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Design and Evaluation of an Improved Flow Divider for Sampling Runoff Plots

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Paper number  032186,  2003 ASAE Annual Meeting . (doi: 10.13031/2013.14956) @2003
Authors:   William T. Pinson, Daniel C. Yoder, John R. Buchanan, Wesley C. Wright, John B. Wilkerson
Keywords:   Runoff, Sedimentation, Watershed

An improved flow divider was designed to simplify and lower the cost of collecting runoff data from research plots. The system was designed around commercially available and inexpensive 5-gallon (19 L) plastic buckets with screwtop lids. A precision cut sheet-metal divider crown is fastened to the lid, allowing it to be easily transferred between buckets. The divider crown can be configured to handle various flow rates by specifying the number of flow divisions. Laboratory evaluation of the design indicated that the system divides runoff with accuracies within 5% over most of the flow range and within 15% at very low and very high flows. These results are similar to those found for the more traditional flow divider designs. Adding sediment to the inflow at three different flow rates yielded sediment division accuracies within 7%. Five field research projects have used the divider system with few problems. The average cost of this system is approximately US $500 per plot, in comparison to the US $3000-$5000 it often costs to instrument a plot using standard equipment.

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