In the 1960’s researchers at the Utah Water Research Laboratory at Utah State University began investigations into what would become the Cutthroat flume. The goal of the researchers was to develop a flume that overcame the limitations of the Parshall flume in flat gradient applications.
Rectangular Cutthroat flumes are available in four different lengths (18, 36, 54, and 108-inches L) and four throat widths for each length. Trapezoidal Cutthroat flumes come in three different throat widths.
Rectangular Cutthroat flumes have a distinct advantage over similar flumes in that, for a given length, intermediate throat widths can be developed without the need to laboratory or field rate the new flume size.
Cutthroat Flume Materials
Openchannelflow manufactures Cutthroat flumes in a number of different materials:
Aluminum offers is great for portable flumes or remotes sites where it is difficult to bring in material. Light weight and robust of construction, aluminum does cost more than most other materials.
Fiberglass hits the sweet spot for many: it is light weight, cost competitive, and provides good corrosion resistance. For sewage applications, fiberglass is almost exclusively used.
When measuring surface waters where cost is the concern, galvanized steel is the material of choice. Although heavy, it's easy to repair and withstands abuse well.
Cutthroat Flume Accessories
Openchannelflow has developed a range of accessories for our Cutthroat flumes to help you customize them to your application needs:
- Piping / end connections
- Flow condition options
- Flow meter mounts
- Sampler / parameter mounts
- Custom configurations (nesting, extended / reduced sidewalls, etc.)
Cutthroat Flume Applications
Cutthroat flume are used in number of different applications:
- Proportional Flow Splitting
- Irrigation Canals
- Water Rights
- Sewage Treatment Plants
- Watershed Monitoring
- Dam Seepage
- Stream Gauging
- Industrial Discharge Monitoring
- Mine Discharge
- Spring Discharge Measurement
Developing the Cutthroat Flume
Prior to the development of the Cutthroat flume, flow on flat gradients presented a problem. The drop though the Parshall flume meant that the flume had to either be elevated above the floor of the channel – creating upstream ponding and overtopping issues – or using that the flume had to be used in a submerged manner (creating measurement and accuracy issues).
Funded by the U.S. Department of the Interior, Office of Water Resources Research, Drs. Skogerboe, Hyatt, Anderson, and Eggleston at the Utah Water Research Laboratory extensively researched issues related to the problem: