How can I Prevent Scour and Stop Flow Bypass?

One of the most common areas for water management operations to need accurate flow measurement is in an earthen channel. Usually, this will be accomplished through the use of a flume. However, when measuring flow in an earthen channel, there are two risks that you need to be aware of: flow bypass and downstream scour.

Experiencing either of these issues can drastically reduce the accuracy of your flow measurements and can impact the long-term success of your water management operation. Learn how to prevent flow bypass and correct downstream scour so that you’re able to accurately measure flow in an earthen channel with the right tools.

What Are Flow Bypass and Downstream Scour?

Before you can address the risks of flow bypass and downstream scour in your earthen channel, it’s a good idea to learn a few basic facts about these common flow measurement risks.

Simply put, flow bypass is when a portion of the flow is not captured by your flume, and instead escapes around the sides. Downstream scour is when the flow in your flume becomes too energetic, and wears away the channel downstream of your flume.

When you experience flow bypass, it can give you extremely inaccurate readings that indicate the volume of flow in your system is lower than it actually is. Downstream scour can reduce the integrity of your entire system, making it hard for your operators to take the measurements that your operation needs.

Fixing the Issue

There are a wide variety of ways to fix both flow bypass and downstream scour, meaning you may need to try a few solutions until you find the right option for your system.

Primarily, flow bypass is a result of a flume that is not installed level with the channel or is not properly fitted. When a flume is installed improperly or is too small for the channel in which it is being used, it can easily allow flow to escape. It’s always a good idea to install and size your flume with the help of a professional to avoid this issue.

It may also be possible to equip your flume with a skirt prior to installation. A skirt will allow your flume to capture the entire flow and may reduce the conditions that lead to downstream scour.

As mentioned, equipping your flume with a skirt can help combat downstream scour. However, if you find your flow is still too energetic, and scour is occurring, you might consider the use of an energy dampener. Using an energy dampener will slow your flow as it exits the flume and will lower your risks for scour.

Measure Flow in an Earthen Channel with the Right Tools

With the right plan in place, you can easily combat flow bypass and downstream scour. The best way to avoid these risks is to have the right tools for the job, and if you’re looking for tools to help you measure flow in an earthen channel, then you need to browse the impressive catalogue of products you’ll find with Tracom, FRP.

Tracom offers water management systems the fiberglass tools they need for success, including flumes, weirs, and other measurement tools. Request a quote from Tracom today and learn how we can provide the right equipment for measuring earthen channel flow.