AR-461: BUILDING SCIENCE
Department of Architecture and Planning
NED University of Engineering and Technology
LECTURE NO. 25
Water supply is the provision by public utilities, commercial organisations, community endeavours or by individuals of water, usually by a system of pumps and pipes. Irrigation is covered separately. Drainage is the natural or artificial removal of surface and sub-surface water from an area. Many agricultural soils need drainage to improve production or to manage water supplies.
GLOBAL ACCESS TO CLEAN WATER:
In 2010 about 84% of the global population (6.74 billion people) had access to piped water supply through house connections or to an improved water source through other means than house, including standpipes, "water kiosks", protected springs and protected wells. However, about 14% (884 million people) did not have access to an improved water source and had to use unprotected wells or springs, canals, lakes or rivers for their water needs. A clean water supply, especially so with regard to sewage, is the single most important determinant of public health. Destruction of water supply and/or sewage disposal infrastructure after major catastrophes (earthquakes, floods, war, etc.) poses the immediate threat of severe epidemics of waterborne diseases, several of which can be life-threatening.
WATER SUPPLY SYSTEMS:
Water supply systems get water from a variety of locations, including groundwater (aquifers), surface water (lakes and rivers), conservation and the sea through desalination. The water is then, in most cases, purified, disinfected through chlorination and sometimes fluoridated. Treated water then either flows by gravity or is pumped to reservoirs, which can be elevated such as water towers or on the ground (for indicators related to the efficiency of drinking water distribution see non-revenue water). Once water is used, wastewater is typically discharged in a sewer system and treated in a wastewater treatment plant before being discharged into a river, lake or the sea or reused for landscaping, irrigation or industrial use.
WATER SUPPLY SERVICE QUALITY:
Many of the 3.5 billion people having access to piped water receive a poor or very poor quality of service, especially in developing countries where about 80% of the world population lives. Water supply service quality has many dimensions: continuity; water quality; pressure; and the degree of responsiveness of service providers to customer complaints.
CONTINUITY OF SUPPLY:
Continuity of water supply is taken for granted in most developed countries, but is a severe problem in many developing countries, where sometimes water is only provided for a few hours every day or a few days a week. It is estimated that about half of the population of developing countries receives water on an intermittent basis.
DRINKING WATER QUALITY:
Drinking water quality has a micro-biological and a physico-chemical dimension. There are thousands of parameters of water quality. In public water supply systems water should, at a minimum, be disinfected — most commonly through the use of chlorination or the use of ultra violet light — or it may need to undergo treatment, especially in the case of surface water. For more details please see the separate entries on water quality, water treatment and drinking water.
Water pressures vary in different locations of a distribution system. Water mains below the street may operate at higher pressures, with a pressure reducer located at each point where the water enters a building or a house. In poorly managed systems, water pressure can be so low as to result only in a trickle of water or so high that it leads to damage to plumbing fixtures and waste of water. Pressure in an urban water system is typically maintained either by a pressurized water tank serving an urban area, by pumping the water up into a tower and relying on gravity to maintain a constant pressure in the system or solely by pumps at the water treatment plant and repeater pumping stations.
Typical UK pressures are 4-5 bar for an urban supply. However, some people can get over 8 bars or below one bar. A single iron main pipe may cross a deep valley, it will have the same nominal pressure; however each consumer will get a bit more or less because of the hydrostatic pressure (about 1 bar/10m height). So people at the bottom of a 100-foot (30 m) hill will get about 3 bars more than those at the top.
The effective pressure also varies because of the supply resistance even for the same static pressure. An urban consumer may have 5 meters of 1/2" lead pipe running from the iron main, so the kitchen tap flow will be fairly unrestricted, so high flow. A rural consumer may have a kilometer of rusted and limed 3/4" iron pipe so their kitchen tap flow will be small.
For this reason the UK domestic water system has traditionally (prior to 1989) employed a "cistern feed" system, where the incoming supply is connected to the kitchen sink and also a header/storage tank in the attic. Water can dribble into this tank through a 1/2" lead pipe, plus ball valve, and then supply the house on 22 or 28 mm pipes. Gravity water has a small pressure (say 1/4 bar in the bathroom) but needs wide pipes allow higher flows. This is fine for baths and toilets but is frequently inadequate for showers. People install shower booster pumps to increase the pressure. For this reason urban houses are increasingly using mains pressure boilers which take a long time to fill a bath but suit the high back pressure of a shower.
