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WinFlume

Version 1.05 September 2001



Software for Design and Calibration of
Long-Throated Flumes and Broad-Crested Weirs
for Open-Channel Water Flow Measurement



Users Manual


For proper display and printing of graphics in
this document, use Adobe Acrobat Reader 4.0

i

WinFlume
Software for Design and Calibration of
Long-Throated Flumes and Broad-Crested Weirs
for Open-Channel Water Flow Measurement
Version 1.05 September 2001
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
WinFlume is the latest in a series of long-throated flume design tools originally developed through the cooperative
research efforts of the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and the International Institute for Land Reclamation and
Improvement (ILRI). Albert J. Clemmens and John A. Replogle of ARS, and Marinus G. Bos of ILRI developed
many of the original hydraulic design criteria and computation procedures. This newest version of the software was
developed through the cooperative efforts of the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation's Water Resources Research Laboratory
and ARSs U.S. Water Conservation Laboratory, with funding from Reclamations Water Conservation-Field Services
Program. Finally, numerous beta testers within Reclamation, ARS, and other organizations have contributed to the
fine-tuning of the software. Thanks to all of you.
Tony L. Wahl
U.S. Bureau of Reclamation
Denver, Colorado

HOW TO CONTACT THE AUTHOR
Tony L. Wahl
U.S. Bureau of Reclamation
Water Resources Research Laboratory, D-8560
P.O. Box 25007
Denver, Colorado 80225-0007

Phone: 303-445-2155
FAX: 303-445-6324
E-mail: twahl@do.usbr.gov
Program updates are available on the Internet at http://www.usbr.gov/wrrl/winflume
If you are having problems related to a specific flume design, please save the flume file and e-mail it to me
with a description of how I can recreate the problem.
DISTRIBUTION TERMS AND DISCLAIMER
This software is a public-domain product of the United States government. You may distribute it freely to others.
Although this software has been extensively tested to eliminate errors and inaccuracies, the author, the Bureau of
Reclamation, the Agricultural Research Service, and the International Institute for Land Reclamation and
Improvement cannot guarantee the fitness of this software for any particular purpose.
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iii
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Acknowledgments _____________________________________________________________ i
How to Contact the Author ______________________________________________________ i
Distribution Terms and Disclaimer________________________________________________ i
Documentation Overview________________________________________________________1
Introduction __________________________________________________________________1
Purpose__________________________________________________________________________ 1
Installing and Starting WinFlume____________________________________________________ 2
Additional Methods for Starting WinFlume ___________________________________________ 2
Using WinFlume - An Overview _____________________________________________________ 2
Menu Reference _______________________________________________________________3
File Menu ________________________________________________________________________ 3
New Flume ____________________________________________________________________________ 3
Open Existing Flume File _________________________________________________________________ 3
Load Flume from FLUME 3.0 Database________________________________________________________ 3
Review Data for Current Flume Using the Flume Wizard ________________________________________ 3
Save Flume ____________________________________________________________________________ 3
Save Flume As__________________________________________________________________________ 3
Printer Setup _____________________________________________________________________________ 3
Print Flume Drawing_____________________________________________________________________ 3
Copy Flume Drawing to Clipboard ____________________________________________________________ 4
Close ___________________________________________________________________________________ 4
Exit ____________________________________________________________________________________ 4
Flume & Canal Menu ______________________________________________________________ 4
Flume Properties & Canal Data_______________________________________________________________ 4
Dimensions ____________________________________________________________________________ 4
Undo ___________________________________________________________________________________ 4
Design Menu _____________________________________________________________________ 4
Site Selection Tips_________________________________________________________________________ 4
Flume Wizard __________________________________________________________________________ 4
Flume Properties, Canal Data, & Design Requirements__________________________________________ 5
Dimensions ____________________________________________________________________________ 5
Review Current Design___________________________________________________________________ 5
Evaluate Alternative Designs ______________________________________________________________ 5
Undo ___________________________________________________________________________________ 6
Reports/Graphs Menu _____________________________________________________________ 6
Rating Tables & Graphs __________________________________________________________________ 6
Rating Equation ________________________________________________________________________ 6
Measured Data Comparison _______________________________________________________________ 6
Wall Gages ____________________________________________________________________________ 6
Flume Data Report ______________________________________________________________________ 6
Flume Drawing Printout __________________________________________________________________ 6
Copy Flume Drawing to Clipboard ____________________________________________________________ 6
Options Menu ____________________________________________________________________ 6
Units ___________________________________________________________________________________ 6
User Name _______________________________________________________________________________ 6
Calibrate Screen for Wall Gage Preview________________________________________________________ 7
Calibrate Printer for Wall Gage Output_________________________________________________________ 7
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Show Maximum Water Surface Profile_________________________________________________________ 7
Show Minimum Water Surface Profile _________________________________________________________ 7
Explorer File-Open Dialog __________________________________________________________________ 7
File-Open Dialog with Flume Summary ________________________________________________________ 7
Save Current Settings as Defaults _____________________________________________________________ 7
Save Settings on Exit_______________________________________________________________________ 7
Help Menu _______________________________________________________________________ 8
Contents_________________________________________________________________________________ 8
Search for Help On ______________________________________________________________________ 8
Review Flume Definition Sketch______________________________________________________________ 8
How to Use Help __________________________________________________________________________ 8
About WinFlume__________________________________________________________________________ 8
Primary Forms and Dialog Boxes_________________________________________________9
Flume Geometry and Dimensions Form_______________________________________________ 9
Section Shape & Dimensions Form__________________________________________________ 10
Flume and Canal Properties & Design Requirements Form _____________________________ 11
Flume and Canal Properties Form __________________________________________________ 12
Flume Wizard Dialog _____________________________________________________________ 13
Flume Design Module Form________________________________________________________ 14
File-Open Dialogs ________________________________________________________________ 15
Create New Flume Dialog__________________________________________________________ 16
Import from FLUME 3.0 Dialog ____________________________________________________ 16
Printer Setup Dialog ______________________________________________________________ 17
Units Dialog _____________________________________________________________________ 17
Calibrate Screen for Wall Gage Previews Dialog ______________________________________ 18
Calibrate Printer for Wall Gage Output Dialog _______________________________________ 19
Flume Reports Form______________________________________________________________ 20
Rating Table Output Form ________________________________________________________ 21
Measured Data Comparison Form __________________________________________________ 22
Equation Output Form____________________________________________________________ 23
Wall Gage Output Form___________________________________________________________ 24
Flume Design Guidance _______________________________________________________25
Advantages of Long-Throated Flumes _______________________________________________ 25
Components of Long-Throated Flumes ______________________________________________ 25
Stationary-Crest Flumes ___________________________________________________________________ 26
Movable-Crest Flumes ____________________________________________________________________ 26
Suggested Flume Dimensions_______________________________________________________ 27
Sill height, p
1
____________________________________________________________________________ 27
Length of approach channel ________________________________________________________________ 27
Length of converging transition______________________________________________________________ 27
Length of the control section (i.e., throat, crest, or sill) ___________________________________________ 27
Slope of the downstream expansion __________________________________________________________ 27
Flume Site Selection ______________________________________________________________ 28
Upstream Channel Considerations ___________________________________________________________ 28
Upstream Structures ______________________________________________________________________ 28
Freeboard_______________________________________________________________________________ 28
Tailwater Levels _________________________________________________________________________ 29
Sediment Transport _______________________________________________________________________ 29
Construction Stability _____________________________________________________________________ 29
Using the Flume Design Module ____________________________________________________ 29
WinFlume's Design Algorithm _____________________________________________________ 30
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If an Acceptable Design Is Not Found on the First Trial __________________________________________ 31
Determining Tailwater Levels ______________________________________________________ 31
Manning's equation using n and S ____________________________________________________________ 32
Manning's equation using one Q-y
2
measurement________________________________________________ 32
Power curve using 2 Q-y
2
measurements ______________________________________________________ 32
Power curve with offset using 3 Q-y
2
measurements _____________________________________________ 32
Linear interpolation/extrapolation from Q-y
2
lookup table_________________________________________ 32
Design Criteria __________________________________________________________________ 33
Flume Warnings and Error Messages _______________________________________________ 33
Software Technical Details _____________________________________________________36
Files____________________________________________________________________________ 36
FLM Files ______________________________________________________________________________ 36
DBF Files_______________________________________________________________________________ 36
WinFlume Registry Entries ________________________________________________________ 37
Glossary ____________________________________________________________________37
Approach Channel _______________________________________________________________ 37
Control, Crest, Sill, or Throat Section _______________________________________________ 37
Converging Transition ____________________________________________________________ 37
Critical Depth and the Froude Number ______________________________________________ 37
Diverging Transition______________________________________________________________ 38
Energy Grade Line _______________________________________________________________ 38
Freeboard_______________________________________________________________________ 38
Gaging Station___________________________________________________________________ 38
Long-Throated Flume_____________________________________________________________ 38
Modular Limit ___________________________________________________________________ 38
Submergence Protection___________________________________________________________ 39
Tailwater Channel________________________________________________________________ 39
References __________________________________________________________________40

