Starting from a water source or storage place at a higher altitude, water is transported through a pipeline system to a public standpost or a group, yard or in-house connection. The required pressure is achieved by gravity. Pipes can be made of metal, cement or plastic. Storage might help to buffer for peak demand or intermittent supply.
Although much cheaper than pressurized distribution, construction costs are still high. If water source is far from supply area, long pipelines are required. Running costs are low.
Can supply water to community or larger user group. Implementation requires experts for system design and construction. For O&M activities skilled people required. Needs government regulation. Management responsibility might be at local authority, company or community committee, depending on system.
Pipes might be dug in soil, has impact on local environment. In case of leaking pipes, contamination from soil might enter pipes. Leakage control and residual chlorine required. Low energy requirements give this method a medium to low ecological footprint.
Construction requires experts. Long pipelines and intermittent storage required to deal with variable demand, in some case intermittent pumping required. Water meters and house connections or standpipes required. Maintenance includes amongst others leakage control and cleaning of pipes and storage facilities.
Expected to be highly appreciated by users, there is no manual pumping required and water gets closer to them. If system not properly maintained, additional household water treatment required. Improper system layout might result in lack of water during repairs.
No relevant remarks for Gravitational distribution.