COMPARING THE PERFORMANCE OF WATER AND SANITATION SERVICE PROVIDERS:
Comparing the performance of water and sanitation service providers (utilities) is needed, because the sector offers limited scope for direct competition (natural monopoly). Firms operating in competitive markets are under constant pressure to out perform each other.
Water utilities are often sheltered from this pressure, and it frequently shows: some utilities are on a sustained improvement track, but many others keep falling further behind best practice. Benchmarking the performance of utilities allows to simulate; competition, establish realistic targets for improvement and create pressure to catch up with better utilities. Information on benchmarks for water and sanitation utilities is provided by the International Benchmarking Network for Water and Sanitation Utilities.
INSTITUTIONAL RESPONSIBILITY AND GOVERNANCE CONCERNING WATER SUPPLY:
A great variety of institutions have responsibilities in water supply. A basic distinction is between institutions responsible for policy and regulation on the one hand; and institutions in charge of providing services on the other hand. Water supply policies and regulation are usually defined by one or several Ministries, in consultation with the legislative branch. Dozens of countries around the world have established regulatory agencies for infrastructure services, including often water supply and sanitation, in order to better protect consumers and to improve efficiency.
Regulatory agencies can be entrusted with a variety of responsibilities, including in particular the approval of tariff increases and the management of sector information systems, including benchmarking systems. Sometimes they also have a mandate to settle complaints by consumers that have not been dealt with satisfactorily by service providers. These specialized entities are expected to be more competent and objective in regulating service providers than departments of government Ministries. Regulatory agencies are supposed to be autonomous from the executive branch of government, but in many countries have often not been able to exercise a great degree of autonomy.
Many countries do not have regulatory agencies for water. In these countries service providers are regulated directly by local government, or the national government. This is, for example, the case in the countries of continental Europe, in China and India.
PRIVATE SECTOR PARTICIPATION IN WATER SUPPLY:
An estimated 10 percent of urban water supply is provided by private or mixed public-private companies, usually under concessions, leases or management contracts. Under these arrangements the public entity that is legally responsible for service provision delegates certain or all aspects of service provision to the private service provider for a period typically ranging from 4 to 30 years. The public entity continues to own the assets. These arrangements are common in France and in Spain. Only in few parts of the world water supply systems have been completely sold to the private sector (privatization), such as in England and Wales as well as in Chile.
PUBLIC WATER SERVICE PROVISION:
90% of urban water supply and sanitation services are currently in the public sector. They are owned by the state or local authorities, or also by collectives or cooperatives. They run without an aim for profit but are based on the ethos of providing a common good considered to be of public interest. In most middle and low-income countries, these publicly-owned and managed water providers can be inefficient as a result of political interference, leading to over-staffing and low labour productivity. Ironically, the main losers from this institutional arrangement are the urban poor in these countries. Because they are not connected to the network, they end up paying far more per litre of water than do more well-off households connected to the network who benefit from the implicit subsidies that they receive from loss-making utilities.
We are still so far from achieving universal access to clean water and sanitation shows that public water authorities, in their current state, are not working well enough. Yet some are being very successful and are modelling the best forms of public management. As Public water services currently provide more than 90 per cent of water supply in the world. Modest improvement in public water operators will have immense impact on global provision of services."
GOVERNANCE ARRANGEMENTS CONCERNING WATER SUPPLY:
Governance arrangements for both public and private utilities can take many forms. Governance arrangements define the relationship between the service provider, its owners, its customers and regulatory entities. They determine the financial autonomy of the service provider and thus its ability to maintain its assets, expand services, attract and retain qualified staff, and ultimately to provide high-quality services. Key aspects of governance arrangements are the extent to which the entity in charge of providing services is insulated from arbitrary political intervention; and whether there is an explicit mandate and political will to allow the service provider to recover all or at least most of its costs through tariffs and retain these revenues. If water supply is the responsibility of a department that is integrated in the administration of a city, town or municipality, there is a risk that tariff revenues are diverted for other purposes. In some cases, there is also a risk that staff are appointed mainly on political grounds rather than based on their professional credentials.
