Date of Award:

2016

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)

Department:

Civil and Environmental Engineering

Advisor/Chair:

Michael C. Johnson

Abstract

In many irrigation systems and networks, there are multiple water users and shareholders who take their water from different locations along a single canal or pipeline. Often, irrigation splitter boxes are used to divert water to multiple shareholders from a single location. The splitter boxes, which can be small and compact, are generally installed at different locations along a piped irrigation supply line. The purpose of a splitter box is to split a specific amount of water so that each user receives their allotted portion, regardless of the flow rate in the system.

Each splitter box usually includes two compartments, separated by a wall that acts as a weir for the water to flow over. The water in the supply pipe enters the box and fills the upstream compartment until it spills over the weir. As water flows over the weir, it is separated by vertical dividers. Each divider is positioned to split a certain percentage of the total flow to one of the outlet pipes, which carry the water to various destinations. In general, splitter boxes perform very well at lower flow rates. However, if high flow rates are present in the box, due to under-design of the box or for any reason, the water surface becomes turbulent and the flow profile over the weir becomes disturbed and nonuniform. Because of these conditions, the flow becomes unevenly distributed and an accurate flow split cannot be achieved.

This study focuses on developing a solution that can be installed in flow splitter boxes to effectively dissipate energy and uniformly distribute the flow across the length of the weir during times of high flow rates.

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