Water pressure is a term used to describe the flow strength of water through a pipe or other type of channel. Indoor plumbing has made it an indispensable part of life for many places throughout the world, and therefore it is a concern for much of the planet's population. However, many may not understand how it works, or how it can be improved.
The pressure of water depends on its flow. The more water being pushed through a pipe, the more pressure there will be naturally. Many people prefer high water pressure to low, as faucet valves and other tools can help maintain the flow of water at a lower rate. However, if it is too low, there is little that can be done to improve the pressure.
As a result of this preference for higher water pressure, most people only become consciously aware of the pressure when it is no longer available. Fortunately, for those dealing with municipal water systems in more modern countries, this is rarely an issue. In most cases, when there is a lack of pressure, it is because the plumbing system of the individual house is being worked on. However, in places where there is a failure in the water mains, such as water main breaks, homes may also be affected by little or no water pressure for hours at a time.
The reliability within the water system comes primarily from the use of water towers. These structures, seen in nearly every town of any size and dotted throughout rural areas, help ensure homes and businesses on the line get serviced with adequate pressure. In most cases, the simple system relies on gravity for its essential operations.
Water towers store water for future demand, which peaks predictably during certain times of the day. When water is not at peak demand, water is stored in the tower. When it's at peak demand, the city's pumps can only handle so much, and the rest is fed in from the tank at the top of the tower. This helps a community maintain consistent water pressure, no matter what the demand may be.
Improving water pressure is often a complicated problem that can only be handled by a professional, if even then. However, for those having trouble getting their desired level, a simple change of a sink faucet or shower head, specifically designed to increase the pressure through the head, may help. While this may not truly increase the pressure to the home, it will improve it at that one particular spot.