Since their invention in the 1920’s, flumes have been used
to provide an accurate and reliable method of measuring flow
in an open channel.
Restricting the width of a channel dimension forms a flume.
This so that an accurate measurement of the cross sectional
area of the flow can be made and also to ensure that the velocity
of the flow is not affected by any downstream condition but
is dependant only on the head (depth) upstream of the flume:
Q = V x A
(Flow = Velocity x Area)
Flow measurement – accuracy
There is an increasing demand for accurate flow measurement
on sewage works and trade discharges. For example in England
and Wales the Environment Agency requires all discharges to
watercourses which are in excess of 50m³/ day to be measured
to within +/- 8% of the total daily flow. In many cases the
‘flow to full treatment’ (FTFT) can be measured and not the
final effluent itself. The measuring installation must be
provided with a certificate of conformity (to BS3680) and
accuracy certificate, both provided by an independent specialist.
In Scotland SEPA require flumes to comply with BS3680.
Unfortunately many flumes do not comply with the tolerances
of BS3680 and have to be replaced.
GRP (Fibre Glass) Flumes
For many years flumes have been formed using GRP either ‘cheeks’
or from one-piece units. These have been ‘back filled’ with
However GRP has a major drawback in that the concrete backfill
does not bond to it and over a period of time the GRP starts
to come away from the concrete resulting in a distorted flume.
Many exsisting flumes now have to be replaced in order to
comply with Environment Agency requirements.
Technologies Venturi channels have been developed to ensure
a high level of accuracy with long-term durability and ease
They can be supplied with an integral approach section or
without (conventional flume) and manufacture in GRP or stainless
steel – 304 grade as standard, – 316 grade is optional.
The most important feature of the Pulsonic Technologies Venturi
Channels is that they are supplied with a rigid core (spacer)
in the throat/ channel. The sidepieces are flexible and when
the concrete pushes the flume sides up against the core ensuring
dimensional accuracy and minimum distortion.
To ensure that the unit does not come away from the concrete,
the outside faces either have multiplex fixing ties (stainless
steel) or are specially treated (GRP).
Pulsonic Technologies provide a free design service, and
provide installation instructions, drawings and head/flow
Full technical back-up
Pulsonic Technologies can provide a complete design service
supported by 7 years experience in open channel flow measurement
Head/flow calculations, installation drawings and instructions,
site surveys and certification etc.