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1
DOCUMENTATION OVERVIEW
Documentation for this software and basic flume design guidance is contained in this online help file and the
companion users manual. The suggested reference publication for those seeking additional guidance on design and
construction of long-throated flumes and broad-crested weirs is ILRI Publication 58: Water Measurement with Flumes
and Weirs (Clemmens, Wahl, Bos and Replogle 2001). This book is available from:
International Institute for Land Reclamation and Improvement, www.ilri.nl
INTRODUCTION
The term long-throated flume describes a broad class of critical-flow flumes and broad-crested weir devices used to
measure flow in open channels. These devices are adaptable to a variety of measurement applications in both natural
and man-made channels, and both new and existing canal systems. The unique characteristic of these structures as
compared to most other open-channel measurement devices is the fact that they can be rated (calibrated) by computer
analysis, eliminating the need for laboratory calibration of each different flume or weir configuration. Basic
components of long-throated flume flow measurement structures include an approach channel and head-measurement
location, a converging transition, a control section, an optional diverging transition, and the tailwater channel. Bos,
Replogle, and Clemmens, (1984) describe the theory for determining discharge through these flumes, which has been
well-developed over the course of the late 19
th
and 20
th
centuries. Procedures for determining head loss and designing
flumes for specific applications have been developed in the last two decades, and with the advent of relatively low-
cost personal computers, these have become accessible through interactive computer programs (Clemmens, Bos, and
Replogle, 1993).
The design calculations needed to properly size and locate flumes are iterative; as a result, several generations of
computer codes to assist in the design of long-throated flumes have been developed in recent years, primarily by the
Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Water Conservation Laboratory in Phoenix, Arizona, USA. Most of these
programs operated in a batch mode and were written in FORTRAN. An interactive program written in the Clipper
database language was released through the International Institute for Land Reclamation and Improvement,
Wageningen, The Netherlands, with the 1993 publication by Clemmens, Bos, and Replogle, titled FLUME: Design
and Calibration of Long-Throated Measuring Flumes: Version 3.0.
The WinFlume program is the latest version of this flume design software, rewritten to operate in the Windows
computing environment. The new program makes use of the same hydraulic theory used in the previous FORTRAN-
and Clipper-based programs, but has an improved user interface, a new design optimization/analysis routine, and
several additional features not contained in any of the previous programs.
The WinFlume program is available in a 32-bit version for Windows 95, Windows 98, and Windows NT systems, or a
16-bit version for Windows 3.1 systems.
Purpose
The WinFlume program serves two primary purposes:
1) Calibration of existing flow measurement structures fitting the criteria for analysis as long-throated flumes
- WinFlume can generate rating tables, Q vs. h
1
charts, curve-fit equations for use in data loggers, and wall gage data
and plots. WinFlume can also compare field-measured Q vs. h
1
data to the theoretical rating curve of a structure.
WinFlume can be used as a design review tool to identify design deficiencies in existing structures.
2) Design of new structures - WinFlume can be used to design new flow measurement structures for new and
existing canal systems. Designs can be developed manually by the user and analyzed using WinFlume to ensure
proper operation, or WinFlumes design module can be used to develop designs that have desired head loss
characteristics and meet other performance requirements.
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Installing and Starting WinFlume
WinFlume can be obtained on CD-ROM or by downloading from the Internet (www.usbr.gov/wrrl/winflume). The
32-bit version of the program is recommended for computers running Windows 95/NT or later Windows operating
systems. The 16-bit version is required for computers running Windows 3.1.
If you have the CD-ROM, installation will start automatically on most computers when the CD-ROM is inserted. If
installation does not start automatically, run the INSTALL.EXE program located in the root directory of the CD-
ROM, or run the SETUP.EXE program located in the appropriate SETUP32\DISK1 or SETUP16\DISK1 directory.
If you downloaded WinFlume from the Internet, the setup kit will be in a compressed form in a single file. To extract
the setup kit files, run the file you downloaded. Detailed installation instructions will be provided on the Internet.
If you need to create a set of floppy disks for installing the program onto a computer that does not have a CD-ROM
drive, you may copy the contents of the each of the appropriate DISK1, DISK2, DISK3, DISK4, DISK5
subdirectories onto a 1.44 MB floppy disk. To install the program from this set of disks, run SETUP.EXE from
DISK1, and the setup program will prompt for the additional disks as they are needed.
Once installation is completed, you may start WinFlume from the Windows 95 Start Menu, or by double-clicking on
the WinFlume icon located in the WinFlume program group (Windows 3.1 users).
Additional Methods for Starting WinFlume
WinFlume can be started from a DOS prompt in Windows 95 or Windows NT and accepts the following command-
line options:
winflume [flume.flm]
where flume.flm is the flume file to be loaded on program startup.
You can also drag and drop a FLM file onto the WinFlume program icon to start the WinFlume program with a
particular FLM file loaded.
You can use the Windows Explorer to define a default open action for the FLM file type, which will allow you to
double-click on any FLM file to start WinFlume with that file loaded.
Using WinFlume - An Overview
Use of WinFlume is relatively straightforward. After starting the program you may load an existing flume file from
the File menu, or you may create a new flume using the File | New Flume command.
Assuming you choose to create a new flume, you may choose to use the Flume Wizard, which guides you step-by-step
through the data entry process needed to define a new flume's geometric and hydraulic properties, or you may choose
to provide these data at your own pace, in your own order. In either case, you will define both the geometry of the
flume and canal (cross-section shapes, dimensions, etc.), and the hydraulic characteristics of the flume and canal
(discharge range, flume construction material, tailwater levels vs. discharge, etc.). If you are designing a new flume or
wish to evaluate the design of an existing flume, you should also provide information about the water level
measurement method, the required measurement accuracy, and the required freeboard in the upstream channel. If you
only wish to develop rating tables for an existing flume, these data are not required.
After you have defined the basic flume and canal geometry and other properties, you may use the various design
evaluation reports and tools to refine the design to meet your design criteria. Once you have obtained an acceptable
design, or if you want only to determine the calibration of an existing flume, you proceed to using the optional output
modules of the program. These include the rating table module, the curve-fit equation module, the wall-gage output
module, and the comparison of theoretical and measured discharge data. Details of each of these modules are
described later in this users manual.
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MENU REFERENCE
File Menu
New Flume
Creates a new flume based on a copy of an existing flume, or
using default dimensions provided by WinFlume. You may
choose to start the flume wizard at the same time that the new
flume is created. The wizard will guide you through all
screens necessary to define the basic geometry and hydraulic
properties of the flume and canal.
Open Existing Flume File
Loads an existing flume file (*.Flm file) into memory.
Load Flume from FLUME 3.0 Database
Loads a flume originally created with the FLUME 3.0
program. To load the flume, specify the name of the dBase file
containing the flume, usually FLM.DBF or FLMBAK.DBF.
Then browse through the list of flumes contained in that file to
select the flume you wish to load. The flume definition will be
loaded and converted into WinFlume's *.Flm file format.
Review Data for Current Flume Using the Flume Wizard
Starts the flume wizard, which leads the user through a series of screens that prompt for all necessary geometric and
hydraulic properties of the flume and canal. The wizard is most useful when creating a new flume, but can be invoked
at any time as a means of reviewing the input data for an existing flume.
Save Flume
Saves the current flume to a *.Flm file. If this is a new flume, you will be prompted for a file name. If this is an
existing flume, the file will be saved under its current name.
Save Flume As
Saves the current flume to a *.Flm file. This command always prompts the user for a new file name.
Printer Setup
Allows the user to choose a Windows system printer to be used by WinFlume, and allows the user to select fonts for
reports and wall gage printouts.
Print Flume Drawing
Prints an image of the flume bottom profile and cross-sections to the Windows system printer.
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Copy Flume Drawing to Clipboard
Copies an image of the flume bottom profile and cross-sections to the Windows clipboard. Once on the clipboard, the
image can be pasted into a word-processor or other application.
Close
Closes the current flume file, without exiting WinFlume. If the current flume has been modified, but not saved,
WinFlume will prompt the user to save the file.
Exit
Exits the WinFlume program. If the current file has been modified, but not saved, WinFlume will prompt the user to
save the file.
Flume & Canal Menu
The Flume and Canal Menu provides access to those screens needed when defining the
geometric and hydraulic properties of an existing flume to be calibrated using
WinFlume.
Flume Properties & Canal Data
Opens the form used to specify the flume crest type and construction material, as well as the required discharge range
and associated tailwater levels.
Dimensions
Displays the screen used to edit the bottom profile and cross-section shapes for the flume and the approach and
tailwater channels.
Undo
Offers the user the opportunity to undo the last operation that changed the flume definition. The nature of the
operation to be undone will be described on the menu.
Design Menu
The Design Menu offers the user access to
the screens necessary to design a new
flume.
Site Selection Tips
Opens help screens providing tips on site
selection and flume design issues.
Flume Wizard
Starts the flume wizard, which leads the user through a series of screens that prompt for all necessary geometric and
hydraulic properties of the flume and canal. The wizard is most useful when creating a new flume, but can be invoked
at any time as a means of reviewing the input data for the flume currently in memory.
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Flume Properties, Canal Data, & Design Requirements
Opens the form used to enter the non-geometric properties of the flume and canal, and the user-chosen design
requirements. Information is needed in four primary areas:
1) Flume construction material and associated roughness height - The material entered should be that used to
construct the flume crest, not the material used to construct the canal. Several materials and their roughness heights
are pre-programmed into WinFlume, or you may type in your own material description and roughness height. The
roughness height value is used to calculate head loss due to friction, an important factor in determining the flume
rating curve.
2) Flume discharge range and associated tailwater levels - The user should enter the minimum and maximum flow
for which accurate flow rate measurements are required. These data are used to evaluate the expected error in the
flow rate measurements at minimum and maximum flow and compare those errors to user-specified limits described
in 3) below. The tailwater data are used to ensure that the flume does not become submerged and operates with
modular flow (i.e., critical depth in the control section) over the full discharge range. For detailed information about
determining tailwater levels, see Determining Tailwater Levels.
3) Head measurement method and allowable discharge measurement error at minimum and maximum flow -
The user should choose a head measurement method from the list, or type in their own description of the head
measurement method. If a method is chosen from the list, WinFlume supplies a default measurement error for the
method, otherwise, the user must enter their own value. This value should be the expected error in any one
measurement of the sill-referenced head due to factors such as waves, difficulty seeing the staff gage or water surface,
electronic noise, resolution of the device, etc. The user also specifies allowable discharge measurement errors at
minimum and maximum flow. WinFlume combines the errors due to the accuracy of the rating table with the errors
related to head measurement to determine an overall discharge measurement error. If this error exceeds the user-
specified criteria, WinFlume's design module can attempt to improve the design, or WinFlume will provide the user
with suggestions for modifying the design.
4) Required freeboard - The user can specify the required freeboard in the approach channel as either an absolute
vertical distance, or as a percentage of the upstream energy head. WinFlume will require that the vertical distance
between the top of the approach channel and the upstream energy grade line (not the upstream water surface) be equal
to or greater than the specified amount.
Dimensions
Displays the form used to enter dimensions for the canal and flume bottom profile and cross-section shapes.
Review Current Design
Performs a review of the current design based on the six design criteria:
1) Upstream Froude number < 0.5
2) Upstream freeboard >= user-specified limit
3) Allowable tailwater > actual tailwater level at minimum flow
4) Allowable tailwater > actual tailwater level at maximum flow
5) Expected discharge measurement error meets design requirement at minimum flow
6) Expected discharge measurement error meets design requirement at maximum flow
A report is generated on-screen summarizing the results of the review. If the design does not meet one or more of the
design criteria, WinFlume will make suggestions for improving the design. The report can be printed, saved to a text
file, or copied to the system clipboard.
Evaluate Alternative Designs
Opens the design module form used to develop alternative designs based on the current flume definition.
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Undo
Offers the user the opportunity to undo the last operation that changed the flume definition. The nature of the
operation to be undone will be described on the menu.
Reports/Graphs Menu
Rating Tables & Graphs
Opens the Rating Table Output Form used to create rating tables and graphs of
rating table data (for example, Q vs. h
1
curves).
Rating Equation
Opens the Rating Equation Form used to determine a simplified rating equation for the flume that can be used in a
data logger at the flume site to automate discharge measurements.
Measured Data Comparison
Opens the Measured Data Comparison Form used to compare the theoretical rating curve developed by WinFlume to
actual field measurements of discharge vs. upstream sill-referenced head. The discharge measurements are made
independently of the flume structure, perhaps with current-metering techniques or other flow measurement structures.
Wall Gages
Opens the Wall Gage Output Form used to create wall gages and reports of the data needed to construct wall gages.
Wall gages can be previewed on screen and then printed full-scale on your Windows system printer.
Flume Data Report
Creates a text report of the flume and canal properties and the user-specified design requirements. The report can be
printed, saved in a text file, or copied to the clipboard.
Flume Drawing Printout
Prints an image of the flume bottom profile and cross-sections to the Windows system printer.
Copy Flume Drawing to Clipboard
Copies an image of the flume bottom profile and cross-sections to the Windows clipboard. Once on the clipboard, the
image can be pasted into a word-processor or other application.
Options Menu
Units
Opens the Units Dialog Box used to choose the system of units for
discharge, velocity, and length measurements.
User Name
Prompts the user to enter their name. The user name will be printed on all
flume reports produced by the program.
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Calibrate Screen for Wall Gage Preview
Opens the Screen Calibration Form used to calibrate your screen for accurate display of the wall gage previews. You
should recalibrate your screen following any change of display resolution or system font size. WinFlume computes a
calibration factor for your screen and remembers it the next time you use WinFlume.
Calibrate Printer for Wall Gage Output
Performs a calibration procedure for your printer to ensure that printed wall gages are correctly scaled. Many laser
printers sold for business use consistently make gages too long or too short, sometimes by a significant percentage.
Plotters tend to be more accurate, but should still be checked. The calibration procedure prints a page with a reference
line on it. You measure the reference line and enter that value into WinFlume. The software will compute a
calibration factor to be used for future printing of wall gages on this printer. WinFlume can remember 20 different
calibration factors that can be recalled at any time. If your printer can print with several different sizes and paper
orientations, you should go through the calibration procedure for each combination of options, as calibrations factors
tend to vary.
Show Maximum Water Surface Profile
Enables or disables the display of the water surface profile at maximum flow on the bottom profile of the canal and
flume. The checkbox at the left edge of the bottom profile drawing performs the same function.
Show Minimum Water Surface Profile
Enables or disables the display of the water surface profile at minimum flow on the bottom profile of the canal and
flume. The checkbox at the left edge of the bottom profile drawing performs the same function.
Explorer File-Open Dialog
Selecting this option causes WinFlume to use a standard Windows Explorer-type dialog box when opening a new
flume file (or a standard system dialog box in Windows 3.1). This dialog box provides full support for long filenames
and access to shared resources on a network even if those resources are not mapped to a drive letter. This option does
not show any summary information about the flume when browsing the list of files.
File-Open Dialog with Flume Summary
If this option is selected, WinFlume uses a customized file-open dialog box that provides summary information about
the contents of each flume file as the user browses the file list. The disadvantage of this option is that it may not fully
show long filenames and does not provide access to files on network resources unless they are mapped to a drive
letter.
Save Current Settings as Defaults
Saves all current user-preferences (e.g., display of water surface profiles, units settings, screen calibration factors, etc.)
in the system registry.
Save Settings on Exit
Enables or disables the option to save all current user-preferences (e.g., display of water surface profiles, units
settings, screen calibration factors, etc.) in the system registry when exiting WinFlume. This option will cause
WinFlume to restart with the same options used in the last session.
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Help Menu
Contents
Opens the contents listing of the help file.
Search for Help On
Opens the search dialog to perform a keyword search on the help file.
Review Flume Definition Sketch
Shows the flume definition sketch for the current flume type (stationary crest vs. movable crest). This sketch shows
nomenclature for flume dimensions and provides some design guidance on recommended flume dimensions. For a
more detailed discussion see Suggested Flume Dimensions.
How to Use Help
Opens a standard Windows help file explaining how to use the Windows help system.
About WinFlume
Provides version information and details on how to obtain the WinFlume program.
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PRIMARY FORMS AND DIALOG BOXES
Flume Geometry and Dimensions Form

