Over the past few months IOPSA have had to deal with complaints from across the country in terms of plumbing water reticulation systems that do not function correctly.
In most cases these issues are only noticed once occupation has been achieved and the problems in terms of flow rate are then brought to the fore.
In many cases rectification of the system is costly and as experienced in one such complaint legal action was taken.
In many instances the design of the water reticulation system is left with the plumber who is not competent to design.
SANS 10252-1 has very clear detail in terms of sizing of water reticulation systems which cover.
Static and residual pressures.
Calculating water demand
Pipe sizing in terms of flow rates required for each terminal fitting.
Ensure that you take these details into account when next you price a project or for that matter be up to speed In terms of being able to question drawings supplied to you.
If you are unsure then seek guidance rather than assuming what is right is right and then finding yourself in a legal battle.
The standards are there to assist us and if we follow and abide by them the system will function correctly.
There are webinars available to assist with basic pipe design and these will add a great amount of value to you and your business.
Cover the bases and yourself follow the rules.
We are currently dealing with a few design complaints that may cost the contractor a great deal of money and in one case where the fire reticulation system failed due to incorrect pipe sizing and placed the complex and residents at risk.
Reducing pipe sizes will reduce cost but ,will certainly increase your risk.
With local authorities reducing pressures through their bulk mains due to the drought, even more reason to ensure that the system is designed correctly taking these reductions into account.
By Steve Brown
IOPSA Operations Manager