Water Intake Design Considerations



The primary sources for water supply systems in British Columbia are groundwater and surface sources. Getting the water from a surface source to the water treatment plant, and then to consumers requires careful planning.

A water intake structure is a crucial component in a water treatment facility. The water intake structure is an infrastructure for water supply systems that collects and channels water from the sources like rivers, lakes, reservoirs, and canals to the reservoir from which it is distributed to the end users.


The design considerations of these structures are essential in determining how to best use the water. The type of structure required can be influenced by various factors, including the location, land use, resources, and the cost of building different types of structures.


Continue reading, to learn more about water intake design in BC.


Types of Water Intake

Various types of surface water sources create different conditions for collecting water. Choosing the correct type of water intake is the first step in ensuring the best design for your project. The four types of water intakes are:

  • Canal intake

  • Reservoir intake

  • River intake

  • Lake intake

Other ways of categorizing water intakes include:

  • Submerged vs exposed

  • Wet vs dry

Submerged pumps typically pull water from the bottom of the water source and deliver it to a home above the surface of the water. Submerged pumps can also be reversed to push water from a home to a water source. Exposed intakes are in the form of a well or tower, and they're usually near the bank of a river.

A wet intake has almost the same water level as the water source. A dry intake doesn't have water in the water tower. Water goes directly from the entry port to the pipes that will carry it to the treatment plant.


Design Considerations

There are many factors to consider when designing a water intake. The primary ones include the location and features of the intake – both of which contribute to creating an optimal system.


Location of the Intake

The intake should be in a place where it will collect water even when the water level is very low. Depending on the type of the structure, it should ideally be in a place where it can draw more water in the future if demand increases.

The water intake should be as close as possible to the treatment plant. In addition, the site should be easily accessible. It is important to avoid installing the intake in a location that may obstruct traffic or on sites with strong currents.


Features of the Water Intake

The design team should calculate all the forces affecting water intake. For example, to prevent contamination, it is imperative to restrict access to animal inhabitation or landfills that pose potential dangers to source water.

The collection chamber must be built away from the source with at least 4-5 metres of free flow from the intake to prevent the development of backup pressure.

The water intake screen, pump, valves, and water pipes also require careful consideration.


Underground Water Line in BC

Underground water pipe installation is crucial to ensuring an adequate water supply. When it's time to dig an underground water line in BC, Ironman Directional Drilling has the expertise you need.

Our team specializes in horizontal directional drilling technology to provide the most cost-effective and environmentally-friendly services. Whether your project involves a small water line or a large water main, we have the right skills and equipment. You can trust us to exceed your expectations. Contact us today to discuss how our HDD services in BC can benefit your project.