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  • 1.  10 State Standards & Individual Residential Pumps

    Posted 03-05-2020 03:34 PM
    Edited by Tirza Austin 03-05-2020 03:33 PM
    Does anybody know the reason why 10 State Standards for Water Works stipulate in Section 6.4, Booster Pumps, Article 6.4.4, Individual Residential Booster Pumps - "Private booster pumps shall not be allowed for any individual residential service from the public water supply main"?

    In hilly areas, this requirement prevents some residents from connecting to the water system.  The pressure at the meter could be 30 psi but the house may be over 70 feet in elevation above the meter, so no water at the residence.  

    Is it acceptable for the homeowner to install an individual residential booster pump after the meter?

    Any help clarifying the intent of the Standard is greatly appreciated.

    Best Regards,

    R Vaughn Williams P.E., M.ASCE
    Frankfort KY

  • 2.  RE: 10 State Standards & Individual Residential Pumps

    Posted 03-06-2020 08:38 AM

    Here in Texas, the TCEQ definitely outlaws the use of an inline booster pump after the meter. The reason is that many of the small lines that feed rural areas can be "sucked down" pretty easily thereby diminishing service to their neighbors. I would presume that the water could be dumped into a ground storage tank and a separate booster pump system with a bladder tank or hydropneumatic pressure tank can be used to supply adequate pressure. But, then it is the customer's responsibility to keep the separate system clean and disinfected. An alternative to the private separate system would be for the water supply to create a separate pressure plane with a new public ground storage tank and booster pump system providing higher pressure to the hilly area in question and then stepping down the pressure with individual pressure regulators at each meter as required.

    Ben Shanklin, P.E.
    Cleburne, TX

    Benjamin Shanklin P.E., M.ASCE
    Childress Engineers
    Cleburne TX

  • 3.  RE: 10 State Standards & Individual Residential Pumps

    Posted 03-06-2020 08:38 AM
    Since private booster pumps are not controlled by the utility, they could have an unknown effect on local pressure in the distribution system, potentially impacting other customers.  As I read the standards, this would not apply downstream of the utility meter/approved backflow preventer.

    Stephen Simpson P.E., M.ASCE
    Senior Project Manager
    Black & Veatch
    Cumming GA

  • 4.  RE: 10 State Standards & Individual Residential Pumps

    Posted 03-06-2020 04:23 PM
    All underground water pipe systems leak.
     A small leak out of the pipe is a small leak.
     A small leak into the pipe may suck in contaminants from that sewer line nearby, which leaks because all sewer pipes leak. Dry cleaners and gas stations, too.
    Positive pressure everywhere in the system is essential to public health.
    Positive pressure inside the pipe system can be compromised by a booster pump above or below the meter.  For this reason, water systems should not service areas where adequate pressure can't be provided.
    An alternative is to have a storage tank and pump out of that.  As Shanklin notes below it's a maintenance problem and it's also  not as safe and the supplied water quality is not as good.

    Robert B. Finucane PE F,ASCE
    Edward Farrar Utiity District
    Waterbury, VT

  • 5.  RE: 10 State Standards & Individual Residential Pumps

    Posted 03-07-2020 09:21 AM
    Edited by Tirza Austin 03-07-2020 09:20 AM
    A tot depends on the capacity of the distribution system. Every high rise building has pumps downstream of the meter but they are located in areas that have strong distribution systems. If you use a private pumps to overcome issues with a weak distribution system, you are asking for trouble.

    Thomas Walski Ph.D., P.E., D.WRE, F.EWRI, F.ASCE
    Bentley Systems,Inc
    Nanticoke PA

  • 6.  RE: 10 State Standards & Individual Residential Pumps

    Posted 03-18-2020 09:18 PM

    Vaughn Williams P.E., M.ASCE
    Frankfort KY

  • 7.  RE: 10 State Standards & Individual Residential Pumps

    Posted 03-07-2020 03:05 PM
    Comments by Shanklin, Simpson, and Finucane are all right on. Private booster pumps should never be allowed and only booster pumps owned and operated by knowledgeable public water supplies (PWS) should be allowed for reasons stated. If water is discharged into a private storage facility, it needs to have a clear separation from the PWS. Water in the storage facility can not be allowed to back up into the PWS. The PWS discharge needs to be clearly above the private system with no way for back up and should be controlled by the PWS. If the PWS system goes negative (sometimes it happens with a large fire fighting discharge or a major breakage), they don't want the system to suck water from your private system. Backflow preventers are great systems, but they can fail. If your storage facility delivers to your home only, then you are responsible for its contamination, but if you are delivering to other homes, be aware of the serious liability to others. The general public does not know much about clean water and the delivery system, but if they become ill, you probably will become the responsible person. The PWS planners should be controlling this issue before the PWS considers allowing a private booster system. The design of a PWS booster is a whole other subject and there are ways of proper design.
    Bruce Yates P.E.

    Bruce Yates P.E., M.ASCE
    Dayton WY

  • 8.  RE: 10 State Standards & Individual Residential Pumps

    Posted 03-08-2020 10:35 AM
    Interesting discussion.  I've run into the booster pump issue on a pretty regular basis on older distribution systems​ that have areas with high areas in the system like the one described by Mr. Williams.  The distribution systems provide inadequate system pressures in these areas.  While 10-States says a booster pump should not be allowed, the fact is that they are relatively common.  The decision making that allowed these boosted service line in areas with in adequate pressure may not have been the best in every circumstance, but, we have them and getting rid of them results in water systems being required (potentially by the regulatory community) to install a municipal booster station or discontinue service to the customers impacted in favor of a private well.  Neither option is going to be welcomed with open arms by any of the involved parties and in some cases private wells would be a worse option.

    It is interesting to note, that the International building code used in many places where the 10-States Standards are in common use allows/requires their use in areas with inadequate pressures (604.7 of the Plumbing Code).  It also has standards in Section 606.5 for the installation of these pumps.  Many local plumbers and building inspectors that I have dealt with have pointed to this section and say this is allowed because of the Building code has standards.  This is especially true when the local Water System User regulations are relatively weak concerning whether they are allowed or not.

    I would suggest that this issue needs to be addressed through some type of coordination between 10-States and the International Building Code.  I can see where there are conditions under which these booster systems can be installed without compromising safety and public health.  This is due to so many examples of installations where there are no problems.  But, I also see where a separate high pressure zone should be the method used to protect public health and provide adequate pressure to those being served.

    Of course, the intent of 10 States is to protect Public Health and Safety by preventing cross connections which result in the introduction of contaminants into the distribution system.  The intent of the International Building Code is the same, but, provides standards for a safe installation rather than a prohibition.  There is a lot to consider when trying to find the right balance between both approaches.

    Bart Clark , PE
    Warren, CT