American Society of Civil Engineers


Conditional Assessment of Flow Measurement Accuracy


by Bryan Heiner, (corresponding author), M.ASCE, (Hydraulic Engineer, U.S. Dept. of Interior, Bureau of Reclamation, P.O. Box 25007 (86-68460), Denver, CO 80225-0007 E-mail: bheiner@usbr.gov), Steven L. Barfuss, M.ASCE, (Research Assistant Professor, Utah State Univ., Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Utah Water Research Laboratory, 8200 Old Main Hill, Logan, UT 84322-8200. E-mail: steve.barfuss@usu.edu), and Michael C. Johnson, M.ASCE, (Research Assistant Professor, Utah State Univ., Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Utah Water Research Laboratory, 8200 Old Main Hill, Logan, UT 84322-8200. E-mail: michael.johnson@usu.edu)

Journal of Irrigation and Drainage Engineering, Vol. 137, No. 6, June 2011, pp. 367-374, (doi:  http://dx.doi.org/10.1061/(ASCE)IR.1943-4774.0000309)

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Document type: Journal Paper
Abstract: A study conducted by the Utah Water Research Laboratory assessed the accuracies of a wide variety of flow measurement devices currently in service. During the study, a wide variety of flow measurement devices, including flumes, weirs, and rated sections in open channel systems, were evaluated; magnetic and ultrasonic meters in closed-conduit systems were also tested. The specified design accuracies for each device are presented. Actual flow measurements were determined at 70 sites and were compared with the theoretical discharges of each device. Comparison of actual and theoretical flow indicates that only 33% of the measurement devices tested currently measure flow within manufacturer-designed specifications. Field data is presented, and possible reasons for the flow measurement errors and their corrections are discussed.


ASCE Subject Headings:
Flumes
Weirs
Open channel flow
Flow measurement
Canals
Irrigation

Author Keywords:
Flumes
Weirs
Open channel
Flow measurement
Canal
Irrigation