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How to draw a gravity fed water system by a computer

How to design and draw a gravity fed water system using computer

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I am not aware of any programmes available specifically for designing gravity water systems. The design process is quite simple and can easily be accomplished using pencil and paper or an excel spread sheet. The pressure drop in simple branched systems can be designed using the Hazen Williams formula, or more easily using head loss charts such as the Hydraulics research Station Charts for the hydraulic design of channels and pipes (not available in electronic format). If you need a calculation programme to document your design then you could try Mathcad, avaialable for free at, but you will not require any advanced mathematics capabilities or algorithms to achieve an efficient design.

An overview of the design process can be found at

Drawing of the hydraulic profile is a relatively trivial task, and can easily be accomplished with a rule and some graph paper. IF you wish to use a CAD programme you can download Draftsight for free at

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Dear John Cody

Thank you a lot. This piece of info is of great help to me. In any case if I encounter any problem I will wrte to you for futher assistance. Thank you

Hande Mwanjela

Hande D. Mwanjela gravatar imageHande D. Mwanjela ( 2016-03-16 09:39:05 -0600 )edit

EPANET will work just fine for gravity fed systems. See

There is also a epanet bases plugin for QGIS.

Both are free to download and there a lot of tutorials for epanet.

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I always found computer programmes useful for designing gravity schemes. However the success of any scheme relied finally on a understanding how the scheme would work (or not) in practice including how to avoid airlocks and how to accommodate peak flows at taps. Good detailing was also very important. A programme might help with the science but not necessarily the art!

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