Benefits Of The Parshall Flume

When it comes to measuring flow rate, you have numerous options, including flumes and weir boxes. If you settle on a flume, there are a wide variety of configurations to choose from. While they all have their uses in certain situations, the most widely used flume type for open channel flows is the Parshall flume. Learn about the benefits of the Parshall flume, and discover why it’s the most widely used option.

Size Variance

Every flow channel and flume setup is going to be different in some way. That’s part of the reason why there are so many configurations available. In a lot of open channel instances, the Parshall flume will fit the situation just fine because it comes in so many different sizes. In fact, you can find Parshall flumes ranging in size from as small as an inch to as large as 50 feet.


The Parshall flume is also notably versatile in terms of construction and installation. It can be used both above and below ground and can be outfitted with flume stands and flume enclosures. You can even use curved flume end adapters to integrate it with existing manholes or vaults, or you can install a flume that’s already integrated with a brand-new manhole.

Easy to Use

Because the Parshall flume is the most common type of flume used in North America, you won’t need extensive experience to know how to operate one correctly. Hiring staff to monitor flow rate in a Parshall flume has minimal requirements, or you can take the measurements yourself. It’s a short-throated flume, so there’s just a single point of measurement from the floor of the flume to the water surface.

Material Variance

When you’re designing your own Parshall flume, there are several different materials you can opt for, each with its own advantages. Fiberglass flumes are among the most common, as they’re lightweight and corrosion-resistant with tight dimensional tolerances if you need odd shapes. Aluminum is lightweight and durable, while stainless steel ups the durability and corrosion/abrasion resistance. You can even opt for galvanized steel if you need durability on a budget.

Easy Maintenance

The Parshall flume has been a staple of wastewater management for nearly a century, so there has been plenty of research into making it the best it can be. It meets national and international operational standards, and there are corrections that can be made for common errors. For example, if a flume isn’t installed level or it becomes submerged, there are methods to adjust a Parshall flume that don’t require complete removal and reinstallation.


Considering how long the Parshall flume has been around, it should be no surprise how easy it is to customize. There are different layouts available, including some with shortened or extended sidewalls, as well as the Montana configuration in which the throat and discharge sections are removed. You can even opt for a nested configuration if you’re expanding an existing plant or subdivision wastewater system.

Find Your Own Parshall Flume

If you’re looking to enjoy the benefits of the Parshall flume, Tracom is happy to help. Our experts can work with you to design and install a Parshall flume that fits perfectly with your flow conditions. Contact our team today to get started!

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