Almost all service providers in the world charge tariffs to recover part of their costs. According to estimates by the World Bank the average (mean) global water tariff is US$ 0.53 per cubic meter. In developed countries the average tariff is US$ 1.04, while it is only U$ 0.11 in the poorest developing countries. The lowest tariffs in developing countries are found in South Asia (mean of US$ 0.09/m3), while the highest are found in Latin America (US$ 0.41/m3). Few utilities do recover all their costs. According to the same World Bank study only 30% of utilities globally, and only 50% of utilities in developed countries generate sufficient revenue to cover operation, maintenance and partial capital costs.
According to another study undertaken in 2006 by NUS Consulting, the average water and sewerage tariff in 14 mainly OECD countries excluding VAT varied between US$ 0.66 per cubic meter in the United States and the equivalent of US$ 2.25 per cubic meter in Denmark. However, water consumption is much higher in the US than in Europe. Therefore, residential water bills may be very similar, even if the tariff per unit of consumption tends to be higher in Europe than in the US. A typical family on the US East Coast paid between US$30 and US$70 per month for water and sewer services in 2005.
In developing countries tariffs are usually much further from covering costs. Residential water bills for a typical consumption of 15 cubic meters per month vary between less than US$ 1 and US$ 12 per month. Water and sanitation tariffs, which are almost always billed together, can take many different forms. Where meters are installed, tariffs are typically volumetric (per usage), sometimes combined with a small monthly fixed charge. In the absence of meters, flat or fixed rates which are independent of actual consumption are being charged. In developed countries, tariffs are usually the same for different categories of users and for different levels of consumption. In developing countries, are often characterized by cross-subsidies with the intent to make water more affordable for residential low-volume users that are assumed to be poor. For example, industrial and commercial users are often charged higher tariffs than public or residential users.
Also, metered users are often charged higher tariffs for higher levels of consumption (increasing-block tariffs). However, cross-subsidies between residential users do not always reach their objective. Given the overall low level of water tariffs in developing countries even at higher levels of consumption, most consumption subsidies benefit the wealthier segments of society. Also, high industrial and commercial tariffs can provide an incentive for these users to supply water from other sources than the utility (own wells, water tankers) and thus actually erode the utility's revenue base.
METERING OF WATER SUPPLY:
Metering of water supply is usually motivated by one or several of four objectives: First, it provides an incentive to conserve water which protects water resources (environmental objective). Second, it can postpone costly system expansion and saves energy and chemical costs (economic objective). Third, it allows a utility to better locate distribution losses (technical objective). Fourth, it allows to charge for, water based on use, which is perceived by many as the fairest way to allocate the costs of water supply to users. Metering is considered good practice in water supply and is widespread in developed countries, except for the United Kingdom. In developing countries it is estimated that half of all urban water supply systems are metered and the tendency is increasing.
Water meters are read by one of several methods:
- the water customer writes down the meter reading and mails in a postcard with this info to the water department;
- the water customer writes down the meter reading and uses a phone dial-in system to transfer this info to the water department;
- the water customer logs in to the website of the water supply company, enters the address, meter ID and meter readings
- a meter reader comes to the premise and enters the meter reading into a handheld computer;
- the meter reading is echoed on a display unit mounted to the outside of the premise, where a meter reader records them;
- a small radio is hooked up to the meter to automatically transmit readings to corresponding receivers in handheld computers, utility vehicles or distributed collectors
- a small computer is hooked up to the meter that can either dial out or receive automated phone calls that give the reading to a central computer system.
- Most cities are increasingly installing Automatic Meter Reading (AMR) systems to prevent fraud, to lower ever-increasing labor and liability costs and to improve customer service and satisfaction.
COSTS AND FINANCING CONCERNING WATER SUPPLY:
The cost of supplying water consists to a very large extent of fixed costs (capital costs and personnel costs) and only to a small extent of variable costs that depend on the amount of water consumed (mainly energy and chemicals). The full cost of supplying water in urban areas in developed countries is about US$1–2 per cubic meter depending on local costs and local water consumption levels. The cost of sanitation (sewerage and wastewater treatment) is another US$1–2 per cubic meter. These costs are somewhat lower in developing countries. Throughout the world, only part of these costs is usually billed to consumers, the remainder being financed through direct or indirect subsidies from local, regional or national governments.
