Disadvantages of Parshall and Palmer-Bowlus Flumes

When it comes time for you to pick a device to fulfill your water management needs than a flume such as the Parshall or Palmer-Bowlus. These two flume types can be used in a variety of situations and can help you take consistently accurate readings that will help you’re operation succeed.

However, like any flow management device, there are certain drawbacks to both Parshall and Palmer-Bowlus flumes that you should consider before installing either of these flumes in your system. Check out some of the drawbacks of Parshall flumes and Palmer-Bowlus flumes so that you can decide if either of these flumes is right for you.

Cons of the Parshall Flume

If you need to measure open channel flow, there’s no better device than the Parshall flume. In almost every open channel flow application, the Parshall flume is a great fit. That being said, there are some drawbacks to this flume that you should consider before installation.

For starters, the Parshall flume requires laboratory testing to determine the proper flow equations. As you might expect, this can be difficult if you don’t have experienced operators on your time.

Another disadvantage of choosing a Parshall flume is there are no scale model Parshall flumes. This means if you need an intermediate sized flume, you would need to have it custom made instead of being able to purchase it standard.

One of the biggest drawbacks of the Parshall flume is also one of its benefits: An hourglass shape. The unique shape of the Parshall flume makes it ideal for measuring a wide range of flow rate. However, this also means that these flumes take up a good amount of space, increasing the difficulty of installation.

Palmer-Bowlus Flume Drawbacks

For measuring sanitary flows, the most popular choice is the Palmer-Bowlus flume. While very accurate in most situations, there are circumstances where using the Palmer-Bowlus flume isn’t the best idea.

A large drawback of this type of flume is that it is not very accurate at lower flow rates. So, if the flow in your system is low or inconsistent, then it’s best to choose another type of flume.

Palmer-Bowlus flumes are also very vulnerable to upstream conditions. If there is sedimentation upstream of the flume, for example, it’s possible for the throat of your flume to become blocked. To function correctly, Palmer-Bowlus flumes require that the upstream area be free of curves or drops in elevation. They also need a longer straight-run approaching the flume than other styles.

Help Choosing Your Flume

Clearly, both the Parshall flume and Palmer-Bowlus flumes have disadvantages that must be considered. However, despite these drawbacks, these flumes are good fits for most applications, particularly if you have your flume constructed from a quality material such as fiberglass. If you’re interested in purchasing a fiberglass Parshall or Palmer-Bowlus flume, then you should be sure to shop with Tracom, FRP.

Shopping with Tracom is the best way to find the quality products you need for your operation. In addition to flumes in multiple styles, we also offer weir boxes, fiberglass shelters, and more. Request a quote from us today so that you can purchase the flume you need.