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When you flush your toilet, turn on your faucet, or take a shower, you probably don’t think about where that water is coming from. And you might be surprised to learn that the water coming into your home needed to travel through hundreds of miles of pipes to get to you.
When we think about how sophisticated and complex modern water systems are, we can quickly feel a sense of awe.
Water is a part of our daily lives. And in the United States, most of us are fortunate enough so that we never need to worry about if we’ll have access to clean water or not. This can lead to us taking water for granted most of the time.
However, water systems don’t just come out of nowhere. They take many years of planning and development to get right. And they are incredibly difficult to update and alter after they’ve been put into place.
But how exactly do water systems work? We’re glad you asked.
So if you would like to learn more then keep on reading and we’ll walk you through everything that you need to know about water systems!
How Does a Water System Work?
Let’s first talk about municipal water systems. With these systems, water is taken from a freshwater area, such as a stream, river, or lake. The water is then treated and then pumped to a business or a house.
A lot of systems are going to include at least two or three stages of filtration. This is done to get rid of any toxic and dangerous particles, such as debris, viruses, and bacteria.
Disinfection methods include using ultraviolet (UV) light and chlorination.
After the water is treated, the system transfers more and more water into smaller and smaller pipe networks. The regional pipes first run many miles more than local pipes. They can be a few inches wide or several yards wide, depending on their purpose and location.
These big pipes do a lot of the work of moving water from the treatment center to population centers.
A regional sewer pipe might rely on pumps, depending on elevation and other factors. A pump station applies pressure to the water in the pipe system. This gives the water enough momentum to keep moving.
Who Pays for a Water Main Break?
As we already noted, the water is going to go through the big pipes, known as water mains. These mains are buried deep below the sidewalks and roads. They travel to varying locations.
The water mains are connected to businesses, apartments, and houses through smaller pipes, known as water lines.
If a water main breaks on public property, then it is the responsibility of the local government to fix it. However, if a water pipe breaks in your house, then it is your job to fix the pipe.
You or your sewer and water line insurance will usually cover pipe repair or replacement costs.
Different types of pipelines are used in different environments.
What Is the Water Treatment Process Like?
It is very important that water goes through many stages of treatment in order to keep it clean and to stop the general population from getting sick. The rounds of treatment are going to depend on the locality and how contaminated the water is.
The first part of the treatment will remove gravel, sand, and any other large particles that are floating in the water. Typically, preliminary treatment involves a filtration system that is either a sand bed or a filter that can be washed and then used again.
The second part of treatment begins with a temporary holding of the water to let the solids sink to the bottom. Oily matter will then float to the top.
The floating and settled material will be taken out and the liquid that is left will go on to the next round of treatment.
In this part of the treatment process, suspended and dissolved biological matter, such as potential viruses and bacteria will be removed. The water that is left will go onto the final stage of treatment.
In the final part of the treatment process, water is going to be treated with chemicals and technology. This can include UV light, special gases, and chlorine.
The water is then filtered before it is released into the environment.
How Does a Sewer System Work?
Pipes from houses flow to a sewer main that runs under the sidewalks and the streets. The sewer main pipe is usually between three and five feet in diameter.
The pipes have intersecting vertical lines that run up from the main and into a building that allows access to the pipe system for maintenance.
The sewer main pipes flow into pipes that get bigger and bigger until the water finally reaches a treatment plant.
The Importance of Knowing How Water Systems Work
Hopefully, after reading the above article, you now have a better understanding of how water systems work. As we can see, there is a lot that goes into treating water. But thanks to this long and complicated process, we get water that is clean and safe to use.
Are you interested in reading other education and fascinating content like this? If you are, then you should definitely make sure to check out the rest of our blog today for even more helpful articles!