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Types of Piped Water supply

There are two main systems of piped water distribution:
1. Intermittent water supply: Water is supplied only during fixed timings during the day.
2. Continuous water supply: Water is supplied throughout the day.
Most of the cities in India have intermittent supply of water. There are certain disadvantages of the intermittent water supply.
• Water may not be available immediately during an emergency.
• Consumers need to store water. This may lead to contamination of drinking water and potential for mosquito breeding.
• During the time when there is no water supply and the pipes are empty, there may be negative pressure inside the pipes that can lead to suction of filth through leaking joints. This leads to contamination of the water at the time it is supplied through the pipes. This phenomenon has been responsible for a number of waterborne disease outbreaks such as typhoid and Hepatitis A.
• The timing of water supply may not be convenient to some consumers.
Hence the preferred system of water supply is continuous type.
Note: If the household stores water in an overhead and arranges for continuous availability of water in the taps at the household level, this CANNOT be regarded as ‘Continuous water supply’. Water supplied from the local authority has to be considered.

Poornima Tiwari, Shashank Tiwari. Chapter 13, In: Mastering Practicals in Community Medicine. 2nd ed. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, New Delhi
Andey SP, Kelkar PS. Influence of intermittent and continuous modes of water supply on domestic water consumption. Water Resour Manag 2009;23(12):2555–66.
Park K. Environment and health. In: Park’s Textbook of Preventive and Social Medicine, 24th ed. Jabalpur, India: M/S Banarasidas Bhanot Publishers; 2017

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