This form is used to edit the dimensions and geometry of the flume structure and the upstream and downstream canals.
Elevation and length dimensions through the structure can be edited on the bottom profile drawing shown in the upper
half of the screen. Flume cross-section shapes and dimensions are edited by clicking one of the Edit....Section
buttons that appear on the tabbed views of the cross-sections in the lower left corner of the screen, or by clicking the
toolbar icon .
This form normally remains open whenever a flume design is in memory, but if it should become closed, it can be
reopened from the toolbar or from the Flume & Canal menu.
10
Section Shape & Dimensions Form

Use this form to edit the section shape and dimensions for the approach, control, and tailwater sections of the
structure. The shape can be selected using the list box in the upper left corner of the form. Dimensions are edited
using the text boxes attached to each section component. A thumbnail sketch of each section shape is also displayed
to assist the user.
Six simple shapes and the complex trapezoid shape are available for the approach and tailwater sections. For the
control section, seven additional compound shapes are available. These compound shapes allow for accurate
measurement of a wider range of discharges than the simple shapes.
This form can be opened from the toolbar ( ), or by right-clicking on the cross-section drawing in the lower left
corner of the Flume Geometry and Dimensions Form, or by clicking the Edit....Section button that appear above and
to the right of each cross-section drawing.
11
Flume and Canal Properties & Design Requirements Form

This form can be opened from the toolbar, or from the Design menu. Information is needed in four primary areas:
1) Flume construction material and associated roughness height - The material entered should be that used to
construct the flume crest, not the material used to construct the canal. Several materials and their roughness heights
are pre-programmed into WinFlume, or you may type in your own material description and roughness height. The
roughness height value is used to calculate head loss due to friction, an important factor in determining the flume
rating curve.
2) Flume discharge range and associated tailwater levels - The user should enter the minimum and maximum flow
for which accurate flow rate measurements are required. These data are used to evaluate the expected error in the
flow rate measurements at minimum and maximum flow and compare those errors to user-specified limits described
in 3) below. The tailwater data are used to ensure that the flume does not become submerged and operates with
modular flow (i.e., critical depth in the control section) over the full discharge range. For detailed information about
determining tailwater levels, see Determining Tailwater Levels.
3) Head measurement method and allowable discharge measurement error at minimum and maximum flow -
The user should choose a head measurement method from the list, or type in their own description of the head
measurement method. If a method is chosen from the list, WinFlume supplies a default measurement error for the
method, otherwise, the user must enter their own value. This value should be the expected error in any one
measurement of the sill-referenced head due to factors such as waves, difficulty seeing the staff gage or water surface,
electronic noise, resolution of the device, etc. The user also specifies allowable discharge measurement errors at
minimum and maximum flow. WinFlume combines the errors due to the accuracy of the rating table with the errors
related to head measurement to determine an overall discharge measurement error. If this error exceeds the user-
specified criteria, WinFlume's design module can attempt to improve the design, or WinFlume will provide the user
with suggestions for modifying the design.
12
4) Required freeboard - The user can specify the required freeboard in the approach channel as either an absolute
vertical distance, or as a percentage of the upstream energy head. WinFlume will require that the vertical distance
between the top of the approach channel and the upstream water level) be equal to or greater than the specified
amount.
Flume and Canal Properties Form

This is an abbreviated version of the Flume and Canal Properties & Design Requirements Form, showing only the tabs
for flume construction material and discharge and tailwater data. The design requirements related to allowable
measurement error and required freeboard are not needed to developing rating tables for existing structures.
This form is opened from the Flume & Canal menu.
13
Flume Wizard Dialog
The flume wizard leads the user through a step-by-step
process that prompts for all necessary geometric and
hydraulic properties of the flume and canal. The wizard
is most useful when creating a new flume, but can be
invoked at any time as a means of reviewing the input
data for the flume currently in memory.
To use the wizard, read the text in the box at the top of
the form, which describes the purpose of each step of the
flume wizard process, and follow the specific instructions
given in the text box at the bottom of the form.
The flume wizard can be started from the toolbar, the File
menu, or the Design menu.
14
Flume Design Module Form

The design module form allows the user to analyze alternative designs derived from a single starting design to identify
flumes meeting the design criteria and having satisfactory desired head loss characteristics. For additional help, see
the help topics Using the Flume Design Module and WinFlume's Design Algorithm.
This form can be opened from the toolbar or the Design menu.

