Water Distribution

Water Distribution

Making sure our customers receive quality water at all times is our top priority. Cleveland Water’s robust distribution system allows us to ensure an ample supply of safe, great-tasting water is available when you want it and when you need it.


The Water Treatment Plants are where we make water safe to drink, but the distribution system is how we deliver quality and great-tasting water to homes and businesses located throughout our 640-square-mile service area. Because our service area is so large, Cleveland Water has an extensive distribution system – 4 primary pump stations, 11 secondary pumps stations, 22 towers and tanks, and nearly 5,300 miles of underground pipes known as water mains – all designed to deliver water throughout our service area.

Determine Your Service Area

Distribution System

Distribution System

1

Raw Water Intake via Cribs
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Raw Water Intake via Cribs
Cribs on the Lake pull raw water into treatment plants.

2

Water Treatment Plant
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Water Treatment Plant
Water is filtered and disinfected at the treatment plant and prepared for distribution via large, on-site pumps.

3

Clean Water Distribution
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Clean Water Distribution
Water flows to local tanks and towers as well as to pumps that will distribute water to higher elevation tanks and towers.

4

Homes & Businesses Near Lake Erie
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Homes & Businesses Near Lake Erie
Homes and businesses near the Lake are at similar elevations to raw water, requiring fewer interim pumps for water to be received.

5

Towers & Tanks
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Towers & Tanks
Tower and tanks help maintain water pressure by using gravity to pull water down through mains froms higher elevations.

6

Interim Pumps
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Interim Pumps
As water travels deeper and higher into the service area, interim pumps help water flow to higher elevations.

7

Homes & Businesses Further From the Lake
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Homes & Businesses Farther From The Lake
Homes and businesses farther from the Lake tend to be at higher elevations requiring the help of strategically placed pumps, towers, and tanks.

8

More Towers & Tanks
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More Towers & Tanks
In addition to maintaining water pressure, tanks and towers act as supply sources, preventing service disruptions.

Distribution & Maintenance Tabs

Pumps

In general, the elevation of Northeast Ohio increases as you move farther from Lake Erie. Because our plants are situated close to Lake Erie, we have to fight gravity to push water uphill to customers located away from the Lake. The large pumps located at each of our four water treatment plants can only push water to a certain elevation before water pressure drops too low. If the pressure in the system drops too low, customers may experience water shortages and decreased pressure in their home and, in some cases, water quality problems.

To combat this, we use a combination of pumps, towers, and storage tanks. Pumps help push water deeper and higher into our service area. Each time we have to use another set of pumps, we create a new pressure zone. Because Cleveland Water’s service area is so large, our distribution system has four major pressure zones. These pressure zones determine the water rates a customer pays. The number of times we have to pump the water to deliver it to your home or business determines how much you pay for water.

Towers & Tanks

Storage tanks and towers help maintain water pressure within a pressure zone by releasing water into the underground water mains from a higher elevation. When customer demand for water is high, water flows from the tower or tank into the distribution system to make sure there is enough water available at a high-enough pressure to meet our customers' expectations. Additionally, tanks and towers act as supply sources, preventing service disruptions when there are power trips or power outages at a pump station.

Water Mains

Nearly 5,300 miles of underground water mains connect pumps, storage tanks, towers, and water treatment plants to one another and to the more than 420,000 homes and businesses in Cleveland Water's service area. To put that in context, if we laid every water main in Cleveland Water’s service area end to end, it would stretch from Quicken Loans Arean past Athens, Greece. These pipes range in size from 4 inches to 60 inches and are made from 6 different materials, primarily cast iron, ductile iron, steel, and concrete.

Some of these water mains are more than 100 years old and, inevitably, leaks and breaks occur. To combat leaks and main breaks, Cleveland Water has 27 crews dedicated to respond 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Our goal is to respond to all leaks and breaks within 8 hours and, in the rare circumstance customers are without water, have them back in service in 8 hours.

Water coming up through the street or an unusual loss of water pressure in your home is a potential sign of a water main break. If you notice a water main break, please call (216) 664.3060.