Benefits of a Palmer-Bowlus Flume

flume manhole

You can choose from several types of flumes when it comes to your flow channel measurement efforts, but nothing works quite like a Palmer-Bowlus. Developed in the 1930s, this flume is the second-most popular option for measuring open channel flows. Learn about all the benefits of a Palmer-Bowlus flume.

Easy-to-Use Design

The first thing you’ll notice about the Palmer-Bowlus flume is how simple the design is. It was created to be used in line with or inserted into existing conduits, so the design is straightforward and easily compatible with a wide variety of flow channels. This is done by implementing a ramp as the throat area in a U-shaped design to optimize the connection between the upstream and downstream piping. Not only does this design make the flume easy to use, but the simple construction makes it affordable to manufacture as well.

Simple Installation Process

One of the most important factors in any flume is the installation. A flume that is incorrectly installed will always lead to flawed measurements, rendering the entire effort pointless. With a Palmer-Bowlus flume, the installation process is easy thanks to its near-universal compatibility. The only real requirement is that the flume is able to sit level with the inlet and outlet at the same height. A lot of piping is already level, so this flume is easy to install. Many other flumes require a drop in elevation, so the Palmer-Bowlus has a clear advantage there.


Most flume designs are set in stone with room only for some upstream flow conditioning add-ons. The Palmer-Bowlus is more customizable, however, as the throat of the flume can be altered in a variety of ways to account for whatever kind of flow channel you’re dealing with. No design is universally better than any other; it all depends on what kind of specific conditions you’re dealing with.

Varied Point of Measurement

One of the key features of a Palmer-Bowlus flume is that it has a long throat. That gives you a bit more leeway when you’re looking to find the best point of measurement. Of course, the best point is taken upstream of the throat’s drawdown zone, but the length of the throat means that this point can apply to a wider range of space. If you ever have a situation in which the first available point of measurement is blocked for some reason, you’ll have other options available.

Only One Dimension Matters

With a lot of flume designs, every last dimension matters. The Palmer-Bowlus doesn’t really work that way, however, as only the throat width truly matters. Everything else can be determined based on this single measurement, regardless of size. Parshall flumes, which are the most popular flume design, don’t work that way, as different-sized options aren’t scale models of each other.

Palmer-Bowlus Flumes From Tracom

If you’re looking to enjoy the benefits of a Palmer-Bowlus flume, Tracom has got you covered. You can work with our team to design a custom Palmer-Bowlus that fits perfectly with your unique flow channel conditions. Contact us today to get started!