PRE REQUISTE DISCUSSION
A water supply system or water supply network is a system of engineered hydrologic and hydraulic components which provide water supply. A water supply system typically includes:
1. A drainage basin (see water purification - sources of drinking water);
2. A raw (untreated) water collection point (above or below ground) where the water accumulates, such as a lake, a river, or groundwater from an underground aquifer. Untreated drinking water (usually water being transferred to the water purification facilities) may be transferred using uncovered ground-level aqueducts, covered tunnels or underground water pipes.
3. Water purification facilities. Treated water is transferred using water pipes (usually underground).
4. Water storage facilities such as reservoirs, water tanks, or watertowers. Smaller water systems may store the water in cisterns or pressure vessels. (Tall buildings may also need to store water locally in pressure vessels in order for the water to reach the upper floors.)
5. Additional water pressurizing components such as pumping stations may need to be situated at the outlet of underground or above ground reservoirs or cisterns (if gravity flow is impractical)
6. A pipe network for distribution of water to the consumers (which may be private houses or industrial, commercial or institution establishments) and other usage points (such as fire hydrants)
7. Connections to the sewers (underground pipes, or aboveground ditches in some developing countries) are generally found downstream of the water consumers, but the sewer system is considered to be a separate system, rather than part of the water supply system
Raw water (untreated) is collected from a surface water source (such as an intake on a lake or a river) or from a groundwater source (such as a water well drawing from an underground aquifer) within the watershed that provides the water resource.
Shallow dams and reservoirs are susceptible to outbreaks of toxic algae, especially if the water is warmed by a hot sun. The bacteria grow from stormwater runoff carrying fertilizer into the river where it acts as a nutrient for the algae. Such outbreaks render the water unfit for human consumption.
The raw water is transferred to the water purification facilities using uncovered aqueducts, covered tunnels or underground water pipes.
Virtually all large systems must treat the water; a fact that is tightly regulated by global, state and federal agencies, such as the World Health Organization (WHO) or the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Water treatment must occur before the product reaches the consumer and afterwards (when it is discharged again). Water purification usually occurs close to the final delivery points to reduce pumping costs and the chances of the water becoming contaminated after treatment.
Traditional surface water treatment plants generally consists of three steps: clarification, filtration and disinfection. Clarification refers to the separation of particles (dirt, organic matter, etc.) from the water stream. Chemical addition (i.e. alum, ferric chloride) destabilizes the particle charges and prepares them for clarification either by settling or floating out of the water stream. Sand, anthracite or activated carbon filters refine the water stream, removing smaller particulate matter. While other methods of disinfection exist, the preferred method is via chlorine addition. Chlorine effectively kills bacteria and most viruses and maintains a residual to protect the water supply through the supply network.
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