Water Distribution Methods and Systems
Distribution. This is effected either on the constant or intermittent system. Every water company should be compelled by Act of Parliament to provide a constant supply, as it is not only more conducive to health, but in the case of outbreaks of fire lack of water is a very serious matter. Even with a constant supply it is wise to have a small supply cistern, as the water is sometimes necessarily cut off for repairs to mains and for other causes.
Lead pipes are generally used inside the house and are preferred by the water companies, but, as previously mentioned, the lead is liable to be dissolved if the water is soft, and the pipes are very liable to damage owing to accidental penetration by nails and screws used for the finishings of the house. The best method is to have a lining of glass or tin, but this is somewhat costly.
Water mains should not be less than four feet below the ground level, or they are liable to be affected by heat and frost. The main pipes are usually of iron coated with bitumen, magnetic oxide or some preservative solution.
Stopcocks should be arranged so that any branch supply may be cut off from the main, and all pipes should be run so as to avoid danger to the supply from frost. If it is found necessary to place them outside the building, they should be covered with asbestos, felt or other non-conducting material.
In country houses it frequently happens that no spring or water supply exists above the level of the house, and, consequently, water has to be raised by mechanical means.