Parshall Flume History

For water operations both large and small, the most useful water management tool is the Parshall flume. While the Parshall flume remains a consistently popular flow measurement solution, few people know the interesting history of this tool or why it was developed.

If you use Parshall flumes in your water management system, or are interested in installing Parshall flumes, it can be interesting and useful to learn about the legacy of this product and why it has become so popular. Read about the fascinating history of the Parshall flume and find out how you can install this tool in your system by choosing a trusted manufacturer.

Parshall Flume Background

Invented at the turn of the 20th century, the Parshall flume became one of the most widely used water management tools across the country. Originally known as the Improved Venturi, this flume was invented by Dr. Robert L. Parshall. Dr. Parshall’s goal in inventing the flume that would eventually take his name was to create a flow management tool without the limitations of the products in use at that time.

Weirs, for example, required proper weir pool construction and ran the risk of sedimentation, while rating flumes were vulnerable to vegetation and debris deposits. To overcome these obstacles, Dr. Parshall modified the existing Venturi flume by adjusting the inlet wall convergence angles, extending the throat of the flume and creating a drop, which previously had not been used in flumes.

When he was finished with his creation, Parshall had created a flume that was resistant to sedimentation, could be operated in submerged and free flow conditions and experienced much less head loss than weirs. Given these benefits, it’s easy to see why the Parshall flume grew in popularity until it dominated the water management industry.

Where You Can Use a Parshall Flume

Now that you know about the history of the Parshall flume, it’s a good idea to learn about where you can use this innovative product. Perhaps the biggest benefit of choosing a Parshall flume is that it has the widest range of applications of almost any flow management product on the market today.

For example, these flumes can be used for such varying tasks as irrigation runoff, dam seepage monitoring, wastewater treatment and measuring spring discharge. If you’re looking for simple operation and consistently accurate flow measurements, there is no better option than choosing the versatile Parshall flume.

Continue the History of the Parshall

Following its invention, the Parshall flume was mostly constructed from wood or concrete. Fortunately, in the modern era, Parshall flumes are built with a much more effective material: Fiberglass. If you want to be a part of the history of the Parshall flume by using this tool in your system, you need to shop with Tracom, FRP.

At Tracom, we are proud to offer our customer high-quality fiberglass Parshall flumes, as well as a wide variety of other water management products. When you shop with Tracom, you’ll be getting the tools that your operation needs for long-term success. Request a quote from Tracom today and get the fiberglass tools that your open flow water system deserves.


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