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SUB-PROBLEMS INCLUDING LEADING TO IMPAIRMENT AND BEST PRACTICES FOR PUBLIC DRINKING WATER DISTRIBUTION SYSTEMS

Effects of Age of Water (See endnote 30)

The deterioration of water quality in the distribution system has two main causes. They are deterioration in the water caused by the wall of the pipe, and reactions in the water itself. Water traveling through the pipe goes through different chemical, physical, and aesthetic changes which affect the water quality. Deposited materials such as sand, iron, and manganese also create water problems in the pipe.

The proper rate of water flow is extremely significant in maintaining water quality. When a new system or an extension of a system is built, the authorities have to construct the distribution facility to last at least 20 years or more. This results in excess capacity and tends to slow down the current water flow. Water demand varies during the 24-hour period, seasonally, and if large users of the system are either added or taken away. There is also a need to have adequate water flow in the event of fires, which means that if there is an unusual demand then the water is used up more rapidly, and if there is little demand the water starts to accumulate and slow down. There must be adequate storage for the water and if not used frequently, the problems noted above can occur and the water becomes contaminated. After 3 days in the distribution system water begins to age.

Disinfection byproducts form more readily as the water ages. Nitrification also occurs and microbial regrowth is present. Phosphate inhibitors and the management of pH deteriorate.

 
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