Parshall Flume Disadvantages

Parshall flumes are some of the most commonly used water management tools across the country, both for their measurement accuracy and for their long-term durability. However, even though Parshall flumes make great choices for most applications, there are some drawbacks that you should be aware of before committing to using this tool in your water management operation.

With access to the right information, you’ll be able to decide if Parshall flumes are the right choice for you. Learn a few of the main disadvantages to using Parshall flumes and find out how you can install this and other fiberglass water management products.


No Consistency Between Flumes

The biggest drawback of Parshall flumes comes in terms of measurement. You see, unlike other flumes that you could choose for your water management operations, Parshall flumes are not scale models of each other. What this means is, simply, is that taking correct measurements from your Parshall flume have different requirements if your flume isn’t of a standard size.

Every Parshall flume that you choose of a non-standard size must be independently rated to ensure that you get the correct measurements that your water management system relies on. The more non-standard Parshall flumes you use, the more time consuming the process, which can cause big problems for time sensitive operations.


Problems with Installation

One of the biggest advantages of using a Parshall flume in your water management system is the inclusion of a drop floor, which makes this flume adept at handling flows with varying rates. Unfortunately, this advantage is also one of the Parshall flumes biggest weaknesses depending on the needs of your water management system.

Because of the rapid change in elevation of the drop floor, it is extremely difficult to install Parshall flumes in existing channels. While this flaw can be overcome with a little preparation, it can add extra cost and time to flume installation projects, which many water management operations simply cannot afford.


A Matter of Size

Perhaps the biggest drawback of Parshall flumes has to do with the previously mentioned issue of scale models. As discussed, smaller Parshall flumes are not made to scale because there is only one standard Parshall flume size. In addition to making it more difficult to take accurate flow measurements without extra effort, the lake of scaling poses a huge problem for water management systems that have very specific flume needs.

For any operation that must use Parshall flumes but need a non-standard size, a custom Parshall flume must be constructed. While this may be acceptable for a single flume, it can drastically increase your operation’s cost the more flumes that you need. Lack of variety in flume sizes should be a concern for any operation considering the use of Parshall flumes.


Even with Drawbacks, Parshall Flumes are a Great Choice

Despite all the previously mentioned disadvantages of Parshall flumes, these are still one of the best choices for water management systems that need accurate measurements across different flow types. To get the Parshall flumes or other water management equipment that your operation needs, you should work with the experts at Tracom, FRP.

Tracom is privileged to offer high-quality fiberglass products that increase the success of water systems across the country, and we would be honored to help your operation. Contact us today to learn about our products.