Besides subsidies water supply investments are financed through internally generated revenues as well as through debt. Debt financing can take the form of credits from commercial Banks, credits from international financial institutions such as the World Bank and regional development banks (in the case of developing countries), and bonds (in the case of some developed countries and some upper middle-income countries).
WATER SUPPLY NETWORK:
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:
- A drainage basin (sources of drinking water);
- 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.
- Water purification facilities. Treated water is transferred using water pipes (usually underground).
- Water storage facilities such as reservoirs, water tanks, or water towers. 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.)
- 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)
- 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)
- 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
HISTORY OF DRAINAGE:
The ancient Indus systems of sewerage and drainage that were developed and used in cities throughout the civilization were far more advanced than any found in contemporary urban sites in the Middle East and even more efficient than those in some areas of modern Pakistan and India today. All houses in the major cities of Harappa and Mohenjo-daro had access to water and drainage facilities. Waste water was directed to covered drains, which lined the major streets. This operation is always best performed in spring or summer, when the ground is dry. Main drains ought to be made in every part of the field where a cross-cut or open drain was formerly wanted; they ought to be cut four feet (1.2 m) deep, upon an average. This completely secures them from the possibility of being damaged by the treading of horses or cattle, and being so far below the small drains, clears the water finely out of them. In every situation, pipe-turfs for the main drains, if they can be had, are preferable. Good stiff clay, a single row of pipe-turf; if sandy, a double row.
When pipe-turf cannot be got conveniently, a good wedge drain may answer well, when the subsoil is a strong, stiff clay; but if the subsoil be only moderately so, a thorn drain, with couples below, will do still better; and if the subsoil is very sandy, except pipes can be had, it is in vain to attempt under-draining the field by any other method. It may be necessary to mention here that the size of the main drains ought to be regulated according to the length and declivity of the run, and t either it can be he quantity of water to be carried off by them. It is always safe, however, to have the main drains large and plenty of them; for economy here seldom turns out well. Having finished the main drains, precede next to make a small drain in every furrow of the field if the ridges formerly have not been less than fifteen feet (4.6 m) wide. But if that should be the case, first level the ridges, and make the drains in the best direction, and at such a distance from each other as may be thought necessary.
If the water rises well in the bottom of the drains, they ought to be cut three feet (1 m) deep, and in this ease would dry the field sufficiently well, although they were from twenty-five to thirty feet (8 to 10 m) asunder; but if the water does not draw well to the bottom of the drains, two feet (0.6 m) will be a sufficient deepness for the pipe-drain, and two and a half feet (1 m) for the wedge drain. In no case ought they to be shallower where the field has been previously leveled. In this instance, however, as the surface water is carried off chiefly by the water sinking immediately into the top of the drains, it will be necessary to have the drains much nearer each other—say from fifteen to twenty feet (4.6 to 6 m). If the ridges are more than fifteen feet (4.6 m) wide, however broad and irregular they may be, follow invariably the line of the old furrows, as the best direction for the drains; and, where they are high-gathered ridges, from twenty to twenty-four inches will be a sufficient depth for the pipe-drain, and from twenty-four to thirty inches for the wedge-drain. Particular care should be taken in connecting the small and main drains together, so that the water may have a gentle declivity, with free access into the main drains.
When the drains are finished, the ridges are cleaved down upon the drains by the plough; and where they had been very high formerly, a second clearing may be given; but it is better not to level the ridges too much, for by allowing them to retain a little of their former shape, the ground being lowest immediately where the drains are, the surface water collects upon the top of the drains; and, by shrinking into them, gets freely away. After the field is thus finished, run the new ridges across the small drains, making them about ten feet (3 m) broad, and continue afterwards to plough the field in the same manner as dry land.
It is evident from the above method of draining that the expense will vary very much, according to the quantity of main drains necessary for the field, the distance of the small drains from each other, and the distance the turf is to be carried. The advantage resulting from under-draining, is very great, for besides a considerable saving annually of water furrowing, cross cutting, etc., the land can often be ploughed and sown to advantage, both in the spring and in the fall of the year, when otherwise it would be found quite impracticable; every species of drilled crops, such as beans, potatoes, turnips, etc., can be cultivated successfully; and every species, both of green and white crops, is less apt to fail in wet and untoward seasons. Wherever a burst of water appears in any particular spot, the sure and certain way of getting quit of such an evil is to dig hollow drains to such a depth below the surface as is required by the fall or level that can be gained, and by the quantity of water expected to proceed from the burst or spring.
