The water distribution system provides economical and compatible facilities that are capable of furnishing sufficient water at suitable pressures. The system consists of almost 934 miles of underground water mains, five pumping stations, three ground storage tanks, six elevated storage tanks, over 13,585 valves, over 3,263 fire hydrants, and over 40,000 meters.
After the water is processed at the treatment plants and tested for purity, it is stored in ground and elevated storage tanks or pumped into the water distribution system. The distribution network is laid out in a continuous looped system to circulate water and maintain constant system pressure.
The City of Abilene stores water in the distribution system in the following structures:
- Industrial Park - 4.5 million gallon semi-elevated tank
- Kirby Pump Station - 2 million gallon ground storage tank
- Maple St. Pump Station - 2 million gallon ground storage tank
- Buffalo Gap Road - 1 million gallon elevated tank
- South 19th & Highland - 1.5 million gallon elevated tank
- Hartford Street - 2 million gallon elevated tank
- Elmdale - .5 million gallon elevated tank
- FM 707 - .75 million gallon elevated tank
- French Robertson Prison - .3 million gallon elevated tank
- Tye - .25 million gallon elevated tank
The combined capacity of these storage tanks is 14.8 million gallons. The pressure on the distribution system remains fairly constant, around 50 pounds per square inch, as a result of the elevated storage and looped distribution network. Pumping stations are located strategically throughout the system to pump water, maintain uniform pressure levels and control storage tank levels.
The distribution system is divided into five pressure planes along east-west lines. The southern area of the city where elevation is higher, requires about 20 psi (pounds per square inch) of additional pressure to maintain adequate service. The third pressure plane was established after 1986, to accommodate population growth in the southern most part of the city.
All service connections in the distribution system are metered. Aged meters are systematically replaced to assure reliability of meter performance.