Open Channel Flow Meters

What are Open Channel Flow Meters?

Open channel flow meters are sophisticated measuring devices designed for accurate flow monitoring, particularly in scenarios where liquids are not confined within pipes. These meters play a crucial role in various applications, including effluent discharge and wastewater management. They provide accurate measurement of flow rates and enable precise level monitoring, making them essential tools for ensuring efficient and sustainable water management.

These meters are used to accurately measure the flow rate of liquids flowing in open channels, such as rivers, streams, and drainage systems. They utilise innovative technology and level sensors to determine the depth or height of the liquid, which is then used to calculate the flow rate. By continuously monitoring and measuring the flow, these meters enable effective management of water resources and efficient control of liquid discharges.

Key:For Clean LiquidsFor Dirty Liquids

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Advantages of Open Channel Flow Meters

Accurate measurement is one of the key advantages of open channel flow meters. These devices provide precise and reliable measurements of flow rates, allowing operators to monitor and control the amount of liquid being discharged or transported. Accurate data on flow rates is essential for optimising processes, complying with regulations, and ensuring efficient resource utilisation.

Flow monitoring is another critical function of open channel flow meters. These devices enable real-time monitoring of flow rates, providing valuable information about the behaviour and dynamics of liquids in open channels. By continuously monitoring the flow, operators can identify any fluctuations, irregularities, or changes in the flow pattern. This information is vital for troubleshooting, identifying blockages or leaks, and making necessary adjustments to optimise the flow and ensure smooth operation.

In wastewater treatment plants, industrial facilities, and environmental monitoring systems, accurate measurement of effluent flow rates is essential for regulatory compliance and environmental protection. Open channel flow meters enable precise monitoring of effluent discharges, ensuring that the appropriate levels are maintained and preventing overflows or underflows that could lead to environmental contamination.

Open channel flow meters are indispensable measuring devices in water resource management, hydraulic engineering, and environmental monitoring. Their advantages extend beyond accurate measurement and flow monitoring. They also offer versatility, with the ability to handle a wide range of liquids and varying flow conditions. Additionally, these meters are often equipped with advanced features such as data logging, remote monitoring capabilities, and user-friendly interfaces for data analysis and system integration.

What is the best way to measure flow in an open channel?

The best way to measure flow in an open channel often involves using a weir or flume. These devices are engineered structures that allow for the accurate measurement of water flow rates by creating a controlled environment for the water to pass through. By measuring the height of the water passing over the weir or through the flume, one can calculate the flow rate using established equations and calibration curves. This method is widely accepted due to its accuracy and reliability for various types of open channel flows.

Key Applications

  • Effluent discharge and wastewater management: Open channel flow meters are used to accurately measure the flow rate of wastewater flowing into treatment plants, ensuring that the plants are operating efficiently and complying with environmental regulations.
  • Water resource management: Open channel flow meters are used to monitor the flow of water in rivers, streams, and irrigation canals, helping to ensure that water is used efficiently and sustainably.
  • Hydraulic engineering: Open channel flow meters are used to measure the flow of water in rivers, streams, and canals, helping to design and maintain bridges, dams, and other hydraulic structures.
  • Environmental monitoring: Open channel flow meters are used to monitor the flow of water in rivers, streams, and wetlands, helping to assess the health of the environment and track changes over time.


Open channel flow meters are used in a wide variety of applications, including wastewater management, effluent discharge monitoring, irrigation management, and hydrological studies.

Micronics open channel flow meters are designed for minimal maintenance. However, it is important to regularly inspect and clean the sensors to ensure optimal performance.



Servitech International

Micronics area velocity flowmeter installed at brewery under redevelopment. The Micronics UF AV 5000 open channel or partially-filled pipe flow meter measures velocity and level to calculate flow in pipes and open channels of any shape. It is Ideal where flumes or weirs are difficult to install and works with water levels from 25.4 mm (1″) to 4.5 m (15 ft.).

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“I originally discovered Micronics as long ago as 2016 following an internet search when a much older flow meter from another manufacturer had failed and we needed to monitor and record the waste water or effluent leaving a recycling plant and incinerator. The Micronics unit represented the best value for money and I have been very satisfied with its performance over that extended period of time so decided to invest in a second meter in 2019. The AV5000 is still my instrument of choice for monitoring flows in circular drains where Mcerts certification is not required.”

Servitech International

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