15
File-Open Dialogs



Two File-Open dialog options are available in WinFlume. You select which option to use from the Options menu.
The File-Open Dialog with Flume Summary shows a brief summary of the flume design as you browse the file list to
select a flume to load. If you need access to network resources that are not mapped to a drive letter, you should
choose the Explorer File-Open Dialog.
16
Create New Flume Dialog

The form creates a new flume based on a copy of an
existing flume, or using default dimensions provided by
WinFlume. You may choose to start the flume wizard at
the same time that the new flume is created. The wizard
will guide you through all screens necessary to define the
basic geometry and hydraulic properties of the flume and
canal.
This dialog box can be opened from the toolbar, or by
selecting New Flume from the File menu.


Import from FLUME 3.0 Dialog

This form is used to import a flume design originally created with the FLUME 3.0 program. To load the flume,
specify the name of the dBase file containing the flume, usually FLM.DBF or FLMBAK.DBF. Then browse through
the list of flumes contained in that file to select the flume you wish to load. The flume definition will be loaded and
converted into WinFlume's *.Flm file format.
This form is opened from the File menu.
17
Printer Setup Dialog

This dialog box allows the user to choose a Windows system printer to be used by WinFlume, and allows the user to
select fonts for reports and wall gage printouts.
This form can be accessed from the File menu, or from several other printing-related forms.
Units Dialog

This dialog box allows the user to choose the system of units for displaying and entering length, discharge, and
velocity data. Internally, all flume designs are stored using SI units.
This form can be accessed from the Options menu.
18
Calibrate Screen for Wall Gage Previews Dialog

This dialog box is used to calibrate your screen for accurate display of the wall gage previews. You should recalibrate
your screen following any change of display resolution or system font size. WinFlume computes a calibration factor
for your screen and remembers it the next time you use WinFlume.
This form can be accessed from the Options menu, or from the Wall Gage Output Form.
19
Calibrate Printer for Wall Gage Output Dialog

This dialog box allows you to calibrate a new printer or recall calibration factors for printers you have previously
calibrated. The calibration procedure ensures that printed wall gages are correctly scaled. Many laser printers sold for
business use consistently make gages too long or too short, sometimes by a significant percentage. Plotters tend to be
more accurate, but should still be checked. The calibration procedure prints a page with a reference line on it. You
measure the reference line and enter that value into WinFlume. The software will compute a calibration factor to be
used for future printing of wall gages on this printer. WinFlume can remember 20 different calibration factors that can
be recalled at any time. If your printer can print with several different sizes and paper orientations, you should go
through the calibration procedure for each combination of options, as calibrations factors tend to vary.
This form can be accessed from the Options menu, or from the Wall Gage Output Form.
20
Flume Reports Form

This form is used to present the Flume Data Report and Flume Design Review Report. The reports can be printed,
copied to the clipboard, or saved to a text file.
This form can be opened from the Reports/Graphs menu or from the toolbar.
Flume Data Report - Provides a text report documenting the flume properties, cross-section shapes, and basic
dimensions.
Design Review Report - Reviews the hydraulic design of the flume based on the six design criteria and displays any
warnings or error messages related to the calculation of the flume rating at minimum and maximum flow.
21
Rating Table Output Form

The rating table output form is used to create rating tables and graphs of rating table data for existing or new flume
designs. In addition to Q vs. h
1
curves and data tables, the rating tables can include numerous additional parameters
that may be of interest to the designer. For detailed descriptions of these parameters, use the What's This? help feature
and click on the check boxes that enabled and disable the display of the additional parameters.
Two types of rating tables are available. The standard rating table lists one flow rate and sill-referenced head on each
line of the table, with corresponding values of the selected additional parameters. Error messages and warnings
related to the design or the hydraulic calculations used to create the table are noted in the last column of the table.
The ditchrider's rating table shows values of sill-referenced head along the left side and top of the table, and discharge
values in the body of the table, and does not show any other parameters. To determine the flow for a given head, scan
down the left side and across the top to find the row and column corresponding to the given head. The flow rate will
be contained in the cell located at the intersection of the row and column. The ditchrider's table can be modified to
show sill-referenced slope distances rather than sill-referenced heads. This allows the table to be used with a standard
staff gage installed on a sloped canal bank.
Rating tables can be printed, saved, or copied to the clipboard. When the user clicks on the Copy to Clipboard button,
options are presented for copying in either a space- or tab-delimited format. The tab-delimited format is the best
choice if you plan to paste the rating table into a spreadsheet. Right-clicking on the Copy to Clipboard button will
copy the rating table in space-delimited format automatically. Holding down the Shift, Ctrl, or Alt keys while right-
clicking Copy to Clipboard will automatically copy the rating table in tab-delimited format.
This form can be opened from the toolbar or the Reports/Graphs menu.
22
Measured Data Comparison Form

This form allows the user to compare field measurements of discharge vs. sill-referenced head against the rating curve
computed by WinFlume. Such a comparison may be helpful in debugging potential problems, such as errors in zero-
setting of the head sensor.
The user enters field-measured values of discharge and sill-referenced head into a data table. WinFlume then
computes the rating table for the structure and presents a comparison in both tabular and graphical form.
This form can be opened from the toolbar or the Reports/Graphs menu.
23
Equation Output Form

This form is used to generate a power-curve equation that approximates the Q vs. h
1
rating curve of the flume. This
equation can be programmed into a data logger for automating the measurement storage of discharge data. WinFlume
determines a curve-fit equation of the form:
u
K h K Q ) (
2 1 1
+ =
You may also force K
2
= 0 when performing the curve-fit calculations. The resulting simplified equation form may be
more easily programmed into some data loggers.
The curve-fitting routine uses a rating table generated by WinFlume. The user specifies the type of rating table (range
of heads vs. range of discharges) and the range and increment for the rating table on the Options tab. The second and
third tabs of the form allow the user to review the rating table and curve-fitting results in tabular and graphical form.
At least 6 data points are needed in the rating table to develop a rating equation.
This form can be opened from the toolbar or the Reports/Graphs menu.
24
Wall Gage Output Form

The wall-gage output form can create data tables needed to build custom wall gages, or you can print full-scale images
of wall gages directly to your system printer. Two primary types of gages can be created:
1) Fixed-head interval gages - These gages have tick marks located at a constant interval of upstream sill-referenced
head. The labels on the gage may show either the sill-referenced head or the flow rate.
2) Fixed-discharge interval gages - These gages have tick marks located so that the distance between each mark
corresponds to a fixed increment of discharge.
Gages may be constructed so that they are referenced to either the approach channel invert, or the sill of the throat
section. Gages may also be constructed for vertical installation, or for installation on the sloped bank of the approach
channel.
This form can be opened from the toolbar or the Reports/Graphs menu.
25
FLUME DESIGN GUIDANCE
Advantages of Long-Throated Flumes
Long-throated flumes are the measurement device of choice for many applications. Advantages include:
Rating tables with error of less than 2% in the computed discharge can be computed for any combination of
prismatic control section and an arbitrarily shaped approach channel
Throat can be any shape in the direction perpendicular to the flow, allowing the complete range of discharges to
be measured with good precision
Required head loss across the flume is minimal
Long-throated flumes can be operated with partial submergence (i.e., downstream water level above the sill
elevation), and the submergence limit and the associated head loss requirement can be determined using the
WinFlume program
With properly constructed gradual converging transition, there is virtually no problem passing floating debris
Can be designed to pass sediment transported by channels having subcritical flow
If the throat is horizontal in the direction parallel to the flow, accurate rating tables can be computed using as-
built dimensions
Economical to construct
Very adaptable to installation in existing canals
Components of Long-Throated Flumes
Long-throated flumes generally include five primary structural components, shown in the figure below:
1) An approach channel that is necessary for the development of uniform and symmetric flow conditions and the
establishment of a stable water surface whose elevation can be determined accuratelythe approach channel may be
lined as shown in figure 1.1 or may be the original earthen channel;
2) A converging transition section in which the subcritical approach flow accelerates smoothly toward the throat with
no discontinuities or flow separationthe transition may consist of plane surfaces or may be rounded;
3) A throat, or control section, in which the flow passes through critical depththe throat must be horizontal in the
direction of flow, but in the direction perpendicular to the flow any shape may be used;
4) A diverging transition in which the velocity of the supercritical flow exiting the throat section is reduced and energy
is dissipated or partially recoveredif energy recovery is not needed, an abrupt transition can be used;
5) A tailwater channel where the water level is a function of canal operations, flow rate, and the hydraulic properties
of the downstream channel and structuresthe range of water levels in this channel is fundamentally important to the
design of the structure because it determines the elevation and size of the control section needed to maintain critical
flow conditions through the flume.
In addition to these five structural components, a gaging station in the approach channel is necessary. At the gaging
station, the difference in elevation between the approach water level and the crest of the throat section will be
measured. The flow rate through the flume will be computed as a function of this upstream sill-referenced head.
26
Stationary-Crest Flumes
Stationary-crest flumes have a crest section that is horizontal in the flow direction and fixed in elevation. These
structures serve only as flow measurement devices. Typical dimensions of stationary-crest flumes are shown below.

Movable-Crest Flumes
The movable-crest flume is a combination flow measurement and water level regulation structure. The flow rate is
determined by measuring the height of the crest required to maintain a constant upstream water level. Common
dimensions of movable-crest flumes are shown below.