Having ascertained the extent of water to be carried off, taken the necessary levels, and cleared a mouth or loading passage for the water, begin the drain at the extremity next to that leader, and go on with the work till the top of the spring is touched, which probably will accomplish the intended object. But if it should not be completely accomplished, run off from the main drain with such a number of branches as may be required to intercept the water, and in this way disappointment will hardly be experienced. Drains, to be substantially useful, should seldom be less than three feet (1 m) in depth, twenty or twenty four inches thereof to be close packed with stones or wood, according to circumstances. The former are the best materials, but in many places are not to be got in sufficient quantities; recourse therefore, must often be made to the latter, though not so effectual or durable.
It is of vast importance to fill up drains as fast as they are dug out; because, if left open for any length of time, the earth is not only apt to fall in but the sides get into a broken, irregular state, which cannot afterwards be completely rectified. A proper covering of straw or sod should be put upon the top of the materials, to keep the surface earth from mixing with them; and where wood is the material used for filling up, a double degree of attention is necessary, otherwise the proposed improvement may be effectually frustrated.
The pit method of draining is a very effectual one, if executed with judgment. When it is sufficiently ascertained where the bed of water is deposited, which can easily be done by boring with an auger, sink a pit into the place of a size which will allow a man freely to work within its bounds. Dig this pit of such a depth as to reach the bed of the water meant to be carried off; and when this depth is attained, which is easily discerned by the rising of the water, fill up the pit with great land-stones and carry off the water by a stout drain to some adjoining ditch or mouth, whence it may proceed to the nearest river.
MODERN DRAINAGE SYSTEMS:
Modern drainage systems incorporate geo textile filters that retain and prevent fine grains of soil from passing into and clogging the drain. Geo textiles are synthetic textile fabrics specially manufactured for civil and environmental engineering applications. Geo textiles are designed to retain fine soil particles while allowing water to pass through. In a typical drainage system they would be laid along a trench which would then be filled with coarse granular material: gravel, sea shells, stone or rock. The geo textile is then folded over the top of the stone and the trench is then covered by soil. Groundwater seeps through the geo textile and flows within the stone to an outfall. In high groundwater conditions a perforated plastic (PVC or PE) pipe is laid along the base of the drain to increase the volume of water transported in the drain.
Enzymatic drain cleaners can be a safer alternative to chemical drain cleaners, and are easier on the environment. They use bacteria or enzymes, which naturally feed on organic waste, such as hair and food waste that often block drains. These tiny organisms, then digest the waste and to recreate beneficial bacteria and enzymes throughout the septic system. In fact, drain cleaners enzyme originally used to clean septic tanks and sewage. Enzymatic drain cleaners are better for the environment because they prevent hazardous chemicals that may leak into soil and water from spreading.
Alternatively, prefabricated plastic drainage systems made of HDPE called Smart Ditch, often incorporating geo textile, coco fiber or rag filters can be considered. The use of these materials has become increasingly more common due to their ease of use which eliminates the need for transporting and laying stone drainage aggregate which is invariably more expensive than a synthetic drain and concrete liners.
Over the past 30 years geo textile and PVC filters have become the most commonly used soil filter media. They are cheap to produce and easy to lay, with factory controlled properties that ensure long term filtration performance even in fine silty soil conditions.
21ST CENTURY ALTERNATIVES:
Seattle's Public Utilities created a pilot program called Street Edge Alternatives (SEA Streets) Project. The project focuses on designing a system "to provide drainage that more closely mimics the natural landscape prior to development than traditional piped systems". The streets are characterized by ditches along the side of the roadway, with plantings designed throughout the area. An emphasis on non curbed sidewalks allows water to flow more freely into the areas of permeable surface on the side of the streets. Because of the plantings the run off water from the urban area does not all directly go into the ground but can also be absorbed into the surrounding environment.
