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Building the Capacity of Drinking Water Systems

Distribution Resources for Small Drinking Water Systems

Water distribution systems are large networks of storage tanks, valves, pumps, and pipes that transport finished water to consumers. By their design, distribution systems and infrastructure can be contaminated. Contamination most commonly occurs at a cross-connection. This is any actual or potential connection between public water and a contaminated source.

The following documents describe the benefits of routine monitoring and information on reducing risk of and responding to contamination.

You may need a PDF reader to view some of the files on this page. See EPA’s About PDF page to learn more.
  • Distribution Systems: A Best Practices Guide (PDF)(2 pp, 170 K, September 2006, EPA 816-F-06-038)
    This Guide discusses the importance of maintaining your distribution system.
  • Cross-Connection Control: A Best Practices Guide (PDF)(4 pp, 181 K, September 2006, EPA 816-F-06-035)
    This Guide discusses the importance of controlling cross-connections and preventing backflow occurrences from unprotected cross- connections in the water system.
  • Cross-Connection Control Manual (PDF)(52 pp, 2 MB, February 2003, EPA 816-R-03-002)
    This Cross-Connection Control Manual has been designed as a tool for health officials, waterworks personnel, plumbers, and any others involved directly or indirectly in water supply distribution systems.