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Page Title: Development of Water Sources
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Development of a water source includes all work that increases the quantity and improves the quality of the water, or makes it more readily available for treatment and distribution. The development of surface water sources, springs, and seawater sources is considered in this section.

In developing a source, dams, floats, galleries, and similar improvements may be used to increase the quantity and quality of the water. Elaborate developments should be avoided; simplicity brings more rapid results. A temporary water source should not be converted into a permanent one until the area has been reconnoitered for a source requiring less development. All intake hoses or pipes should be equipped with an intake strainer regardless of the clearness of the water source. Suction strainers should be protected from floating debris that may damage, clog, or unnecessarily pollute them. Proper anchorage of suction lines and strainers prevents (1) loss of prime, (2) punctured or kinked lines, and (3) damage to strainers. Water at the intake point should be as clear and deep as possible. The strainer on the suction hose is placed at least 4 inches below the water level. This precaution reduces the possibility of the strainer becoming clogged with floating debris, or the prime being lost because of air getting into the suction line.


Of the total amount of rainwater that falls upon the land surface of the earth, only a comparatively small part is absorbed by the soil. By far the greater part of it runs off the surface of the ground and is carried out to the sea by way of streams and rivers or remains stored in natural lakes and ponds and in artificial lakes and impounded reservoirs. The methods by which water supply is derived from the surface are (1) by damming of streams or rivers, (2) by using the flow from streams, (3) by pumping directly from surface streams, (4) by collecting water from the roofs of buildings, (5) by providing catchment areas for the collection of rainwater into specially constructed cisterns, (6) by solar distillation, (7) by power distillations, (8) by freezing, and (9) by electrodialysis. For normal field water supply, surface water is the most accessible type of water source. This source also lends itself readily to the purification equipment common to most engineer units. Surface water is the most easily developed source of water. Methods of constructing intake points for land surface water sources are discussed below.

If the stream is not too swift and the water is sufficiently deep, an intake may be prepared quickly by placing the intake strainer on a rock. This will prevent clogging of the strainer by the streambed and provide enough water overhead to prevent the suction of air into the intake pipe. If the water source is a small stream or shallow lake,

Figure 9-5.-Direct intake with hose on bottom of water source.

the intake pipe can be secured to a post or pile as shown in figure 9-5.

When a stream is so shallow that the intake screen is not covered by at least 4 inches of water, a pit should be dug and the screen laid on a rock or board placed at the bottom of the pit. Pits dug in streams with clay or silt bottoms should be lined with gravel to prevent dirt from entering the purification equipment (fig. 9-6). The screen is surrounded by gravel to prevent collapse of the sides of the pit and also shield the screen from damage by large floating objects. The gravel also acts as a coarse strainer for the water. A similar method may be provided by enclosing the intake screen in a bucket as shown in figure 9-7.

The level of the water in small streams can be raised to cover the intake strainer by building a dam.

In swiftly flowing streams, a wing or baffle dam can be built to protect the intake screen without impounding the water.

Floats made of logs, lumber, sealed cans, or empty fuel drums can be used to support the intake strainer in deep water. Floats are especially useful in large streams where the quality of the water varies across its width or where the water is not deep enough near the banks to cover the intake strainer. The intake point can be covered by an adequate depth of water by anchoring or stationing the float at the deep part of the stream. The intake hose should be secured to the top of the float, allowing enough slack for movement

Figure 9-6.-Surface intake with hose buried in gravel-filled pit. 9-8

Figure 9-7.-Use of bucket on end of surface intake.

Figure 9-8.-Float-type surface intake.

of the float. If support lines are used to secure the float to the banks, the position of the float can be altered to correspond to changes in depth by manipulation of the lines. The chief advantage of a float intake is the ease with which the screen can be adjusted vertically (fig. 9-8).

Water from muddy streams can be improved in quality by digging intake galleries along the bank. A trench is dug along the bank deep enough so that water from the stream percolates into it so it intercepts ground water flowing toward the stream. The trench is filled with gravel to prevent the sides from collapsing. The intake strainer is placed in the gravel below the water table (fig. 9-9). The amount of work required to produce

Figure 9-9.-Gravel-filled gallery intake. 9-9


the gallery is justified by a reduction in the amount of chemicals needed to coagulate the water, the elimination of the necessity of frequently backwashing the filter, and the higher quality of water obtained.

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