Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Civil and Environmental Engineering

Committee Chair(s)

Steven L. Barfuss


Steven L. Barfuss


Wade H. Goodridge


Michael C. Johnson


All residential water meters have published flow rates for which they will operate as designed. These specifications include a maximum operating flow rate, which is recommended not to exceed. However, there are situations which may cause a meter to flow above the maximum flow rate. This thesis explores what effect these surge flows have on residential water meters.

Twenty-one 5/8”x3/4” meters were tested in this study: three oscillating pistons, six nutating disks, nine ultrasonic, and three electromagnetic. Testing was done at the Utah Water Research Laboratory using a gravimetric test bench specifically designed for residential water meter testing.

The results of this study showed that the ultrasonic meters decreased significantly in accuracy for tests above 35 gallons per minute. The nutating disk and oscillating piston meters were found to be accurate through nearly all surge flow rates tested. The electromagnetic meters were found to be accurate up to 55gallons per minute.

Accuracy tests that were performed after surge flows showed that some nutating disk and oscillating piston meters decreased in accuracy at flow rates below two gallons per minute. The electronic meters had similar accuracy before and after surge flows.