27
Suggested Flume Dimensions
Sill height, p
1

When developing alternative designs for analysis, WinFlume will usually increase the contraction in an attempt
to satisfy the user-specified design conditions. Although WinFlume can reduce the contraction (the FLUME 3.0
program could not), it is easier for WinFlume to increase the contraction. Because the designer does not usually
have information on the needed sill height or side contraction we recommend you specify minimal or no
contraction (p
1
should be less than 15 % of the water depth y
1
) in the initial structure.
Length of approach channel (gaging station to flume)
The gaging- or head-measurement station should be located sufficiently far upstream of the structure to avoid the
area of water surface drawdown, yet it should be close enough for the energy loss between the gaging station and
the structure to be negligible. To meet these requirements, the gaging station should be located at a distance
between two and three times H
1max
from the leading edge of the sill or at H
1max
from the beginning of the
converging transition, whichever is greater.
Length of converging transition
The function of the converging transition is to provide a smooth acceleration of flow with no discontinuities or
flow separation at the beginning of the throat. With stationary structures the transition commonly consists of
plane surfaces. The converging transition should be flatter than 2.5 to 1 (horizontal to vertical). When the
structure is viewed in plan, the angle of the line describing the intersection of the water surface with the side
walls of the converging transition should also have a "slope" less than or equal to 2.5 to 1 (longitudinal to
transverse distance) at both minimum and maximum flow conditions. With the movable weir the transition
usually is rounded with a radius of r = 0.2H
1max
.
Length of the control section (i.e., throat, crest, or sill)
For accurate flow measurement the throat length should be chosen so that the ratio of the sill-referenced energy
head, H
1
, to the throat length, L, is in the range:
0.070 H
1
/L 0.70
Within this range WinFlume calculates rating tables with an error of less than 2%. Outside this range the error
slowly increases to about 4% at H
1
/L = 1.0. If a structure is to be designed with a high value of the ratio
Q
max
/Q
min
the full range of H
1
/L values should be used.
Slope of the downstream expansion
If the downstream water level, y
2
, is sufficiently low, there is no need for a gradual transition between the throat
and the downstream channel, and a sudden expansion can be selected. If the head loss over the structure is
limited to such an extent that the downstream water head, h
2
, becomes higher than the critical water depth in the
throat, a gradual transition with a 6-to-1 slope can be added to regain potential energy. The amount of potential
energy that can be regained depends mainly on the degree of expansion of the transition. Rather sudden
expansion ratios like 1-to-1 or 2-to-1 are not very effective in energy conversion because the high velocity jet
leaving the throat cannot change direction suddenly to follow the boundaries of the transition. Therefore, we do
not recommend the use of the expansion ratios 1-to-1, 2-to-1, or 3-to-1.
28
Flume Site Selection
Upstream Channel Considerations
To ensure suitably uniform approach flow conditions and a stable upstream water level that can be accurately
measured, the channel upstream from the flow measurement structure should satisfy the following requirements,
evaluated at the maximum design flow.
The Froude number should not exceed 0.5 at the gaging station or for a distance of 30 times H
1max
upstream from
the gaging station location. If feasible, better measurements can be obtained if the Froude number is limited to a
value no greater than 0.2. For channels with high sediment loads, the Froude number should be kept relatively
high.
The upstream channel should be straight and uniform for a distance of at least 30 times H
1max
upstream from the
gaging station location.
There should be no flow of highly turbulent water (e.g., undershot gates, drop structures, hydraulic jumps) into
the upstream channel for a distance of 30 times H
1max
upstream from the gaging station.
If there is a bend close to the structure (closer than 30 times H
1max
), the water surface elevations at the two sides
of the structure will be different. Reasonably accurate measurements can be made (added error about 3%) if the
upstream straight channel has a length equal to at least six times H
1max
. In this case, the water level should be
measured at the inner bend of the channel.
To ensure accurate head measurement, there should be no offsets or sudden changes in sidewall alignment within
a distance of H
1max
upstream from the gaging station location (see Figures 3.28 and 3.29). Such offsets could
cause local flow separation that would affect the measurement of h
1
.
It is not always possible to fully satisfy the requirements listed above. In situations in which the upstream water level
proves to be unsteady or approach flows are found to be significantly non-uniform, baffles or wave suppressors may
be used to improve the situation. If baffles are used, the distance from the baffles to the gaging station should be at
least 10 times H
1max
.
The requirements related to the length of the upstream channel that are summarized above differ somewhat from the
recommendations provided in previous design guides. For channels with so-called efficient sections (e.g., a
rectangular channel with depth equal to half its width), the requirement of 30 times H
1max
produces a similar approach
length requirement as the previous recommendation of ten times the average channel width. For channels that deviate
significantly from the efficient-section assumption, an approach length based upon H
1max
produces a more appropriate
recommendation than one based on channel width.
Upstream Structures
The weir or flume should be sufficiently far downstream from any structures that discharge highly turbulent water (e.g.
undershot gates, drop structures) to enable the accurate measurement of the water level upstream from the planned
weir or flume. In practice this means that the flume should be more than thirty times H
1max
downstream from
structures discharging turbulent flows.
If no drop in the channel bottom is available to accommodate the head loss required for critical flow in the control
section, the flume will cause a rise in the upstream water level. This rise may subsequently reduce the head loss
available over the upstream structure. You should check to be sure that it does not lead to an unwanted reduction in
the discharge capacity of the upstream structure.
Freeboard
In irrigation canals, the freeboard, F
1
, upstream from the flume should be greater than 20% of the upstream sill-
referenced head, h
1
, at design flow. In terms of constructed canal depth, d
1
, this becomes;
d h p
1 1 1
12 = + .
29
In natural streams and in drainage canals, a site should be selected which avoids increased inundation at the maximum
anticipated flow, Q
max
. In this context, it should be noted that the head-versus-discharge relationship of the flume is
known very accurately (error less than 2%) in comparison with the water-depth-versus-discharge-curve of the channel.
Usually, because of uncertainty about the depth-discharge relation, the additional required head falls within the safety
margin of the channel freeboard. The program allows the selection of a minimum freeboard at maximum flow.
Tailwater Levels
To obtain a unique relationship between the (measured) sill-referenced head in the approach channel and the
(associated) discharge, the upstream water level must be sufficiently higher than the tailwater level. Hence, to enable
the design of a structure, the tailwater level, y
2
, must be known over the range of discharges to be measured (i.e.
minimum and maximum discharge).
WinFlume offers five methods by which this Q-versus-y
2
curve can be determined.
The water level downstream of a planned flume or weir does not always depend on the characteristics of the channel in
which the structure is planned or on the discharge to be measured. For example, the tailwater level may be determined
by: a downstream structure, flow conditions in a larger channel into which the considered channel discharges, or by
the operation of a downstream gate. The effects of these conditions on tailwater levels should be known.
Sediment Transport
Besides transporting water, almost all natural streams and drains transport sediment. The most appropriate method of
avoiding sediment deposition in the channel reach upstream of the flume or weir is to avoid a decrease in the hydraulic
gradient. To achieve this, the structure should be designed in such a way that it does not create a backwater effect
with respect to the approach channel bottom. This means that the discharge versus (h
1
+ p
1
) curve of the control must
coincide with the discharge versus water depth curve of the upstream channel. This near coincidence should occur for
those flows that are expected to transport bed-load material. This design rule requires a drop in the channel bottom at
the selected site a drop that is sufficient to guarantee modular flow. Data are needed on:
Shape and dimensions of the upstream channel;
Available drop in channel bottom at selected site;
Allowable water depths, y
1
, for the considered flow rates.
Construction Stability
In constructing weirs and flumes, the designer may select any locally available construction material. The design
should match the permeability and the bearing capacity of the sub-soil. A structure consisting of (wooden) sheet
piling and a metal control section can be used if the soil has a very low bearing capacity.
To prevent erosion downstream of the weir or flume, the earthen tailwater channel must be protected by riprap over a
length which is:
Not less than four times the maximum depth in the tailwater channel;
Nor less than the earth transition between the structure and the channel;
Nor less than 1.5 m (5 ft).
Under extreme climatic conditions (frost/heat, wet/dry cycles), extra care must be given to the stability of the structure
and the head-detection device with respect to each other. Changes in the relative elevation of these two will cause a
systematic head detection error.
Using the Flume Design Module
The WinFlume design module consists of a single form used to evaluate design alternatives and seek designs having
specified performance characteristics. Details of the algorithm used by the design module are given on a separate help
page. To use the design module:
30
Begin by specifying the basic geometry and hydraulic properties of the flume and canals, perhaps with the
assistance of the flume wizard.
Once you have a starting design, invoke the design module by selecting Evaluate Alternative Designs from the
Design menu.
Choose a method for adjusting the amount of control section contraction, and choose an increment of dimension
change to be used for increasing and decreasing the contraction of the control section.
View the results of the analysis on the tab marked Review Possible Designs.
WinFlume builds virtual flumes based on your initial design and then evaluates them against four primary and two
secondary design criteria. The four primary criteria are:
Upstream Froude number less than 0.5
Upstream freeboard at maximum flow meets user requirement
Tailwater below allowable level at minimum flow
Tailwater below allowable level at maximum flow
The secondary design criteria are:
Design meets accuracy requirements at minimum flow
Design meets accuracy requirements at maximum flow
All designs meeting at least the four primary design criteria are shown to the user. The accuracy requirement is
considered a secondary criteria because the user can improve the accuracy of the flume without modifying the
structure design through the choice of a more precise method for measuring the upstream sill-referenced head.
In addition to designs at even increments of the contraction change specified by the user, WinFlume will also attempt
to find the designs having the minimum and maximum possible head loss for a given site, the design having
intermediate head loss (exactly balancing extra freeboard against submergence protection), and the design that
produces a head loss that matches the bed drop at the site.
After examining the results, the user can choose to make any of the presented designs the new design, or the original
design can be retained. To assist the user in comparing the designs, additional details about head loss, estimated
measurement errors, available freeboard, and submergence protection is presented. Submergence protection is the
vertical distance between the allowable tailwater level and the actual tailwater level. This can be thought of as
insurance against errors in estimating tailwater conditions at the site. Choosing a design with more submergence
protection (and thus, more head loss), allows for some error in estimated tailwater levels without causing the flume to
be submerged. If a flume is being added to an existing canal system and little head is available, the designer may have
no choice but to select a design with less submergence protection.
WinFlume's Design Algorithm
1) The user chooses one of the four methods of contraction change, and an increment at which to evaluate designs
(e.g., evaluate designs at sill height increments of 0.1 ft).
2) WinFlume brackets the range of possible designs by evaluating flume performance at the maximum design flow:
The maximum possible throat-section contraction is that needed to produce a maximum upstream water level
equal to the channel depth.
The minimum contraction is that which produces an upstream Froude number of 0.5 or less at maximum
discharge, and an upstream water level that is at least as high as the downstream tailwater at maximum discharge.
3) WinFlume builds and evaluates designs of virtual flumes between the lower and upper contraction limits at the
interval specified by the user. WinFlume identifies the range of acceptable designs, and uses a bisection search to
determine the minimum and maximum amounts of contraction that will yield acceptable designs. These become the
minimum and maximum head loss designs. Designs having intermediate head loss (extra freeboard equal to
submergence protection) and head loss equal to the bed drop at the site (if any) are located using a similar bisection
search technique.
4) Results are presented to the user, who may choose to accept one of the designs or discard the results of the analysis.
31
Only designs meeting the four primary design criteria (freeboard, Froude number, no submergence at minimum and
maximum flow) are presented to the user, unless there are no acceptable designs. Designs that meet the four primary
criteria, but do not meet measurement error requirements may be improved by the user by specifying a more precise
water level measurement method.
If an Acceptable Design Is Not Found on the First Trial
If the contraction increment specified by the user is too large, or if design criteria are too limiting, no acceptable
design will be found in step 3. In this case, WinFlume searches for two adjacent designs for which the unsatisfied
criteria in each design are satisfied in the adjacent design. This indicates that with a smaller increment of contraction
change, it may be possible to find an acceptable design between these two designs.
If a possible region of acceptable designs is identified, the contraction change increment is divided by ten and the
analysis is repeated using the smaller increment of contraction change. This process is repeated until an acceptable
design is found, or until WinFlume determines that there is no possible region of acceptable designs.
If no region of acceptable designs is found, then the results of the analysis are presented to the user, with suggestions
for how to relax the design criteria or change the initial design so that an acceptable design may be found.
Determining Tailwater Levels
In order to have a unique relationship between the upstream sill-referenced head and the discharge for all flow
conditions (i.e., modular flow), the flume must be set sufficiently high above the downstream tailwater level to allow
for the necessary head loss across the structure. Hence, accurate knowledge of downstream tailwater levels is needed
for the range of flows that the flume is required to measure. WinFlume provides five methods for specifying tailwater
conditions.
Manning's equation using n and S
Manning's equation using one Q-y
2
measurement
Power curve using 2 Q-y
2
measurements
Power curve with offset using 3 Q-y
2
measurements
Linear interpolation/extrapolation from Q-y
2
lookup table
The first two methods rely on Manning's equation, and are thus appropriate when the downstream channel is known to
operate at normal depth. This flow condition occurs when the downstream channel is of uniform section, slope, and
roughness for a sufficient distance that the flow depth at the head of the tailwater channel (i.e., the downstream side of
the flume) is solely a function of the section shape, channel slope, and the roughness coefficient, Manning's n, as
given by:
Q
n
AR S
f
=
1486
2 3 1 2
.
/ /

