What Regulates the Flow of Water in a Distribution System?

Water distribution systems provide an uninterrupted supply of pressurized, potable water. The system comprises pipelines, pumps, storage facilities, and other components.

Many system mechanisms work together to manage water flow. Flow is the volume of water that moves past a point in a given time. Learn more about what regulates the flow of water in a distribution system.


Pressure-Reducing Valves

Pressure-reducing valves (PRVs), also called water pressure regulators, manage water pressure. Pressure is the force used to push water through pipes and other pathways. It’s a fundamental factor that controls water flow.

PRVs reduce pressure in high-pressure zones. Plumbers often install PRVs on the main water line near the shut-off valve.


Valve Systems

Valves also regulate water flow in a distribution system. These mechanical devices work as control points that change, direct, halt, and regulate water flow.

Valves may be made from stainless steel, copper, and other materials. These are the six main valves used in water distribution systems:

• Ball valves
• Gate valves
• Globe valves
• Plug valves
• Butterfly valves
• Needle valves

Flow control valves can adjust the flow rate to ensure balanced fluid distribution. Additionally, operators can turn the valves to isolate system sections for maintenance, repairs, and emergency response.


Flow Sensors

Water distribution network operators use sensors to measure flow rate. The sensors detect the water’s movements and send that information to computer systems.

Modern water distribution systems can be high-tech. Operators can use supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) software to gather data from flow sensors and other devices throughout the system. SCADA enables operators to monitor water flow and respond quickly to fluctuations.


Plumbing Problems May Affect Water Flow

Water pressure regulators, valve systems, and flow sensors help ensure safe, controlled water flow throughout the distribution system. However, property owners may need to call a plumber for water flow-related issues.


Your property may have low water pressure caused by clogged pipes, sediment buildup, or a malfunctioning pressure regulator. If you’re experiencing low water pressure, call Harris sewer and water contractors. Let us diagnose the problem, then repair or replace malfunctioning components.

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