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Practical Design of Water Distribution Systems

Jeffrey A. Gilbert, P.E.

Course Outline

This is a four-hour online course discussion on practical water distribution system design. It is important to understand how soil conditions affect the design and choice of materials to protect the system. Basic information to develop a model is outlined as well as how to attain the necessary information. ANSI/AWWA standards are provided for materials and procedures.

This course includes a multiple-choice quiz at the end, which is designed to enhance the understanding of the course materials.

Learning Objective

This course is intended for engineers, CADD technicians and government officials. Basic water distribution fundamentals of design and planning are presented.

The course reviews American National Standards Institute/American Water Works Association (ANSI/AWWA) standards that are used in specification writing.
The course material examines important factors to consider when designing new systems, analyzing existing systems, and specifying materials and appurtenances. Although no specific actual modeling software is taught, the principles for distribution design remain consistent.

Course Introduction

This course is designed to prepare engineers who generally are not familiar with water system design and system modeling; the necessary elements that will be used to set up models will be provided. Emphasis is placed on the ANSI/AWWA standards used in specifications and plan notes. Pumps and other system elements of a sound system are described and studied. Laying pipe and distributing water requires much more than geographic planning. Water systems are very dynamic and require many considerations in order to assure a well-designed system.

Course Content

The course content is in a PDF file (125 KB) Practical Design of Water Distribution Systems. You need to open or download this document to study this course.

Course Summary

Designing water distribution systems may appear to be a fundamental geometric exercise. Pressurized pipe systems have a high degree of dynamic relevance. Choosing the proper materials for a given environment and specifying the protection methods are important to the design process and project costs.

Applying enough time to the planning process is the key to successful projects. Sizing the system is as important as any other aspect of the design. Sizing for the expected consumer and fire demands as well as possible future expansion must be undertaken. Layout of the system begins after the designer determines the demands, meets with the local agency, or acquires real data to determine demands, level of service, hydraulic capacity and volume available.. Materials must be chosen depending on local codes, soil types and economic factors. These are all relevant to most modeling software used.


Once you finish studying the above course content, you need to take a quiz to obtain the PDH credits.

Take a Quiz

DISCLAIMER: The materials contained in the online course are not intended as a representation or warranty on the part of or any other person/organization named herein. The materials are for general information only. They are not a substitute for competent professional advice. Application of this information to a specific project should be reviewed by a registered professional engineer. Anyone making use of the information set forth herein does so at their own risk and assumes any and all resulting liability arising therefrom.