’s left on the other side of the equation is head loss and elevation difference. If there is enough pressure difference to overcome the head loss and elevation difference, then water can indeed flow uphill. The needed pressure can be supplied by a pump or for gravity systems, by a sufficient difference in elevation.

Having a sudden drop is OK if the pressure stays below the pressure that would cause the pipe to rupture.

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