The Main Parts of The Local Water System
If your properties get water from wells and have septic tanks, then it is easy to see how your water systems work. Many people, however, get water from complex water systems after some tweaking by a skilled plumber, and so much goes on before water reaches the mains and after it goes out the drains. What exactly goes on? The answer lies in knowing the different components of a local water system.
The source can either be an underground aquifer or reservoir. The water should come from somewhere, and several systems are placed to extract it from a source. These systems double as storage so that there will be enough water in case of dry spells. Water from sources can move around the system in many ways.
If you have once swam in one of the reservoirs in your place or hiked near a river, you might have a clue as to why you should not drink the water there without letting it go through filtering first. Along with the harmful micro-organisms in them, like viruses and bacteria, water from these sources is filled with dirt, plant matter, and chemical substances like gasoline spilled from boats.
To make the water from those areas drinkable, it needs to pass three stages. Clarification takes out the large particles, filtration takes the smaller particles away, and disinfection kills micro-organisms.
If water needs to go anywhere, a force known as pressure is required to make it go through pipes. Compressed air and pumps directly apply the needed pressure, and you can find many pumping stations in many parts of the distribution system. For systems which only make use of either compressed air or pumps, treated water often is stored in treatment plants.
A water tower has both pressurisation and storage facilities. The tank stores the treated water until such time that it is needed, and the total weight of the water pushes it down pipes, causing water pressure to be made in all parts of the system.
An extensive water main network spreads from areas where storage and pressurisation happen. If water goes too far, more pumping stations are set up so the pressure stays at a decent rate. These mains run down roads and branch out to different structures. Once the primary hookup reaches your property, then you can use the water.
The plumbing system is not complete without a sewer main hookup. This gathers all the waste water from your home and leads it to the local sewers. These are not pressurised unlike water mains. Rather, these are sloped so waste keeps moving. They may also have pumping stations to get sewage elevated.
The last stage of all water systems is the plant where sewage treatment happens. In these plants, sewage is purified by the removal of harmful particles and bacteria. The resulting clean water is then released.