Water Supply Systems

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Water mains (Fig. 6-5) are large pipes that transport water for a public water system from its source to service connections at buildings. A service pipe installed by the public water utility runs from the water main to the building, far enough underground so that it doesn't freeze in winter. Within the building or in a curb box, a water meter measures and records the quantity of water passing through the service pipe and usually also monitors sewage disposal services. A control valve is lo-



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Water Main


Figure 6-5 Public water supply.

cated in the curb box to shut off the water supply to the building in an emergency or if the building owner fails to pay the water bill. A shutoff valve within the building also controls the water supply.

In rural areas and in many small communities, each building must develop its own water supply. Most rely on wells, supplemented by rainwater and by reliable springs where available.

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