Why Use Fiberglass Parshall Flumes

Flumes are among the best available solutions when you’re looking to measure flow rate in an open channel system. As long as the approach velocity is controlled well enough, a flume can provide reliable measurements for years and even decades. Out of all the materials and styles available, however, fiberglass Parshall flumes are among the most popular options. Learn all about the benefits of a fiberglass Parshall flume.


One of the best features of Parshall flumes is that they’re universally compatible with a wide variety of open channel conditions including both concrete and earthen channels. The Parshall design is one of the oldest and well-tested designs, and that has led to quite a few different configuration options. For example, if you’re looking for a space-critical solution, you can opt for a Montana design that eliminates the throat and discharge sections. After all, those sections don’t help much with free-spilling flows anyways.

The nature of their fiberglass construction makes Parshall flumes useful for a wide variety of flow conditions as well, including hard-water applications. Fiberglass is inherently corrosion-resistant, and it comes with a polyester resin that protects against UV radiation. That means you don’t have to opt for extra protection if your flume is located outdoors. With how fiberglass is constructed, you can also get tight dimensional accuracies for your flume, allowing it to fit even odd-shaped flow channels.

Extensive Applications

Thanks to their near-universal compatibility when you include all the varied configurations, Parshall flumes are suitable for quite a few different applications besides general wastewater. You can use them to measure water rights, surface water and edge-of-field runoff. Stormwater runoff and industrial pretreatment discharges can be measured with Parshall flumes as well. Even mine discharge can be measured with Parshall flumes.

The accuracy of Parshall flumes is unparalleled, with it measuring around 3%-5% when the flow streams are properly conditioned. The submergence transition largely depends on the size of the Parshall flume, but it’s generally around 50%-80%. With such a wide range, Parshall flumes can be used for a wide variety of applications without compromising the accuracy of flow rate measurements.


Given the long history of Parshall flumes, quite a bit of research has been done on their design. Parshall flumes date back all the way to 1915, and since then, there have been 22 standard sizes established, each with an equation that will help you get the accurate measurements you need. Just remember that the accuracy isn’t always exactly the same, as the varied sizes aren’t precisely scale models of each other.

Given the extensive information on Parshall flumes, they’re also easier to customize with accessories like stilling wells. You may also want to extend the sidewalls should the situation call for it. For example, you may want taller sidewalls if you’re expecting an increased flow capacity through the flume at some point during its lifespan.

Find Fiberglass Parshall Flumes With Tracom

With the benefits of a fiberglass Parshall flume in mind, it’s time to get one of your own. That’s where Tracom can help. Our team will work with you to create a custom fiberglass Parshall flume that will fit your flow channel conditions perfectly. Contact us today to learn more!

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