Conditional Assessment of Flow Measurement Accuracy

Document Type


Journal/Book Title/Conference

Journal of Hydraulic Research


Taylor and Francis

Publication Date



A study conducted by the Utah Water Research Laboratory assessed the accuracies of a wide variety of flow measurement devices currently in service. During the study, a wide variety of flow measurement devices, including flumes, weirs, and rated sections in open channel systems, were evaluated; magnetic and ultrasonic meters in closed-conduit systems were also tested. The specified design accuracies for each device are presented. Actual flow measurements were determined at 70 sites and were compared with the theoretical discharges of each device. Comparison of actual and theoretical flow indicates that only 33% of the measurement devices tested currently measure flow within manufacturer-designed specifications. Field data is presented, and possible reasons for the flow measurement errors and their corrections are discussed.

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