Technical Resources

Part of the mission of APLV is to develop design tools and teaching methods to train local technicians. We hope to serve a greater community of water system designers by making these publications and programs available in printed materials and via the web.

Through this on-going undertaking we hope to help to empower people with minimal schooling as water professionals, a challenge that we view as answering a very wide-spread need.

So far APLV has:

  • Published a manual on the handling of air in gravity flow drinking water systems. A software program carries out the design steps described in the manual. See below.
  • Developed an advanced program for distribution network design. This program is especially adapted to the marginal conditions encountered in gravity-flow systems
  • Developed a curriculum which includes technical notes on multiple aspects of gravity flow system design including surveying, hydraulics, suspension bridges, etc
  • Evolved practical norms and guidelines for these systems.

We hope to make this information available publicly in the future.

APLV Publications and Tools:

A water distribution system, from the spring to individual faucets, almost always includes a tank. The flow at the spring is relatively steady, but the demands at the individual faucets vary during the day. At peak hours, the total demand may far exceed the flow at the spring. A tank serves as a buffer: it accumulates water during low demand hours (e.g., at night) and delivers the requested amount at peak hours. Thus, a complete distribution network is made up of two different components: 1) The first component includes the spring, the tank and the pipes that connect them and 2) the pipes from the tank to the individual faucets.

The design of each component carries its own challenge and APLV has created tools for both. Air in Pipes is a manual and an accompanying spreadsheet that can be used to design the pipe system from the spring to the tank. NeatWork is a computer program that is used to design the distribution system from the tank to the faucets.

Air in Pipes, by Gilles Corcos (available in English and Spanish)
This manual is intended as a complement to handbooks on the construction of rural gravity-flow water systems. It focuses on the problems and opportunities associated with the almost inevitable presence of air in the main pipeline from the spring to the distribution tank. The manual contains new material that the author has gathered in both the field and in the laboratory and which fits into a relatively simple theoretical framework.

We have also developed an Excel spreadsheet that implements the design method described in Air in Pipes. The spreadsheet allows entry of the topography between the spring and the tank and proposes a design based on minimum and maximum spring flow. The spreadsheet has both English and Spanish text.

Download the 2nd edition English version (PDF format, ~600Kb)
Edición 2da en español (PDF 400Kb)

Download the Air in Pipes (version 6.0 zip file with Excel spreadsheet  and dll (244Kb)


Download the Air in Pipes 64-bit (version 6.1 zip file with Excel spreadsheet  and dll (360Kb)


NeatWork: A collaboration between APLV and Jean-Philippe Vial and his team at the University of Geneva has resulted in a powerful computer program used to design rural water system distribution networks. Unlike systems in the U.S. or Europe that use pumps, large pipes and expensive pressure regulation valves, our designs must operate purely on gravity. The program enables designers to achieve reliable performance while minimizing construction cost. The tool is unique in several respects and should be of use to many other water development groups. APLV would like to thank the University of Geneva for their financial support of NeatWork.  More information is on the Neatwork Page


NeatWork links:

NeatWork home page

download the NeatWork manual (English) (pdf, ~2Mb)

download the NeatWork manual (Spanish) (pdf, ~2Mb)


ABRIDGE:  A program which allows you to design  pipe bridges for spans up to 150 meters or more in a few minutes.

download the ABRIDGE manual (English) (pdf, ~300Kb)

download the ABRIDGE Excel tool (Spanish) (xls, ~136Kb)

download the ABRIDGE Excel tool (French) (xls, ~136Kb)


PDF icon Aire En Tuberias.pdf548.7 KB