Effects of Particulates on Water Meter Accuracy Through Expected Life

B. S. Buck
Michael C. Johnson PhD, PE, Utah State University
S. L. Barfuss


Many factors can influence the accuracy of water meters, including age, throughput, water quality, and the presence of particulates in the metered water. These factors can affect various types of meters quite differently depending on the meter's design. This article examines the effects of particulates on various types of meters over their estimated life in a controlled environment. The intent of this study was to assess the effect of particulates on new meter performance and identify trends that may typify meter performance and longevity after being subjected to a slug of particulates. Oscillating-piston (displacement-piston) meters were most affected by a slug of sand and multijet and fluidic-oscillator meters were best able to tolerate the sand. Nutating-disc and single-jet meters performed better than the oscillating-piston meters but not as well as the multijet or fluidic-oscillator meters. The findings of this study will benefit meter manufacturers, those who manage meter replacement programs, users, and those interested in metering water that contains particulates.