Storage and Distribution

Appropriate design and operation of both the storage and distribution systems is critical to the success of a bio pharmaceutical or life science water system. There are considerable numbers of systems designs for storage and distribution. The differences in these designs are directly correlated to the user requirements and the manufacturing requirements.

This provides an overview of common storage and distribution configurations, noting advantages and disadvantages of each alternative. Comparisons are provided for the alternatives and a decision flow chart is provided to help decide which alternative system best suits the operating requirements. Microbial considerations are discussed, as they apply to alternatives for continuous and periodic sanitization of storage and distribution. Typical system components also are discussed, along with alternative materials of construction, and common installation practices for storage and distribution systems.


The purpose of a storage system is to accommodate demand peaks without the necessity of over sizing the purification system. A distribution system should transport the water to use points at the required flow, temperature, and pressure. Additionally, the storage and distribution system should not allow the water quality to degrade below the appropriate quality for its designated end use. Storage allows a smaller, less costly water purification system to meet peak usage demand while enabling operation closer to the ideal of continuous, dynamic flow. Large manufacturing sites, with systems serving different buildings, may use storage tanks as a means to separate sections of the system and to minimize potential cross-contamination. For sites that require continuous operation, an appropriately sized storage system will allow the distribution system to remain in service and supply the users, while maintenance activities are performed on the purification equipment.

  • Option 1 : Ambient or Reduced Temperature Storage & Distribution (Heat or Chemical Sanitization)
  • Option 2 : Storage and Distribution with Continuous Polishing
  • Option 3 : Ozonated Storage and Distribution
  • Option 4 : Hot Storage, Hot Distribution
  • Option 5 : Branched / One Way Distribution
  • Option 6 : Batch Tanks, Recirculating Distribution
  • Option 7 : Parallel Distribution Loops from Single Tank
  • Option 8 : Hot Storage, Cooled and Reheated Distribution
  • Option 9 : Hot Storage, Cooled Bypass Circulating Distribution
  • Option 10 : Hot distribution with Cooled Branch Use point, Heat Sanitizable
  • Option 11 : Hot Distribution with Cooled Use Point, Slip – Stream
  • Option 12 : Hot Distribution with Cooled Sub – loop
  • Option 13 : Primary / Secondary Distribution
  • Option 14 : Use Point / Sample Vaves