Tips for Measuring Wastewater in Tight Spaces


Installing a flume in an outdoor flow channel has some challenges, but it’s remarkably easy compared to having to install one in a tight space. In fact, some tight spaces make it seemingly impossible for a standard flume or weir box that has 15-25 pipe diameters to work with. Fortunately, there are solutions for those more precarious situations. Check out the top tips for measuring wastewater in tight spaces.

Use Weir Boxes

One of the most popular solutions is to abandon flumes altogether and opt for a weir box instead. They’re generally smaller than flumes even though they do have some rather large weir pool requirements upstream. Weirs, by their nature, are effective with smaller designs provided the flow rate can match its limitations.

Weir boxes have strict downstream requirements to maintain aeration of the flow at the crest. A free-spilling outlet, however, makes it easy to work into small spaces as it works by simply spilling off the end, dropping out of a vertical discharge pipe, or piping out in line with the box itself.

Customize Specialty Flumes

Since some flow rates simply don’t work with weir boxes, you’ll need to utilize a flume. While most think of rather large installations when it comes to flumes, there are smaller structures available as well. Even if it’s not the size of the flume you’re worried about but rather the installation, flumes are quite applicable in a variety of scenarios.

Flumes can be integrated into a wide variety of systems including above grade enclosures, packaged metering manholes, and concrete channels. Hard to reach spaces are typically tackled with a packaged metering manhole that has a flume factory integrated within. This is especially effective when utilizing fiberglass construction for exact dimensions and seamless integration of the manhole and the flume.

Implement Energy Absorbers

When finding the right spot for a flume or weir box in tight spaces, there may not be a lot of room for finesse. It’s possible that there simply isn’t a spot where you can get the proper upstream conditions for accurate readings. That’s where energy absorbers come in. By implementing these handy devices, you can condition the approach to subcritical conditions allowing criticality to be achieved within the measurement device itself.

Installing energy absorbers is easy in tight spaces as they can fit in a slightly elongated inlet adapter or just upstream of a manhole. In some instances, a separate manhole can be installed upstream of the flume that conditions the flow well before it actually reaches the flume itself.

Find Solutions in Tight Spaces with Tracom

With these tips for measuring wastewater in tight spaces in mind, you can make the most out of your efforts in enclosed areas. Tracom makes it easy for you to customize your flume or weir box to unique specifications even if it’s just a one-off design. Our fiberglass products allow for the end result to be one seamless and dimensionally exact piece. Contact us today to get started on your custom design.