A Closer Look at Direct and Indirect Water Supply Systems
Atul Purani has earned Masters in Civil Structure Engineering in 2012 from Sardar Vallabhbhai National Institute Technology, SVNIT – Surat. As a senior Manager (Infra) he leads the Infrastructure design team at SDCPL. He is also a blogger at gharpedia.com. He has vast experience in designing various infrastructure projects (like Water Supply Network, Reuse Water Supply network, Sewerage Network, and Stormwater Drainage). He also handles the structural design of some of the major projects at SDCPL. He is Easily Reachable on – LinkedIn.
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Water is essential to carry out various activities in a house – cooking, cleaning, bathing, washing clothes and utensils et al. It is only a sturdy water supply system that can make water available at various points and for different applications in a house.
According to Albert Szent-Gyorgyi – “Water is life’s matter and matrix, mother and medium. There is no life without water.”
Water being the elixir of life ensuring its continuous availability at household and industrial levels is a mandate – it is water supply systems which play a pivotal role in this segment.
When we talk about the domestic front then here the water supply system can either be direct or indirect. While in the direct water supply system all the water points of a house are directly connected to the main supply line of the municipality/city government/supply company; in case of the indirect water supply system it is only the kitchen sink and the storage tank which are connected to the main supply line while all the other appliances are fed with water from the storage tank located at the terrace of the house.
Gharpedia brings you an unbiased analysis of both the systems on critical parameters like water quality, water pressure, pipe network, maintenance, water supply, wastage, leakages, economy, pump capacity et al to enable you to arrive at a well-informed decision.
Comparison of Direct and Indirect Water Supply Systems
01. Water Quality – Essentiality for Domestic Water Supply Systems
The direct water supply system ensures better water quality as the water is directly released post-treatment. While in the indirect water supply system, the water quality is adversely affected because water is stored in storage tanks and then supplied to appliances.
02. Water Pressure – Requirements for Direct and Indirect Water Supply Systems
Water directly comes from the mains hence it has high pressure and sometimes a pressure reducing valve is required to curtail the damage due to higher pressure in case of direct water supply systems.
When it comes to the indirect water supply system, the water storage tank has to be placed at a specific height in order to obtain sufficient water pressure; this cannot be always achieved and hence the users on the upper floors suffer from lower water pressure, due to which functionalities like shower, flush, etc. do not work efficiently.
03. Design of Water Supply Pipe Networks
In case of the direct water supply system, the water enters into the house from the main supply pipe and is branched off to all fixtures… hence it entails less length and cost.
While the reverse holds true for indirect water supply systems as here water enters the house from the main supply pipe and is then branched off to the kitchen sink and the water storage tank (either overhead or underground); thereafter all other fixtures receive water from the storage tank – multiplying the pipe length and the cost.
04. Maintenance of Water Supply Systems
Direct water supply systems require relatively less maintenance vis-à-vis indirect water supply system. As in case of the latter the tank (overhead at some level/underground with pumps) requires regular maintenance, cleaning and protection from UV rays.
05. Consistency of Water Supply
In case of the direct water supply system, the water supply is consistent throughout the day subject to water availability; but if the water supply is for a fixed time and duration as is the case with the municipality water supply, then it is cumbersome as the user would be without water for the balance portion of the day.
While the opposite holds true for the indirect water supply system as once water is stored in the storage tank it can be used at any hour of the day i.e. 24 x 7 supply, but for this a well-planned storage capacity is needed.
06. During Damage in Water Supply Systems
If we talk about the direct water supply system then here if the main supply pipe gets damaged then the entire water supply of the house will need to be stalled until it is repaired.
While, if any pipe gets damaged in case of the indirect water supply system, then the water supply of only that fixture is stopped…the balance fixtures continue to get uninterrupted water supply from the tank.
07. Wastage in the Water Supply Systems
When we compare the volume of wastage of the direct water supply system with the indirect water supply then more water is wasted in the former; while the indirect water supply system ensures minimal wastage of water.
08. Leakages in the Domestic Water Supply Systems
In this particular parameter both the systems fare equally as pipes may leak due to high pressure of the water flowing through them in case of the direct water supply system; while there are chances of water leakages from the water storage tank in case of the indirect water supply system.
09. Economy of the Water Supply System
Direct water supply system turns out to be more economic as the amount of pipes are relatively less and the need of a storage tank is nullified; while the indirect water supply system entails an additional cost of pipes and tanks, which is quite substantial.
10. Capacity of Pumps at Source for Domestic Water Supply System
Direct water supply systems demand huge pressure because high capacity pumps are required to facilitate the reach of water to the upper storeys; whereas for indirect water supply systems even moderate pressure will suffice as here water needs to be supplied only at the ground level.
The direct water supply system is most common in developed countries like the United States of America and European countries; whereas, developing countries like India, Pakistan and other Asian and African countries opt for the indirect water supply system.
Gharpedia hopes that the parameter-wise detailing of the pros and cons will enable readers to arrive at a well-informed choice when it comes choosing option for installation of water supply system at the domestic level…
If you want to know about domestic water supply, you can refer – What is Domestic Water Supply System?
Image Courtesy: Image 1