where Q, A, R, and S
f
are the discharge, wetted area, hydraulic radius, and friction slope, respectively. The equation
form shown is for English units of feet and cubic feet/sec. When using metric units of meters and cubic meters/sec,
the factor 1.486 is replaced with the factor 1.000.
The last three methods are appropriate when the tailwater channel does not flow at normal depth, perhaps due to
backwater influences from a downstream gate, weir, outfall, or bridge opening, or a downstream change in channel
shape, slope, or roughness. In these cases, the designer must determine tailwater levels corresponding to a range of
flows, either through field surveys or detailed hydraulic analysis of the backwater profile in the downstream channel.
These data can be used by WinFlume to extrapolate tailwater conditions over the full range of flows for which the
flume will operate.
To specify tailwater levels, the user enters the minimum and maximum flows that the flume is required to measure,
then chooses one of the five methods and supplies the required details, discussed below. If tailwater levels cannot be
calculated using the data provided, the tailwater levels will be shown as 0.000 in red.
32
Manning's equation using n and S
Tailwater values can be determined using Manning's equation if flow in the tailwater channel is at normal depth (i.e.,
flow depth is established by friction control, not by the operation of downstream structures). The user provides
estimates of Manning's n and the hydraulic gradient, or friction slope, S
f
. When a canal flows at normal depth, the
friction slope is equal to the bed slope.
The value of Manning's n used should be the highest expected roughness during the water delivery season, considering
the effects of increased vegetation in the mid- to late-season. A list of suggested roughness values for channels of
various types is provided in WinFlume, or the user may enter their own value directly into the text box.
Manning's equation using one Q-y
2
measurement
This method is similar to that described above, except that values of Manning's n and the hydraulic gradient are not
needed. Instead, the designer supplies known values of the discharge and downstream tailwater level for one observed
flow condition. These data are used to compute the value of (S
f
0.5
)/n, which will be constant for all flow conditions.
With this information, Manning's equation can then be solved to yield the tailwater level corresponding to any
discharge.
Power curve using 2 Q-y
2
measurements
If the downstream channel does not flow at normal depth, this method or one of the methods described below should
be used.
The power curve using 2 Q-y
2
measurements is based on the following empirical equation relating the discharge, Q,
and the flow depth, y
2
.
u
Ky Q
2
=

in which K and u are empirical coefficients. The value of K is dependent on the size of the channel, and the value of u
depends on the shape of the channel, normally varying from about 1.6 for shallow, wide channels, to 2.4 for narrow,
deep channels. With values of discharge and tailwater depth at two different flow rates, the values of K and u can be
determined, and the equation can then be used to extrapolate tailwater levels at other flow rates. Note that the use of
this equation form implies that at a discharge of zero, the tailwater level is also zero.
The values of Q and y
2
can be determined from field surveys or through a detailed hydraulic analysis. If field surveys
are used, the designer should ensure that the data are collected under operating scenarios and seasonal channel
roughness conditions that produce the highest possible tailwater levels. To minimize the degree of extrapolation, it is
best to obtain data as close as possible to the minimum and maximum flows that the flume will be required to
measure.
Power curve with offset using 3 Q-y
2
measurements
The power curve using two Q-y
2
measurements assumes that the tailwater level is zero at a discharge of zero. In some
cases, this may not be true, such as when there is a weir or other similar structure a short distance downstream of the
site. In this case, the tailwater level may be non-zero when the flow rate is zero. The power curve with offset
addresses this problem by modeling the downstream tailwater relationship using the empirical equation:

