Proposed features/water network

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Public-images-osm logo.svg man_made = pipeline
Osm element tag.svg
Used on these elements
may be used on nodesmay be used on waysshould not be used on areasuse on relations unspecified
Status: Proposed

Updating this old proposition, related to osm tag evolution and actual existing tags.

Three kinds of networks

There is multiple water network, some existing tag specify there type, other don't. The type is not very well defined as some tag used wastewater other sewer...

According to usage stats it seems relevant to define type as :

  • water, for drinkable water networks (from well to home)
  • sewer, for waste-water networks (from home to wasterwater plan)
  • drain, for rain/storm water network

Investigating the 3 kinds of networks related to public water, i identify existing and used tags :

Water network (drinkable)

  • boundary=water_protection_area, can define the water protection area where the water is pumped
  • man_made=water_well and/or Proposed features/Pumping Station, need clarification on which to be used (both were widely used at the moment), from my point of view water_well is better to describe pumping water from the underground. pumping_station describe pumping from a network segment to another ("lift").
    • pump=powered|manual|no
    • disused=yes (when the well is no more used)
    • drinkable=no (in general water from public network well are not drinkable until treatment in the water_works)
    • access=yes|no|private (generally private)
  • landuse=water_wellfield, a zone dedicated to water pumping for drinkable water networks, generally with the following characteristics:
    • surrounded by a fence with locked gates, access reserved to the operator,
    • sparsely scattered technical buildings (wells, pumps, power substations), linked by service tracks/roads,
    • surface generally covered with grass, with rare other vegetation (scrubs, wood), since grass is easy to mow and can be used to trap superficial pollution.

A water_wellfield is a landuse per se, excluding any other activities in the same zone. It can be associated with a strict boundary=protected_area, or included into a larger, less strict one. In France, these landuses are known as "Champ captant" or "Champ de captage". The law defines 3 standard protection levels. A "champ captant" is often associated with the strictest one. Several examples in France (Google aerial) : near Lyon , near Dijon, near Grenoble

Wastewater network (sewer)

Rain/Storm water network (drain)


Statistics from tagstat on 12th july 2010 :

  • reservoir = 166 250 (landuse)
  • pipeline = 9 590 (man_made) by not always related to water
  • water_tower = 9 000 (man_made)
  • wastewater_plant = 5 890 (man_made)
  • reservoir_covered = 3 060 (man_made)
  • water_works = 1 300 (man_made)
  • water_well = 400 (man_made) + 19 (amenity)
  • pumping_station = 112 (man_made) + 69 (water_way)
  • manhole (other used : heat, gas, telecom...)
    • manhole=water : 1 611
    • manhole=heat : 1 037
    • manhole=drain : 291
    • manhole=sewer : 229

More tags and notes

Some tags can be used for multiple network so it seems smart to add a description, ie :

  • man_made=reservoir_covered can be precise with type=water|sewer|drain
  • same for pumping_station or pipelines

We can assume that without type=*, its a water element ?

For those tags, general sub-tags can describe the elements :

  • operator=* (if known)
  • name=* (if known)
  • capacity (using SI Unit : m3 for reservoir, m3/second for pump or plant)
  • diameter (using SI Unit : meter) for pipeline and manhole
  • ref=* (if known)

Obsolete tags

I also note some strange, obsolete or misued tags :

  • Proposed_features/Village_Pump, seems the same as water_well (with pump=manual|powered)
  • pump_house ?
  • pump_station, like pumping_station ?
  • pump ? what kind of pump ?
  • water_pump, like pumping_station ?
  • water_tank, like reservoir or covered_reservoir ?


According to my experiences (july 2010) a few of those tags are rendered :

tag mapnik osmarender
man_made=water_well no no
Proposed features/Pumping Station no no
manhole=* no no
man_made=pipeline no no
man_made=water_works no no
man_made=water_tower node / way node / way
man_made=reservoir_covered no no
landuse=reservoir way way
man_made=wastewater_plant no node / way
landuse=basin way way

-- User:Padorange 28th june 2010

Hi, is there anybody to render a water supply map or create a layer? We need to see water pipelines in Kibakwe, Tansania. --Lulu-Ann (talk) 10:19, 2 October 2013 (UTC)

Old proposition

Water network elements

We are an association operating a water network and we have started mapping part of our network. We're using OpenStreetMap for that purpose, but some features we need seem to be missing. (I found Proposed_features/water_tower, man_made=water_well, man_made=water_works, land_use/reservoir which could apply.) We need a vocabulary to describe:

 water meter
 water "switch" (generally at street level)
 underground water pipes (a type of "ways"?)
 pumping stations

We'll use the existing "operator" tag to indicate ownership of the network elements.

We could use a "diameter" tag e.g. for pipes diameter.

Great, go ahead. Even if features aren't on the Map_Features, some of those have straighforward tags in use. Already in use are at least (and some of them are documented on this wiki):
I'd assume for a water meters that a pipeline=meter on the node would suffice? You can add other information, too, if known.
I (and some others) have been trying to survey the pipes around here by deducing the connections from the stated diameters, there's a browsable map (of Scandinavian region) you can see here. Blue lines are water pipes, red is district heating. Alv 06:50, 4 June 2010 (UTC)