Water question

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LolaBeltran
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Water question

Post by LolaBeltran » Sat Aug 20, 2016 6:22 pm

This is a somewhat technical question dealing with the Cha Am Municipal Water supply.. known colloquially around here as "papa". . . I have no clue why.

We are connected to this supply. Our water bill is very low. . .but often, so is the water pressure. On busy weekends, barely a dribble especially in the evening. We have two tanks connected but try to save that water for household use. There have also been times when the tanks have emptied because papa is not sending any water at all.

We water our garden directly from the papa water and at low pressure this takes ages. My question: when the water coming from papa is at low pressure, will a pump increase the outflow. In other words. . .suck more water than that which dribbles out by gravity?

Thanks for any help.

pegman58
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Re: Water question

Post by pegman58 » Sat Aug 20, 2016 6:51 pm

If you connect a small electric pump to the feed line it will pump as long as it's primed. A guy down my street that sells water has used this for more volume to fill his tanks.

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Nereus
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Re: Water question

Post by Nereus » Sat Aug 20, 2016 6:58 pm

Apart from being illegal, it is very bad practice to connect a pump directly to the water main. At the very minimum it can suck all types of crap, and at the worst, water borne pathogens.
The mains supply needs to feed into a tank first to at least allow the heavy gunk to settle out. If the tank is not big enough, then you need to install a bigger capacity unit.
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Re: Water question

Post by Bluesky » Sat Aug 20, 2016 7:07 pm

I can rember about 20 years ago in Bangkok there was a problem with water pressure fed from the mains and people started using pumps to draw the water. The government came down fairly heavily on offending households at the time.
As for the municipal potable water supply in Cha am I cannot comment.
Apart from legal implications there are quite a few risks, two of which I have highlighted.
1. Potential damage to municipal infrastructure if you happen to to collapse a supply pipe by internal pressure reduction.
2. Unless check valves (reverse flow protection valves) are fitted throughout the supply network and operating correctly (which I doubt to be the case) you risk introducing contaminants into the supply system. (Eg if your neighbor has left the garden hose in a sewerage tank the contents could be drawn into the water supply system)

I would suggest you look towards increasing your onsite storage either with above or underground tanks which can be trickle fed along with a demand initiated pump.

LolaBeltran
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Re: Water question

Post by LolaBeltran » Sat Aug 20, 2016 7:55 pm

Quick knowledgeable responses and exactly the kind of info I need! Thanks so much!
We are at the end of the line with the water and many miles from Cha Am and the main supply so I doubt a small electrical pump will result in damage. ( Its all blue pipe here) Never thought about it being illegal! We do have a demand initiated pump for the house from our 500 liter tank which is gravity fed from papa and another 500 liter tank for rain water. We dont really have room for a larger holding tank.

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Nereus
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Re: Water question

Post by Nereus » Sun Aug 21, 2016 9:32 am

We dont really have room for a larger holding tank.
A large underground tank is really the only answer. 5 or 6,000 litres at minimum.

Not sure that I follow your reasoning with regard to both "blue pipe", and being at the end if the line. Yes, a small centrifugal pump is very unlikely to damage the main line, but if you are indeed at the very end of the line, then that is exactly where all the contaminates are going to be found.
Water supply is a big ongoing problem in this area, not just Cha Am. And it is unlikely to improve any time soon.
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Re: Water question

Post by VincentD » Sun Aug 21, 2016 11:28 am

To answer the question about the colloquial name, the waterworks in Bangkok was initially located at a place called Klong Prapa, or Prapa canal.This provided the first tap water in Bangkok (so you didn't have to haul it up to your house from the nearest klong or well) and to differentiate it from the rest, it was called Naam Prapa (น้ำประปา) so other people would know it didn't come from the nearest canal, but the waterworks at Klong Prapa..
The name has stuck and that is how it is known today.. :)
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Re: Water question

Post by Geko » Sun Aug 21, 2016 11:32 am

My mains water supply pressure dropped a few years ago, houses around seemed ok. I was the last house on the supply line.

Found the problem to be the 'integral' inlet filer on the water meter blocked solid with crap, small snails, broken shells, grit and sand, got rid of the stuff out of the line and filter, and pressure been great since.

Be warned the guy that came to sort the problem out didn't have a clue. He removed the meter without turning off the mains water supply to the estate, (it gave the line a good blowing through though) then he had to run around trying locate the estate isolation valve to shut off the water before being able to reconnect the meter.

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Re: Water question

Post by LolaBeltran » Sun Aug 21, 2016 7:37 pm

I am so glad I asked the question!
Thanks VincentD for the explanation of "papa" for the municipal water supply department! The people I have heard use it clearly say "papa" without the "r". . .makes it appear like a more benevolent entity than it is! Our generous and kindly water father!

As for the meter being blocked. . .we are possibly not the very last house, I am not sure exactly how the mains run. . .but the pressure is fine right now and there is no problem except in times of drought or surplus of bangkokers down for a holiday.

I hadnt even thought of an underground tank. . .that is an excellent suggestion.

Our meter has a cutoff valve before the meter so cleaning the inlet filter on the meter should be an easy enough task. At least checking it out seems a very good idea.

Thanks again everyone for the valuable input here! Much appreciated.

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Re: Water question

Post by Bluesky » Sun Aug 21, 2016 8:52 pm

LolaBeltran wrote:I hadnt even thought of an underground tank. . .that is an excellent suggestion. .
If you do decide to go ahead with a concrete underground tank it is well worthwhile have it lined with glazed white tiles to make it easier for annual cleaning. It is quite surprising the amount of particulate matter that settles out over a year and grunge on the tank walls from the town potable water supply.

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Dannie Boy
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Re: Water question

Post by Dannie Boy » Sun Aug 21, 2016 10:46 pm

LolaBeltran wrote:I am so glad I asked the question!
Thanks VincentD for the explanation of "papa" for the municipal water supply department! The people I have heard use it clearly say "papa" without the "r". . .makes it appear like a more benevolent entity than it is!.
most Thais do not/cannot pronounce the letter "r" so that's probably the reason why.

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STEVE G
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Re: Water question

Post by STEVE G » Mon Aug 22, 2016 2:36 am

Bluesky wrote:
LolaBeltran wrote:I hadnt even thought of an underground tank. . .that is an excellent suggestion. .
If you do decide to go ahead with a concrete underground tank it is well worthwhile have it lined with glazed white tiles to make it easier for annual cleaning. It is quite surprising the amount of particulate matter that settles out over a year and grunge on the tank walls from the town potable water supply.
The other big advantage of an underground tank is that obviously by being low down, it'll fill up when the pressure is too low to do anything else.

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Re: Water question

Post by wpcoe » Wed Aug 31, 2016 12:13 pm

STEVE G wrote:The other big advantage of an underground tank is that obviously by being low down, it'll fill up when the pressure is too low to do anything else.
Yes, indeed. I live on Soi 80 which has notoriously low water pressure (and scarce hours of actual supply.) A neighbor up the street had a tall, skinny water tank and several times was unable to feed water into his tank due to the height of the tank inlet and the low water pressure. Those of us with shorter, squatter above-ground tanks could still get some. Those with underground tanks have rarely been without supply.

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