u
C y K Q ) (
2
=

in which C is a constant indicating the offset, or tailwater level at zero flow.
To apply this method, the user must provide values of discharge and tailwater depth for three different flow
conditions; to allow determination of C, the tailwater depth at zero flow must be provided. WinFlume uses these data
to solve for C, u, and K, and can then compute tailwater levels corresponding to other flow rates.
33
As with the previous method, the values of Q and y
2
can be determined from field surveys or through a detailed
hydraulic analysis. If field surveys are used, the designer should ensure that the data are collected under operating
scenarios and seasonal channel roughness conditions that produce the highest possible tailwater levels.
Linear interpolation/extrapolation from Q-y
2
lookup table
This method is also appropriate when the tailwater level is non-zero at zero discharge. It can be used to specify
unusual tailwater curves that the power curve methods may not approximate well. This is the best method to use if
you have the unusual situation of a tailwater curve that is constant or decreasing as discharge increases.
The values of Q and y
2
can be determined from field surveys or through a detailed hydraulic analysis. If field surveys
are used, the designer should ensure that the data are collected under operating scenarios and seasonal channel
roughness conditions that produce the highest possible tailwater levels. To minimize the degree of extrapolation, it is
best to collect data points at flows near the minimum and maximum discharge to be measured with the flume. A total
of 20 pairs of Q-y
2
data can be entered.
Design Criteria
Designs are evaluated against six basic design criteria. Within the design alternatives module these are subdivided
into four primary criteria and two secondary criteria. The four primary criteria are:
Upstream Froude number less than 0.5
Upstream freeboard at maximum flow meets user requirement
Tailwater below allowable level at minimum flow
Tailwater below allowable level at maximum flow
The secondary design criteria are:
Design meets accuracy requirements at minimum flow
Design meets accuracy requirements at maximum flow
In addition to these design criteria, flume warnings and error messages are given in rating tables and design review
reports when conditions occur that make a design impossible or might adversely affect the accuracy of the flume.
Flume Warnings and Error Messages
Warning and error messages are given in rating tables and design review reports when conditions occur that adversely
affect the accuracy of a flume or make it impossible to compute the flume rating. Detailed information regarding each
of these messages is given below:
1 - Froude number exceeds 0.5 at the gage - This is a primary design criterion intended to ensure that the water
level in the upstream pool can be measured with reasonable accuracy. To eliminate this error, increase the size of the
approach channel, reduce the control section width, or increase the height of the sill relative to the invert of the
approach channel.
2 - FATAL: Approach area too small compared to control area - There is insufficient contraction to cause critical
flow in the throat. To eliminate this error message, reduce the control section size or increase the size of the approach
channel. Errors 2 and 7 are similar, with error 2 occurring in the routines that determine flow for a given head, and
error 7 occurring in the routines that determine head for a given flow.
3 - FATAL: Maximum allowable tailwater depth is zero or less - The calculation of allowable tailwater depth has
indicated that the allowed tailwater depth is zero or less, which makes it impossible to develop any workable design.
If this error occurs, please contact the author.
4 - FATAL: Tailwater area too small compared to control area - The cross-sectional area of the tailwater channel
at the maximum allowable tailwater depth must be at least 5 percent larger than the corresponding cross-sectional area
of the control section. If this condition is not met, it is possible that flow control may occur in the tailwater channel
rather than in the intended control section. To eliminate this error message, increase the size of the tailwater channel,
or reduce the size of the control section.
34
5 - Upstream energy head / control section length is less than 0.07 - The ratio H
1
/L should be in the range of 0.07
to 0.7 to obtain the most accurate flow measurement. This error message is generally associated with the low end of
the discharge range of the structure. To eliminate this error, either reduce the control section length or narrow the
bottom width of the control section (thereby increasing H
1
at minimum flow).
6 - Upstream energy head / control section length exceeds 0.7 - The ratio H
1
/L should be in the range of 0.07 to
0.7 to obtain the most accurate flow measurement. This error message is generally associated with the upper end of
the discharge range of the structure. To eliminate this error, either increase the control section length or widen the
control section (especially the top width) to reduce H
1
at maximum flow.
7 - FATAL: Approach area too small compared to control area - This error indicates that there is insufficient
contraction from the approach channel to the control section to ensure that critical flow will take place in the throat.
To eliminate this error, increase the approach channel size, or reduce the size of the control section. This error can
also occur if the control section has an extremely complex shape for which the exponent U cannot be determined
(numerical solution fails to converge). Errors 2 and 7 are similar, with error 2 occurring in the routines that determine
flow for a given head, and error 7 occurring in the routines that determine head for a given flow.
8 - FATAL: Head is zero. This is not allowed - Flume ratings cannot be determined for an upstream head of zero.
If this error occurs, choose a non-zero head as the minimum to be shown in the rating table.
9 - FATAL: Discharge is zero. This is not allowed - Flume ratings cannot be determined for a flow rate of zero. If
this error occurs, choose a non-zero discharge as the minimum to be shown in the rating table.
10 - Converging section length is too short (ramp is too steep) - In flumes whose contraction is primarily formed
by a raised sill, the converging ramp slope should be in the range of 2.5:1 to 4.5:1 (horizontal:vertical) to obtain the
most accurate flow measurement. If the ramp is too steep, the transition is too abrupt and there will be significant
flow separation in the upstream reach of the control section. To remove this error message, increase the length of the
converging section so that the ramp slope is 2.5:1 or flatter. In unusual circumstances it may be impossible to
eliminate all of the errors related to converging section length (10, 11, 22, and 23). In these cases, a converging
section that is too gradual (errors 11 and 23) is better than a converging section that is too abrupt (errors 10 and
22).
11 - Converging section length may be too long (ramp is too flat) - In flumes whose contraction is primarily
formed by a raised sill, the converging ramp slope should be in the range of 2.5:1 to 4.5:1 (horizontal:vertical) to
obtain the most accurate flow measurement. If the ramp is too flat, there may be excessive friction loss between the
gaging station location and the control section, and the construction cost of the flume may be greater than necessary.
To remove this error message, reduce the length of the converging section so that the ramp slope is 4.5:1 or steeper.
In unusual circumstances it may be impossible to eliminate all of the errors related to converging section length (10,
11, 22, and 23). In these cases, a converging transition that is too gradual (errors 11 and 23) is better than a
converging transition that is too abrupt (errors 10 and 22).
12 - Gage is too close to converging section and/or throat - The gaging- or head-measurement station should be
located sufficiently far upstream from the structure to avoid the area of water surface drawdown, yet it should be close
enough for the energy loss between the gaging station and the structure to be negligible. To meet these requirements,
the gaging station should be located at a distance between two and three times H
1max
from the leading edge of the sill
or at H
1max
from the beginning of the converging transition, whichever is greater. To eliminate this error, increase the
approach channel length on the flume bottom profile drawing.
13 - Tailwater ramp is too flat - A gradually sloped tailwater ramp helps to recover energy downstream from the
flume by converting some of the kinetic energy of the flow in the critical section back into potential energy in the
tailwater channel. A slope of 6:1 (horizontal:vertical) is recommended. If the slope is flatter than 10:1, the ramp
becomes so long that additional friction loss along the length of the ramp probably exceeds the additional energy
recovery. To eliminate this error message, increase the slope of the tailwater ramp or reduce its length to obtain a
slope of 10:1 or steeper.
14 - Upstream energy head exceeds channel depth - This error message indicates that the approach channel energy
head (water level plus velocity head) is above the banks of the upstream channel. If the velocity head is a large part of
the total energy head, the water level may actually be within the channel banks, but this is still an undesirable flow
condition because there is so little freeboard in the approach channel that it could conceivably spill over the banks if
35
the flow were brought to a stop by a local offset in the canal lining or an obstruction in the approach channel. To
eliminate this error message, reduce the contraction in the control section or increase the size or top elevation of the
approach channel. Note that WinFlume will compute an h
1
vs. Q rating if the water level is below the top of the
channel, even though the energy head may be above the top of the channel. This is considered a fatal error in
WinFlumes design evaluation routines.
15 - FATAL: Attempt to lower movable weir sill too much. Try reducing sill radius - Movable weirs cannot be
lowered to a sill height that is less than the sill radius. To eliminate this error, reduce the sill radius, or increase the
width of the control section (which reduces the required head and allows the movable weir to be operated at a higher
sill height).
16 - FATAL: Movable weir water depth must be over 1.5 times sill radius - The constant operating depth
upstream from a movable weir must be at least 1.5 times the radius of the approach transition on the movable weir
crest. To eliminate this error, reduce the sill radius or increase the operating depth.
17 - FATAL: Approach channel water level exceeds 0.9 times diameter - When the approach channel is circular,
the flow depth in the approach channel cannot be greater than 90 percent of the diameter. This flow condition is
susceptible to unpredictable filling of the circular conduit due to the rapid increase in wetted perimeter as the depth
increases. To eliminate this error, increase the approach channel diameter or enlarge the control section (perhaps by
reducing the sill height).
18 - FATAL: Control section water level exceeds 0.9 times diameter - When the control section is circular, the
water level in the control section cannot be in the top 10 percent of the circular section. This flow condition is
susceptible to unpredictable filling of the circular conduit due to the rapid increase in wetted perimeter as the depth
increases. To eliminate this error, reduce the contraction in the control section, and/or increase the control section
diameter.
19 - Tailwater channel water level limited to 0.9 times diameter - When the tailwater channel is circular, the flow
depth in the tailwater channel cannot be greater than 90 percent of the diameter. This flow condition is susceptible to
unpredictable filling of the circular conduit due to the rapid increase in wetted perimeter as the depth increases. To
eliminate this error, increase the tailwater channel diameter.
20 - FATAL: Approach channel water level exceeds top of control section circle - The water level in the
approach channel cannot be higher than the crown of a circular control section, because such a condition will likely
lead to pressurized flow in the control section, or an inlet-controlled orifice flow condition rather than a critical-depth
controlled open-channel flow. To eliminate this error, increase the control section diameter, or enlarge the control
section (thereby reducing the upstream water level).
21 - FATAL: Submergence ratio exceeds modular limit. Flow will not be critical - If the modular limit is
exceeded, the flow in the control section will not be critical and there will not be a unique relation between upstream
sill-referenced head and discharge (the relation will vary as a function of tailwater depth). To eliminate this error
message, increase the contraction of the control section.
22 - Converging section length is too short (side contraction is too abrupt) - When viewed in plan, flumes that
are primarily side-contracted should have a contraction angle from the approach channel to the control section that is
in the range of 2.5:1 to 4.5:1 (longitudinal to lateral distance). WinFlume checks to see that this condition is met at
two elevations, the invert of the control section and the level of the approach channel water surface. If the transition is
too abrupt there will be significant flow separation in the upstream reach of the control section. To eliminate this
error, increase the length of the converging section, or reduce the difference in width between the approach channel
and the control section. In unusual circumstances it may be impossible to eliminate all of the errors related to
converging section length (10, 11, 22, and 23). In these cases, a converging section that is too gradual (errors 11
and 23) is better than a converging section that is too abrupt (errors 10 and 22).
23 - Converging section length may be too long (side contraction is too flat) - When viewed in plan, flumes that
