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  1. Water distribution systems.



    Within this unit, we covered water distribution systems. Based on the community served, these systems can be different. Research your own community, and describe the setting and the water distribution system that exists there. If you are not currently part of the fire service, talk to your local fire department, or call your local department/authority, and ask them about the system in your community.



Subject Environmental Science Pages 6 Style APA


An Analysis of Water Distribution in My Community

The manner in which an area’s water distribution system is laid out tells of how the water pipes in the area are and assist in determining the repair locations should damage occur (Liu et al., 2013). The purpose of a water distribution system is to ensure that water is delivered to consumers in the right quantity, quality, and pressure (Mala-Jetmarova et al., 2018), and is used to collectively describe the facilities employed in supplying water from its source point to the point of consumption. This paper describes the water distribution system in my community, highlighting how the same influences fire protection within the area.

Currently, I am living in a rural area that comprises largely of low-income earners. The community is insufficiently supplied with road networks, having only one main road traversing it. Electric supply is also limited only to a few houses in the area due to the costs associated with electricity, necessitating the use of solar panels by the residents of the community (Pagano et al., 2019). Additionally, water supply is a problem since not all members of the community are supplied with tapped waters. Thus, the community’s residents heavily rely on motored boreholes for constant water supply. Nevertheless, some houses in the community are supplied with water through the dead-end water distribution system as depicted below.

Figure 1: A depiction of my community’s water distribution

Figure 2: A skeleton depiction of my community’s water distribution




In my locality, the water distribution system takes the dead-end system layout. In the dead water distribution system, water does not continuously flow within. The mainline is laid through the community’s center, sub-mains on both sides of the mainline, and the sub-mains divided into various branches and buildings. The pipes are easily laid, and discharge and pressure in each pipe can be determined accurately and easily and this makes design computations very simple (Mala-Jetmarova et al., 2018). The system also has fewer cutoff valves and is cheap. Conversely, the system is characterized by inconsistent pressure within the community. As a result of the stagnation at the ends, sediment deposition is a great concern: the removal of the sediments requires several scour valves at the dead ends and this increases the economy (Pagano et al., 2019). In cases of damages in a branch line, the whole water system in the branch ought to be stopped for repair to take place. Similarly, the system has limited discharge for firefighting.

Liu et al. (2013) argue that commercial and residential growths threaten the fire department’s ability to fight and protect the community from fire outbreaks. Storage reservoirs and the boreholes in my community’s water distribution system serve as critical assets since they have the capacity of storing large volumes of water that can be used in firefighting and for domestic use as well (Diao et al., 2016). With the large amounts of water, firefighters within my community can fight fires. Nonetheless, with the limited discharge in some areas, firefighting is sometimes hampered in my community. The area is supplied by the International Fire Code, a fire code that addresses the control of fire dangers and the testing, installation, and maintenance of fire protection within the community (Pagano et al., 2019). With the crucial role played by the storage reservoirs and the fire code in my community, the firefighting department must understand best practices that are employed in the construction and design of the water supply system to prevent chemical or microbial pollution of water. The firefighters also need to know where within the community they should lay the fire code so that in events of fire breakups, sufficient amounts of water can be obtained to extinguish.

Just like in any community, fire protection and prevention are important, there are several protection and prevention systems that the firefighting personnel will need to support the dead-end water supply in the community. First, the personnel will require a wet-fire sprinkler system, a system that employs automatic sprinklers that are attached to a piping system connected to a water supply (Diao et al., 2016). In cases of fire, the systems are operated to discharge water immediately. These systems will need to be located in water-sufficient areas. Second are the dry pipe systems, which have automatic sprinklers that are attached to a piping system that is containing nitrogen or air under pressure (Liu et al., 2013). The personnel will also need to have special hazard fire protection systems that are designed to detect as well as put off fires in areas within the community where standard fire suppression systems are inappropriate or inadequate (Mala-Jetmarova et al., 2018). Other prevention and protection systems that the firefighting personnel will need to support the dead-end water supply in the community are dry chemical, gaseous, and foam fire suppression systems.

To conclude, water distribution system layout within a community communicates a lot about how water pipes in the community are and helps in determining repair locations should damages arise.  Water distribution systems also influence fire fighters’ ability to suppress fires, and thus, there is a need for understanding an area’s water distribution system for effective firefighting.



Diao, K., Sweetapple, C., Farmani, R., Fu, G., Ward, S., & Butler, D. (2016). Global resilience analysis of water distribution systems. Water research, 106, 383–393. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.watres.2016.10.011

Liu, G., Verberk, J. Q. J. C. & Van Dijk, J. C. (2013). Bacteriology of drinking water distribution systems: an integral and multidimensional review. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol 97, 9265–9276. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00253-013-5217-y

Mala-Jetmarova, H., Sultanova, N., & Savic, D. (2018).  Lost in Optimisation of Water Distribution Systems? A Literature Review of System Design. Water, 10(3), 307. DOI: 10.3390/w10030307

Pagano, A., Sweetapple, C., Farmani, R. et al. (2019). Water Distribution Networks Resilience Analysis: a Comparison between Graph Theory-Based Approaches and Global Resilience Analysis. Water Resour Manage 33, 2925–2940. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11269-019-02276-x



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