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Sources of Supply. The origin in the first instance of all sources of water supply must be the rainfall, though the actual source utilized for methods of supply in various instances may be by (a) rain water; (b) lake water; (c] river water; (d) spring water, and (e) well water.

(a) Rain Water itself is pure, and where it does not come in contact with injurious matter it is the best form of supply, but freedom from contamination can seldom be obtained except in sparsely populated and rocky districts.

The amount of rainfall per annum varies in different localities in the British Isles from under twenty-five inches to over eighty inches, the lowest average fall being in the south-eastern counties of England, and the highest being in the western part of Scotland. Part of the rainfall sinks into the ground, and the remainder is either evaporated or carried along the surface of the ground to form rivers and lakes. Rain water should never be allowed to run to waste, as it is most agreeable for washing purposes, and in some instances it has to be used for dietetic requirements.

Rain-water separators, which run the first washings of the roof to waste and then divert the pure water to storage, are to be recommended, as they ensure the supply being more or less clean.

(b) Lake Water derives its supply from the surface water previously mentioned, and also from springs, but it is liable to have foreign matters in suspension and solution.

(c] River Water is derived from the same sources and is very liable to pollution, from animal and vegetable impurities and also from the drainage of manured farm land, etc.

When, in addition to this sewage from towns and villages and trade effluents are received, the danger of this form of supply is sufficiently evident.

spring water
Picture 42. Section showing source of spring water.

(d) Spring Water is generally found where an impervious bed underlies porous strata, and an outlet is obtained as at A in picture 42. The purity of water from this source depends upon the nature of the soil through which it has passed.

(e) Well Water may be from either shallow or deep wells ; that from the former is very liable to pollution from organic matter washed through the soil. An impervious lining (steining) should always be used for these wells, to minimize the risk of surface pollution, as shown at A in picture 43, and this lining should also be taken above the surface level to prevent refuse falling in from the top. A cover should be provided, and the water should, if possible, be drawn up by some form of pump (three forms of the latter are shown in pictures 44, 45, and 46), and not by the old fashioned bucket and rope, as these are liable to become foul and thus taint the water.

Well
Picture 43. Section of Well.

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