Tap water (running water, city water, municipal water, etc.) is water supplied to a tap (valve). Its uses include drinking, washing, cooking, and the flushing of toilets. A water supply system or water supply network is a system of engineered hydrologic and hydraulic components which provide water supply. A water supply system typically includes:
A drainage basin (see water purification - sources of drinking water).
A raw water collection point (above or below ground) where the water accumulates, such as a lake, a river, or groundwater from an underground aquifer. Raw water may be transferred using uncovered ground-level aqueducts, covered tunnels or underground water pipes to water purification facilities.
Water purification facilities. Treated water is transferred using water pipes (usually underground).
Water storage facilities such as reservoirs, water tanks, or water towers. Smaller water systems may store the water in cisterns or pressure vessels. Tall buildings may also need to store water locally in pressure vessels in order for the water to reach the upper floors.
Additional water pressurizing components such as pumping stations may need to be situated at the outlet of underground or above ground reservoirs or cisterns (if gravity flow is impractical).
A pipe network for distribution of water to the consumers (which may be private houses or industrial, commercial or institution establishments) and other usage points (such as fire hydrants).
Connections to the sewers (underground pipes, or aboveground ditches in some developing countries) are generally found downstream of the water consumers, but the sewer system is considered to be a separate system, rather than part of the water supply system.