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RULE §290.44Water Distribution

(a) Design and standards. All potable water distribution systems including pump stations, mains, and both ground and elevated storage tanks, shall be designed, installed, and constructed in accordance with current American Water Works Association (AWWA) standards with reference to materials to be used and construction procedures to be followed. In the absence of AWWA standards, commission review may be based upon the standards of the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), commercial, and other recognized standards utilized by licensed professional engineers.

  (1) All newly installed pipes and related products must conform to American National Standards Institute/NSF International (ANSI/NSF) Standard 61 and must be certified by an organization accredited by ANSI.

  (2) All plastic pipes for use in public water systems must also bear the NSF International Seal of Approval (NSF-pw) and have an ASTM design pressure rating of at least 150 pounds per square inch (psi) or a standard dimension ratio of 26 or less.

  (3) No pipe which has been used for any purpose other than the conveyance of drinking water shall be accepted or relocated for use in any public drinking water supply.

  (4) Water transmission and distribution lines must be installed in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions. However, the top of the waterline must be located below the frost line and in no case shall the top of the waterline be less than 24 inches below ground surface.

  (5) The hydrostatic leakage rate shall not exceed the amount allowed or recommended by AWWA formulas.

(b) Lead ban. The following provisions apply to the use of lead in plumbing.

  (1) The use of pipes and pipe fittings that contain more than 0.25% lead or solders and flux that contains more than 0.2% lead is prohibited in the following circumstances:

    (A) for installation or repair of any public water supply; and

    (B) for installation or repair of any plumbing in a residential or nonresidential facility providing water for human consumption and connected to a public drinking water supply system.

  (2) This requirement will be waived for lead joints that are necessary for repairs to cast iron pipe.

  (3) The following are exempt from prohibitions on the use of lead pipes, solder, and flux:

    (A) pipes, pipe fittings, plumbing fittings, or fixtures, including backflow preventers, that are used exclusively for nonpotable services such as manufacturing, industrial processing, irrigation, outdoor watering, or any other uses where the water is not anticipated to be used for human consumption; or

    (B) toilets, bidets, urinals, fill valves, flush-o-meter valves, tub fillers, shower valves, service saddles, fire hydrants or water distribution main gate valves that are two inches in diameter or larger.

(c) Minimum waterline sizes. The minimum waterline sizes are for domestic flows only and do not consider fire flows. Larger pipe sizes shall be used when the licensed professional engineer deems it necessary. It should be noted that the required sizes are based strictly on the number of customers to be served and not on the distances between connections or differences in elevation or the type of pipe. No new waterline less than two inches in diameter will be allowed to be installed in a public water system distribution system. These minimum line sizes do not apply to individual customer service lines.

Attached Graphic

(d) Minimum pressure requirement. The system must be designed to maintain a minimum pressure of 35 psi at all points within the distribution network at flow rates of at least 1.5 gallons per minute per connection. When the system is intended to provide firefighting capability, it must also be designed to maintain a minimum pressure of 20 psi under combined fire and drinking water flow conditions. The distribution system of public water systems that are also affected utilities, defined in TWC §13.1394 or §13.1395, must be designed to meet the requirements of §290.45(h) or (i) of this title (relating to Minimum Water System Capacity Requirements).

  (1) Air release devices shall be installed in the distribution system at all points where topography or other factors may create air locks in the lines. Air release devices shall be installed in such a manner as to preclude the possibility of submergence or possible entrance of contaminants. In this respect, all openings to the atmosphere shall be covered with 16-mesh or finer, corrosion-resistant screening material or an acceptable equivalent.

  (2) When service is to be provided to more than one pressure plane or when distribution system conditions and demands are such that low pressures develop, the method of providing increased pressure shall be by means of booster pumps taking suction from storage tanks. If an exception to this requirement is desired, the designing engineer must furnish for the executive director's review all planning material for booster pumps taking suction from other than a storage tank. The planning material must contain a full description of the supply to the point of suction, maximum demands on this part of the system, location of pressure recorders, safety controls, and other pertinent information. Where booster pumps are installed to take suction directly from the distribution system, a minimum residual pressure of 20 psi must be maintained on the suction line at all times. Such installations must be equipped with automatic pressure cut-off devices so that the pumping units become inoperative at a suction pressure of less than 20 psi. In addition, a continuous pressure recording device may be required at a predetermined suspected critical pressure point on the suction line in order to record the hydraulic conditions in the line at all times. If such a record indicates critical minimum pressures, less than 20 psi, adequate storage facilities must be installed with the booster pumps taking suction from the storage facility. Fire pumps used to maintain pressure on automatic sprinkler systems only for fire protection purposes are not considered as in-line booster pumps.

  (3) Service connections that require booster pumps taking suction from the public water system lines must be equipped with automatic pressure cut-off devices so that the pumping units become inoperative at a suction pressure of less than 20 psi. Where these types of installations are necessary, the preferred method of pressure maintenance consists of an air gapped connection with a storage tank and subsequent repressurization facilities.

  (4) Each community public water system shall provide accurate metering devices at each residential, commercial, or industrial service connection for the accumulation of water usage data. A water system that furnishes the services or commodity only to itself or its employees when that service or commodity is not resold to or used by others is exempt from this requirement.

  (5) The system shall be provided with sufficient valves and blowoffs so that necessary repairs can be made without undue interruption of service over any considerable area and for flushing the system when required. The engineering report shall establish criteria for this design.

  (6) The system shall be designed to afford effective circulation of water with a minimum of dead ends. All dead-end mains shall be provided with acceptable flush valves and discharge piping. All dead-end lines less than two inches in diameter will not require flush valves if they end at a customer service. Where dead ends are necessary as a stage in the growth of the system, they shall be located and arranged to ultimately connect the ends to provide circulation.

(e) Location of waterlines. The following rules apply to installations of waterlines, wastewater mains or laterals, and other conveyances/appurtenances identified as potential sources of contamination. Furthermore, all ratings specified shall be defined by ASTM or AWWA standards unless stated otherwise. New mains, service lines, or laterals are those that are installed where no main, service line, or lateral previously existed, or where existing mains, service lines, or laterals are replaced with pipes of different size or material.

  (1) When new potable water distribution lines are constructed, they shall be installed no closer than nine feet in all directions to wastewater collection facilities. All separation distances shall be measured from the outside surface of each of the respective pieces.

  (2) Potable water distribution lines and wastewater mains or laterals that form parallel utility lines shall be installed in separate trenches.

  (3) No physical connection shall be made between a drinking water supply and a sewer line. Any appurtenance shall be designed and constructed so as to prevent any possibility of sewage entering the drinking water system.

  (4) Where the nine-foot separation distance cannot be achieved, the following criteria shall apply.

    (A) New waterline installation - parallel lines.


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