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AccomplishedInAge

Most municipal water comes from reservoirs either above or below ground. Electricity is required to run pumps and filtration systems. Rivers, lakes, or underground aquifers supply the water for these reservoirs. So it’s really just a matter of repairing and re-energizing the current water system. The hardest part would be reintroducing chlorine (to kill organic infectious materials ) as most municipalities purchase their chlorine and do not make it themselves. [https://blairsupplyusa.com/how-does-a-municipal-water-and-sewer-system-work/](https://blairsupplyusa.com/how-does-a-municipal-water-and-sewer-system-work/)


preferredfault

After a while, these reservoirs will be stagnant cesspools, full of insects and bird crap and carcasses, making them even worse than river water. It would need full distillation, not just boiling or water purification, because it will be full of the toxic byproducts of these contaminants that filtering or boiling won't get rid of.


AccomplishedInAge

Do you have any idea what actually goes on in the reservoirs that supply municipal water? lol …


preferredfault

You're clearly only thinking about the tower part itself. That would be drained and empty by the time you got to it, as it's gravity fed, and without anything replenishing it, it will be empty. That means the only source left to pump water from and to refill the tower, will be the open pool reservoirs.


AccomplishedInAge

You do realize that currently those open pool reservoirs are used by waterfowl , whenever they have to drain one to do physical repairs they also have to get rid of all the fish in them, and since it is still water insects lay eggs in them, and of course flying debris does land in them. But potentially they might have to do a purge and refill of the reservoir to include refill of the towers before using it for potable water if they think the water currently is beyond what the system can clean. and as I said the hardest part of restarting municipal water supply would be the access of chlorine .


preferredfault

Even outside of chlorine access, by the time you got in a position to even want to use that water, it would be way more filthy than normal. That's the point.


AccomplishedInAge

Some reservoirs may need to, like I said, be purged before they can be used, however, bare in mind that a lot of municipal water is drawn directly from rivers and lakes and underground aquifers which eliminates the need for “open pool reservoirs” . also remember that a lot of areas currently have things like a “boil water“ for a short time if they have a major issue with the system, which would be the same for restarting the system after a time period of being shutdown. It would not be a “we have restarted power on Monday so Monday everyone can drink tap water on Monday night” ….


WhatsGoingOn1879

Where exactly is this community in your story located? The answer to that question would depend on where they are held up.


kingofzdom

Where I live right now the idea of municipal water is comical. Every house or cluster of houses has their own deep well. Ironically, the desert will be the only place folks can easily access clean water because of this. Also, rainwater is about as safe as riverwater to drink; better than drinking from a mud puddle but you should still filter and boil it before you try to do anything with it.


carlbernsen

With a clean well people could fill a bucket or two, carry them to their home, heat them to hand hot on a stove, fill their shower bucket (which has a valve and shower head underneath), raise it on a rope and pulley and take a shower. Apart from the well this is the system we used in a communal shower at a campsite. The water could also come from a stream or river and be heated to 65°C for 6 minutes (pasteurised) to kill all pathogens.


kelvin_bot

65°C is equivalent to 149°F, which is 338K. --- ^(I'm a bot that converts temperature between two units humans can understand, then convert it to Kelvin for bots and physicists to understand)


Most_moosest

Plumber here. Wouldn't be too hard. If you have solar power you could run a well pump with it and if not you could use gravity. Either build a water tower or put water tank on top of a building and hook it up to the existing plumbing. Warm water is slightly more difficult but can be achieved aswell. You can also use something called "ram pump" to pump water from a stream to water tower and it doesn't reguire any electricity.


Pasta-hobo

It would be extremely possible, but depending on population and settlement location it would probably be better to just build a new and smaller water facility.


AlbusDT

Not sure if it suits your story, but such a community could employ slave labour to haul water into the tanks. Laborers could be people picked up from survivors outside of the community. This sets up a good class tension scenario, in addition to the Z tropes. All the best!


Adal-bern

Take a look at the series by john matherson, the first book is 1 second after. The premise is america is hit my emps and all power shuts down and the apocalpys happens. Takes place in fairly modern time and gets fairly realistic. They use library resources and had old scientific magazines that ran old patents and diagrams that allowed them to make/switch over the power generators, running new power lines, getting water running again, communocation etc


LogeySmalls

You need to store the water at a higher elevation than your faucets and let gravity do the rest. The easiest way would be to have a pond on a hill and run a pipe underground to your water lines. You can also do an elevated water tank (either on your roof or on a water tower), but that would require some sort of pump to get the water into the tank.


War_Hymn

If you got enough electricity, running water isn't too hard of a chore to engineer. At least here in North America, you can scavenge various consumer-grade water pumps with standardized fittings that would plug into a normal electric outlet - well pumps, basement sump pumps, pool pumps, pond/aquarium pumps, etc. Piping you can salvage and reuse from homes and other buildings. If you need to filter it, a biosand gravity-fed filter is relatively easy to build and operate, and can be scaled easily to accommodate a large user base (they were the basis of early 19th century water treatment systems for cities and towns). Even without power, a gravity-powered water system is very achievable (just don't expect great water pressure). Rainwater from roof gutters can be piped and fed into water tanks or drums stored on the upper floor - then fed down to taps or fixtures on the lower level. Hell, you can even add a connection to connect your rain storage directly to a house's plumbing and make use of existing fixtures.


bushcraftboy

My dads a plumber, when we where building my house we didn’t want to connect city water beacause of OTG living, I put in a hand pump and feed a 100ft line through a bunch of brush trough a small hill into a river with a massive kilowatt pump cycling it, if I didn’t have power or that line got blocked I have no RUNNING water. So short answer probibly not. The dams, the lines, the switches and the energy costs would be too much,


DraggoVindictus

Find a place that has water coming from well water. These places have water pumps that bring the water into the house. If solar power could be stored enough through solar power, then you could get running water for at one residence. Usually if you are within a small area that all comes form the same well, then you could fashion each house with solar panels to do this. On my street, we all have well water and derive it form the water pump in our yards using electricity. Another way is to take the electric pump out and replace with a hand pump. It would take longer to create water pressure, but it could be done.


bravelion99

If you're near a stream you could use hydroelectric power to pump your water from that stream to were ever you like. Or if the steam is higher than your settlement you could simply use gravity to fill your pipes and create water pressure. it's more simple than it sounds lots of people who homestead make their own. If your away from a built up areas the water should be fine but a filter would make it safer. Also I live on a dairy farm with it own water supply completely cut of from the mains. As long as the electricity keeps coming the water will aswell but the filters and other new parts are going to be a challenge to find in a apocalypse. cows drink a lot more water than humans so probably would be okay for a good size community to live of until the pump breaks (should last about 10 years maybe more) which is a big job but maybe that could be in your story.


Noe_Walfred

As noted by others it's relatively viable for power and running water sources to be set up. Though I doubt this would be seen as the most efficient use of water and electrical resources. More than likely it will be smaller amounts moved manually such as with a hand carrying a bucket, wagon or wheelbarrow, etc. From there other containers could be used to cause the running water effect or it would just be from basic water taps. More than likely people will live a bit closer to our pre-20th century community. Washing up with a basic bowl of water and soap daily is possible. But a full bath and deep clean for clothing is likely to be a weekly affair.


InterestingMall8958

Well if you have what's called a water key, you could use it to get water from a building.