Overflow pipes make it possible to discharge surplus liquid from tank or other storage device without causing any damage. An overflow pipe is sometimes simply a means of preventing the storage container from overflowing by creating a channel for excess amounts of liquid to be redirected to another container or discharged into a river or lake. At other times, the pipe is part of a safety system that can quickly be opened to allow fluid to be extracted from a storage device when some type of structural fault is detected. This makes it possible to repair the fault, then refill the tank or cistern once the container is safe to use once again.
It is possible to find a water overflow pipe in many different types of devices. One common use of this type of safety pipe is found in toilet tanks. The presence of the pipe makes it possible to prevent the water in the tank from overflowing, thus averting the flow of the water out of the tank and onto the surrounding bathroom floor. From this perspective, the pipe helps prevent accidents that could take place, such as people slipping on the wet floor when entering the space.