are primarily side-contracted should have a contraction angle from the approach channel to the control section that is
in the range of 2.5:1 to 4.5:1 (longitudinal to lateral distance). WinFlume checks to see that this condition is met at
two elevations, the invert of the control section and the level of the approach channel water surface. If the transition is
too long, there will be excessive friction loss between the gaging station location and the control section, and the
structure may be more expensive to construct. To eliminate this error, reduce the length of the converging section. In
36
unusual circumstances it may be impossible to eliminate all of the errors related to converging section length (10,
11, 22, and 23). In these cases, a converging transition that is too gradual (errors 11 and 23) is better than a
converging transition that is too abrupt (errors 10 and 22).
24 - For width-contracted flumes, L/W 2 is recommended for throat section. - Preliminary laboratory tests have
shown that flumes that are solely width-contracted (i.e., no sill to create a vertical contraction of flow entering the
throat section), have the potential to not properly develop critical-depth flow across the full width of the throat section.
At this time, a length-to-width ratio of 2:1 is recommended for width-contracted flumes. The L/W ratio is evaluated
using the average of the throat widths at the sill elevation and at the elevation corresponding to h
1
. Future research
may allow refinement of this criterion.
SOFTWARE TECHNICAL DETAILS
Files
FLM Files
WinFlume stores individual flume design data in flume files having an extension of FLM. These files contain all of
the geometric and hydraulic properties of the flume and the upstream and downstream canal sections, as well as all
pertinent user-preferences related to design criteria and output options. These include units system settings, rating
table ranges, wall gage appearance options, etc. The FLM file is a binary-format file, and cannot be usefully viewed
with a text editor. The WinFlume program is the only useful tool for viewing and editing the contents of the FLM file.
Internally, the FLM file has three parts. The first 2 bytes of the file is a binary-coded integer that identifies the
revision number of the file format. The FLM file format has undergone several revisions during the development of
WinFlume. WinFlume can read files in the current format, as well as all previous formats. The program is designed
so that files in future formats will be readable as well, although data in the files pertaining to new features will be
ignored unless the user upgrades to the latest version of WinFlume. Files are always saved in the current format, so
that the upgrading of FLM files to the current format is completely transparent to the user.
The next 1030 bytes is the flume data structure. This data structure is defined in the WinFlume program, and contains
all geometric and hydraulic properties of the flume, as well as the user-preferences mentioned above.
The third part of the FLM file is the array of measured H-Q data used for comparing the theoretical rating curve to
actual field data. The array is preceded by a long integer (4 bytes) indicating the number of H-Q data pairs stored in
the file. If the user has not entered any H-Q data for comparison, then this third part of the FLM file will consist only
of a single pair of H-Q data with values of H=0 and Q=0. Each pair of H-Q data adds another 8 bytes to the length of
the file. Thus, the length of the FLM file will be at least 1044 bytes, plus 8 bytes for each additional H-Q data pair.
DBF Files
The last DOS-based version of this flume design software (FLUME 3.0) stored flume design data in dBase format
files, having an extension of .DBF. A catalog of flumes was maintained, and the data for all flumes was saved
together in a single file named FLM.DBF. FLUME 3.0 also had a backup function that would copy one or more
flumes into a backup file that could be used to transfer designs to other computer systems. This file was named
FLMBAK.DBF.
FLUME 3.0 also created other DBF files whose base name was derived from the name of the flume. These files only
contained rating table data computed by FLUME 3.0; the flume design data is always in the FLM.DBF file, or its
backup, FLMBAK.DBF.
WinFlume can load designs originally created in FLUME 3.0 from either the FLM.DBF or FLMBAK.DBF file. Once
loaded into WinFlume, the designs can be modified and saved in WinFlumes standard FLM file format for future use.
WinFlume does not make use of the rating table DBF files created by FLUME 3.0.
37
WinFlume Registry Entries
WinFlume stores a small number of program preference choices in the system registry. On Windows 95 and Windows
NT systems, the registry is a hierarchical database file maintained by the operating system, in which program settings
and other details of system configuration are stored. The registry can be viewed and edited using the REGEDIT
program, but only experienced users should attempt this. WinFlumes settings are stored in the branch of the registry
named:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\VB and VBA Program Settings\WinFlume\Startup
On Windows 3.1 systems, the registry does not exist as a single entity, but is instead the collection of all the INI files
on the system. The 16-bit version of WinFlume maintains an INI file called WINFLUME.INI, which serves as its
registry. This file will usually be found in the C:\WINDOWS directory.
The settings stored in the registry are those that are not tied to any specific flume design, but are applicable to a
particular computer system running WinFlume. These include printer calibration settings, the recently used files list,
choices of rating table parameters to be shown, formatting of graphs, username, and screen calibration factors.
There should never be any reason to modify the WinFlume data stored in the registry. This information is only
provided here to so that the user is aware of the changes WinFlume makes to their system.
GLOSSARY
Approach Channel
The approach channel is the canal reach between the gaging station location and the beginning of the converging
transition. The approach channel is necessary for the development of uniform and symmetric flow conditions and the
establishment of a stable water surface whose elevation can be determined accuratelythe approach channel may be
lined or may be the original earthen channel.
Control, Crest, Sill, or Throat Section
The control section of the flume is the region in which the flow goes through critical depth. The general term control
section is usually used to describe this flume component, but the alternatives terms crest, sill, or throat are also used
at times, depending somewhat on the particular configuration. The control section must be horizontal in the direction
of flow, but in the direction perpendicular to the flow, any shape may be used.
Converging Transition
The converging transition connects the approach channel to the control section of the structure. In the converging
transition section the subcritical approach flow must accelerate smoothly toward the control section with no
discontinuities or flow separationthe transition may consist of plane surfaces or may be rounded.
Critical Depth and the Froude Number
Critical depth occurs in open-channel flows when the Froude number is equal to 1.0. The Froude number is defined as
the ratio of the flow velocity, V, to the celerity (speed) of a gravity wave:
gD
V
Fr =
where g is the acceleration of gravity and D is the hydraulic depth, which is defined as the cross-sectional area of the
channel normal to the flow direction divided by the width of the free surface.
When the Froude number is less than 1.0, the flow is subcritical and it is possible for gravity waves to propagate
upstream (the wave celerity is high enough to overcome the flow velocity). When the Froude number is greater than
1.0, the flow is supercritical and it is impossible for a gravity wave to propagate upstream because the celerity is less
38
than the flow velocity. Long-throated flumes and other critical-flow measurement devices create a transition from
subcritical to supercritical flow. Flow conditions in the tailwater channel cannot affect flow conditions in the
approach channel because gravity waves in the flow cannot propagate upstream through the critical section. As long
as critical flow can be maintained in the throat of the flume, there is a unique relation between upstream sill-referenced
head and discharge through the critical section; this relation is unaffected by flow conditions in the tailwater channel.
Diverging Transition
The diverging transition is the section in which the velocity of the supercritical flow exiting the throat section is
reduced and energy is dissipated or partially recovered. If energy recovery is not needed, an abrupt transition can be
used.
Energy Grade Line
The energy grade line is a line along the channel profile specifying the total energy head at any point in the channel.
The elevation of the line at any point is the sum of the channel invert elevation, the flow depth, and velocity head,
V
2
/2g. If a stick were held in the flow so as to bring the water velocity to zero on the upstream side of the stick, the
water level upstream of the stick would theoretically rise to the height of the energy grade line (neglecting losses).
Freeboard
Freeboard is the distance between the upstream water level and the top of the upstream channel, as specified in the
Channel Depth text box on the flume bottom profile drawing.
It should be noted that WinFlume will not allow the design of a flume for which the upstream energy grade line (water
level plus velocity head) exceeds the channel depth, and will not compute rating tables for this range of flows. Thus,
although you could specify an allowable freeboard of zero, WinFlume will still require a freeboard at least equal to the
upstream velocity head.
Gaging Station
The gaging station is located in the approach channel and is the location at which the difference in elevation between
the approach water level and the crest of the throat section will be measured. The flow rate through the flume will be
computed as a function of this upstream sill-referenced head. The upstream sill-referenced head can be measured with
a staff gage or any of a variety of available automated sensors. The measurement can be made directly in the canal or
in a stilling well tapped into the canal at the gaging location.
Long-Throated Flume
The term long-throated flume is used to describe a broad class of critical-flow devices used to measure the flow of
water in open channels. Long-throated flumes are hydraulically similar to broad-crested weirs. The name implies that
the control section is of sufficient length in the flow direction that two-dimensional flow is produced at the critical
section. This permits the application of two-dimensional hydraulic theory to the problem of determining a calibration,
or rating curve for a flume. Thus, with the use of the WinFlume software, long-throated flumes can be calibrated
without the need for laboratory testing. The common configuration of a ramp and sill in a trapezoidal channel has also
come to be known as a Replogle flume or ramp flume.
Modular Limit
The modular limit is the maximum submergence ratio (H
2
/H
1
) for which a flume will operate with critical depth flow
in the throat section. If the actual submergence ratio is less than or equal to the modular limit, there will be a unique
functional relationship between the upstream sill-referenced head and the discharge.
39
Submergence Protection
Submergence protection is the vertical distance between the flumes allowable tailwater level and the actual tailwater
level at the site. It can be thought of as the designers insurance against errors made in estimating tailwater conditions
at the site. Choosing a design with more submergence protection (and thus, more head loss), allows for some error in
estimated tailwater levels without causing the flume to be submerged. If a flume is being added to an existing canal
system and little head is available, the designer may have no choice but to select a design with less submergence
protection.
Tailwater Channel
The tailwater channel is on the downstream side of the structure. Within the tailwater channel the water level is a
function of canal operations, the flow rate, and the hydraulic properties of the downstream channel and structures.
The range of water levels in this channel is fundamentally important to the design of the structure because it
determines the elevation and size of the control section needed to maintain critical flow conditions through the flume.
40
REFERENCES
Bos, M.G., 1989, Discharge Measurement Structures, 3
rd
ed., ILRI Publication 20, International Institute for Land
Reclamation and Improvement, The Netherlands.
Bos, M.G., J.A. Replogle, and A.J. Clemmens, 1984, Flow Measuring Flumes for Open Channel Systems, John
Wiley & Sons, New York, NY.
Note: The 1984 printing is no longer available, but this book has been republished as:
Bos, M.G., J.A. Replogle, and A.J. Clemmens, 1991, Flow Measuring Flumes for Open Channel Systems,
American Society of Agricultural Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan, USA.
Clemmens, Albert J., Tony L. Wahl, Marinus G. Bos, and John A. Replogle, 2001, Water Measurement with
Flumes and Weirs, ILRI Publication 58, International Institute for Land Reclamation and
Improvement, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
This is the primary and most current reference for WinFlume and for long-throated flumes and broad-
crested weirs in general. The book is available for direct purchase from ILRI at www.ilri.nl
Clemmens, A.J., M.G. Bos, and J.A. Replogle., 1993, FLUME: Design and Calibration of Long-Throated
Measuring Flumes: Version 3.0, ILRI Publication 54, International Institute for Land Reclamation and
Improvement, The Netherlands. (Includes FLUME 3.0 software)
U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, 1997, Water Measurement Manual, 3
rd
ed., U.S. Government Printing Office,
Washington, DC 20402.