The distribution system is a network of pipes, pumps and tanks that ensures that enough water is available when it is needed and that it is delivered safely to people’s homes and places of work or leisure.
Once treated, water passes along water mains to a service reservoir where it is stored until it is needed. Service reservoirs are large storage tanks, which are usually built on high ground so that the water travels downhill – this provides pressure for the mains. They are often covered with soil and grass to help them blend into their surroundings.
From the service reservoir water passes down the water mains to the stop tap normally beneath the pavement outside Northumbrian Water’s customers homes. At this point their private water supply pipes take over and carry the water into their homes.
As water in the service reservoir gets deeper, water pressure increases in the mains leaving the reservoir. This aids the movement of water through the distribution system. The speed at which water passes through the system is governed by the service reservoir, the size of the pipes and the demand for water from the customers.
Did you know that there are daily peaks in water demand: at breakfast and teatime. The water used during the day is replaced at night, when demand is low.