DRAINAGE IN CONSTRUCTION:
The civil engineer or site engineer is responsible for drainage in construction projects. They set out from the plans all the roads, Street gutters, drainage, culverts and sewers involved in construction operations. During the construction of the work on site he/she will set out all the necessary levels for each of the previously mentioned factors.
Site engineers work alongside architects and construction managers, supervisors, planners, quantity surveyors, the general workforce, as well as subcontractors. Typically, most jurisdictions have some body of drainage law to govern to what degree a landowner can alter the drainage from his parcel.
Plumbing is the skilled trade of working with pipes, tubing and plumbing fixtures for drinking water systems and the drainage of waste. A plumber is someone who installs or repairs piping systems, plumbing fixtures and equipment such as water heaters. The plumbing industry is a basic and substantial part of every developed economy due to the need for clean water, and proper collection and transport of wastes. Plumbing also refers to a system of pipes and fixtures installed in a building for the distribution of potable water and the removal of waterborne wastes. Plumbing is usually distinguished from water and sewage systems, in that a plumbing system serves one building, while water and sewage systems serve a group of buildings or a city.
HISTORY OF PLUMBING:
Plumbing was extremely rare until the growth of modern cities in the 19th century. About the same time public health authorities began pressing for better waste disposal systems to be installed. Earlier, the waste disposal system merely consisted of collecting waste and dumping it on ground or into a river. Standardized earthen plumbing pipes with broad flanges making use of asphalt for preventing leakages appeared in the urban settlements of the Indus Valley Civilization by 2700 B.C. Plumbing originated during the ancient civilizations such as the Greek, Roman, Persian, Indian, and Chinese civilizations as they developed public baths and needed to provide potable water, and drainage of wastes. The Romans used lead pipe inscriptions to prevent water theft. Improvement in plumbing systems was very slow, with virtually no progress made from the time of the Roman system of aqueducts and lead pipes until the 19th century. Eventually the development of separate, underground water and sewage systems eliminated open sewage ditches and cesspools. Most large cities today pipe solid wastes to treatment plants in order to separate and partly purify the water before emptying into streams or other bodies of water. For potable water use, galvanized iron piping was commonplace in the United States from the late 1800's until around 1960. After that period, copper took over, first with soft copper with flared fittings, then with rigid copper tubing utilizing soldered fittings. The use of lead for potable water declined sharply after World War II because of the dangers of lead poisoning. At this time, copper piping was introduced as a better and safer alternative to lead pipes. Another material used for plumbing pipes, particularly water main, was hollowed wooden logs wrapped in steel banding. Logs used for water distribution were used in England close to 500 years ago. The US cities began using hollowed logs in the late 18th through the 19th centuries.
Water systems of ancient times relied on gravity for the supply of water, using pipes or channels usually made of clay, lead, bamboo, wood or stone. Present-day water-supply systems use a network of high-pressure pumps, and pipes are now made of copper, brass, plastic, or other nontoxic material. Present-day drain and vent lines are made of plastic, steel, cast-iron, and lead. Lead is not used in modern water-supply piping due to its toxicity. The "straight" sections of plumbing systems are of pipe or tube. A pipe is typically formed via casting or welding, where a tube is made through extrusion. Pipe normally has thicker walls and may be threaded or welded, where tubing is thinner-walled and requires special joining techniques such as "brazing", "compression fitting", "crimping", or for plastics, "solvent welding".
Plumbing equipment, not present in all systems, include, for example, water meters, pumps, expansion tanks, backflow preventers, filters, water softeners, water heaters, wrenches, heat exchangers, flaring pliers, gauges, and control systems. Now there is more equipment that is technologically advanced and helps plumbers fix problems without the usual hassles. For example, plumbers use video cameras for inspections of hidden leaks or problems; they use hydro jets, and high pressure hydraulic pumps connected to steel cables for trench-less sewer line replacement.
The major categories of plumbing systems or subsystems are:
- Potable cold and hot water supply
- Traps, drains, and vents
- Septic systems
- Rainwater, surface, and subsurface water drainage
- Fuel gas piping
- For their environmental benefit and sizable energy savings hot water heat recycling units are growing in use throughout the residential building sectors. Further ecological concern has seen increasing interest in grey-water recovery and treatment systems.