Water Distribution System

Water Meter PitA distribution system consists of a network of pipes, valves, fire hydrants, service lines, meters, and pumping stations. The system delivers water to homes, businesses, and industries for drinking and other uses. The water is also used for fire protection.

The network of pipes, pumping stations, and service storage reservoirs must have sufficient capacity to meet maximum water demands plus fire fighting requirements and still maintain adequate water quality and water pressure throughout the distribution system. Valves are necessary to isolate portions of the distribution system for cleaning, maintenance, repairs, and making additions to the system.

The distribution system should be free of cross-connections with unapproved water supplies, which could allow contamination to be introduced into the system.


Typical duties of a water distribution operator are:

  1. Place barricades, signs, and traffic cones around work sites to protect operators and public.

  2. Excavate trenches and install shoring.

  3. Lay, connect, test, and disinfect water mains.

  4. Tap into water mains.

  5. Flush and clean water mains.

  6. Read and update water distribution system maps and “as built” maps.

  7. Collect and transport water samples.

  8. Clean and disinfect tanks and reservoirs. Water Line Repair

  9. Protect water mains and storage facilities from corrosion effects.

  10. Observe pump motors to detect unusual noise, vibration, or excessive heat.

  11. Repair and overhaul pumps, motors, chlorinators, and control valves.

  12. Safely load and unload chlorine cylinders and other dry and liquid chemicals.

  13. Keep records and prepare reports.

  14. Start up or shut down pumps as necessary to regulate system pressures and flows.Water Tap

  15. Detect hazardous atmospheres and correct before entry.

  16. Troubleshoot to locate the cause of water quality complaints.

  17. Discuss with the public their concerns regarding the quality of the water they receive.

  18. Communicate effectively with other operators and supervisors on the technical level.

The distribution crew’s responsibility ends at the curb stop located at the property line. The property owner is reponsible from curb stop to the building.