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Small Cabin Forum / Off-Grid Living / Questions re: small community water system
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# Posted: 2 Dec 2018 20:42

I am getting into helping out with our desert community's water system...serves 84 homes spread across a couple sq miles.

The system is on a well (2 actually) with a storage tank (and backup) that feed the community on static pressure. Since I have some background in construction and plumbing, (current General Contractor, previous Plumbing license and Swimming Pool License), I am finding myself in charge of operations and equipment/materials. I have some knowledge, but fall short in the specifics of this type of system (used to working on home and swimming pool systems)...

So here are a few specific question, I appreciate any help I can get, or point me in the right direction...

1) Type of pipe? The system was built in the 1960's and has been only repaired, usually by community members who have no plumbing experience. It is time to start replacing the main line pipe....I am leaning towards SCH 80 CPVC. It is mostly 3". Thoughts? Or maybe the new blue Poly?

2) Service entrances? They are mostly old Poly pipe and I have never been a fan, plus there are failures, mostly due to ground movement or the compression couplings failing.. I would prefer to T off the 3" main to 1" to the meter...Thoughts?

3) The connection between the Poly and main line is done with a saddle clamp and those are not great IMO.....Back to my wish to hard plumb from the main to the meter box.

4) To fill the water tanks, the water is pumped actually inside the same pipes that feed the water to everyone...seems odd to me? Better to run a separate fill line ? or just leave it as is since it works.

Any thoughts/ideas appreciated..I know there is a lot of knowledge on here

# Posted: 2 Dec 2018 23:25

Borrego sorry about your luck I once had the same duties and they were frought with frustration. We had a similar system 48 Cottages’s, 2 in. Poly mains and a assortment of connections many without any curb stops . likewise it was built in the 60s .we had 2 wells with 2 veritable speed submersible pumps set at 100ft. Deep .
Our main had no problems when I was there but many of the service lines were starting to fail do to frost and age .
We put in a new policy forcing higher standards, high pressure lines ,curb stops ,and frost proof installations .

We were inondated with new goverment standerds forcing daily water testing and clorination dramatically increasing operating costs.
Because we had veritable speed pumps we had no need for storage tanks.

# Posted: 3 Dec 2018 00:33

1. Why CPVC? You shouldn't need the higher temperature rating of it nor the higher pressure it can withstand compared to plain PVC?

HDPE is used in some municipal systems, especially where resistance to earthquake movement would be desired. Much better than PVC in being able to handle movement in the earth.

4. I don't see anything odd about water flowing one way or the other through the mains. Much the same as putting grid tie solar into service. The wires from the houses and up and down the street don't care which way the power flows. Same thing for water flow. Unless there was a perceived need to have some redundancy the simpler the better, IMO.

# Posted: 3 Dec 2018 10:39

Quoting: Just
Borrego sorry about your luck

Quoting: Just
We were inondated with new goverment standerds

I know, thanks......I'm just trying to help out since I at least have some kinda background that might help....We also have onerous Gov't regulations, we are doing this upgrade as a 'repair' to stay away from the Goobermint. We could not afford to do this if we had to get them involved...

Quoting: ICC

I was thinking it would be more durable.....(thicker-walled, right?)
We are in an earthquake zone with frequent movement so I figured either CPVC for the thicker walls, or something with flex to it.....I looked up PEX and read that it was not recommended for water systems with non-chlorinated water (which ours is)

I think maybe the new blue Poly might be the way to go, esp since it comes in big rolls and that will eliminate couplings (although I've never seen a properly prepped and glued fitting fail, i suppose they could be a weak point..)

I want to get rid of the saddle clamps they have, particularly with a flex pipe, I think that's just leaks waiting to happen.....

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