Journal of the South African Institution of Civil Engineering
On-line version ISSN 2309-8775
The public standpipe is the user interface of most rural water systems in South Africa. Despite the renewed focus on providing safe water for all South Africans, field surveys throughout the country show that public standpipes are generally in a deplorable condition. As these standpipes contribute only about 1% or less to the overall cost of rural water-supply systems, this paper argues that the public standpipe deserves more engineering attention during design, construction and maintenance, without having a significant cost implication. The paper systematically lists the relatively simple design considerations, with quantitative guidelines where applicable, and gives multiple illustrations of common mistakes encountered during three field surveys conducted in the Venda region during 2006, 2007 and 2008.
Keywords : Standpipe; Venda; water supply; tap; design; maintenance.