Reasons Palmer-Bowlus Have Measurement Errors

The Palmer-Bowlus flume is one of the most versatile tools that you could use for your flow management needs. When installed and used correctly, a Palmer-Bowlus Flume should help you manage your flow and take the consistently accurate readings that your operation needs.

However, even the most accurate flow measurement tool is subject to errors, and there are many reasons you might be getting inaccurate readings from your Palmer-Bowlus flume. Learning a few of these error sources is an important part of getting the utility you need from your flume. Here are a few common Palmer-Bowlus error sources that can influence the accuracy of your flow measurements.


Out of all the different ways that your flume readings can be affected, one of the most common is sedimentation in your flume. Because the Palmer-Bowlus flow has a very high minimum flow rate, it cannot easily pass solids when the flow is too low. This means it can be very easy for sedimentation to occur inside of your Palmer-Bowlus flume.

When sediment is deposited in the inlet of your flume, it changes the geometry of your flow. If your operators do not alter your flow equation to account for this sedimentation, your readings will not be accurate.

Approach Conditions

Another factor to consider if you suspect that your flow readings are inaccurate are the approach conditions of your flume. For your readings to be accurate, the velocity of the approaching flow needs to be distributed evenly. If the approaching flow is non-uniform, it will drastically alter the accuracy of your measurements.

Generally, non-uniform flow that is not distributed evenly will result in measurements that are too low. As the ratio of flow depth to velocity increases, so does the size of your errors. Make sure that your approach conditions are normal and even if you want the most accurate readings possible from your Palmer-Bowlus flume.


While the Palmer-Bowlus flume was designed for high minimum flow rates, you still don’t want the flow approaching your flow to be too energetic. If the flow approaching your flume is high-velocity, meaning it has a Froude number above 0.6, it will be very difficult to measure your flow accurately.

When the Froude number of your flow is high, it becomes more likely your flow will develop standing waves. Flows with a turbulent surface can throw off the accuracy of your readings to a large degree. If the flow in your flume is too energetic, you may need to use some sort of energy dampener to lessen surfaces turbulence and improve your measurements.

Correct Palmer-Bowlus Error Sources

Clearly, there are several different ways that the readings from your Palmer-Bowlus flume can be made inaccurate. Fortunately, correcting these errors is easier than you might think. If you want to fix common Palmer-Bowlus error sources, then you need the right tools, which is why you need to shop with Tracom, FRP.

Tracom produces fiberglass water management products that are both durable and easy to use. With our flow management tools, you can prevent measurement errors and improve the success of your operation. Request a quote from Tracom today and get the flow management and measurement tools you need to avoid errors.