Controlled-leak Methods for Water Level Control

by Albert J. Clemmens, USDA, Phoenix, AZ, USA,
John A. Replogle, USDA, Phoenix, AZ, USA,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Planning, Operation, Rehabilitation and Automation of Irrigation Water Delivery Systems


The controlled-leak methods are a group of similar techniques for controlling upstream water levels, downstream water levels, or offtake canal discharges. They require no electrical power nor electronics, and are often powered by the available drop in water level across the structure. These systems control a gate or valve by using a form of hydraulic piston. The leakage rate, which is directly influenced by the level to be controlled, drives the hydraulic piston, which in turn moves the gate or valve. Three different controlled leak systems have been used: the Danaidean controlled leak system, the self-regulating valve, and the dual-acting controlled leak system. The reported water-level control accuracies are plus or minus 25 mm, plus or minus 6 mm, and plus or minus 3 mm for the three systems respectively.

Subject Headings: Water discharge | Water level | Rivers and streams | Electric power | Hydro power | Structural control | Hydraulic structures | Valves

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