Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Civil and Environmental Engineering

Committee Chair(s)

Steven L. Barfuss


Steven L. Barfuss


Michael C. Johnson


Paul J. Barr


In this study, water meter accuracy in response to short, intermittent flows was tested. Burst flows have short durations (a few seconds or less), and occur at a variety of flow rates. For some types of meters, it is difficult to accurately measure short, intermittent flow rates. Depending on the meter type, an intermittent flow can result in either under-registering or over-registering of the actual throughput.

During the testing for this research, water was passed through meters for various time combinations, test setups, and flows. It should be understood that realistically, a household setting will not see burst flows occurring in a repeated manner. For the purposes of laboratory testing, however, time-on and condensed time-off combinations were used. The reduced time off allowed for a controlled test procedure and efficient data collection.

Ultrasonic, electromagnetic, nutating disc, and oscillating piston meters were tested. The meter types were found to perform differently under the varying test setups, time combinations, and flow rates. The electromagnetic meters were generally unaffected by burst flows. Burst flows caused one of the ultrasonic meter models to have decreased accuracies, while the other model remained mostly unaffected. Nutating disc and oscillating piston meters were generally affected by burst flows only at the lowest flow.