Discussion Thread

  • 1.  Testing/Monitoring Flow in a Closed Pipe System

    Posted 11-20-2019 05:29 PM
    Hello Everyone,

    I am currently a student at Manhattan College studying Civil Engineering. I am in a Fluid Mechanics class at the moment and I am curious as to how my in-class problem solving is applicable in the work field, more specifically how to measure to flow inside an enclosed pipe system. To the best of my knowledge, I know that there are methods in place such as installing meters and gauges inside the pipe but what about older pipe systems? Are there specific tools that can be used to determine the flow inside a pipe without entering the pipe? If so, what are the means and methods of doing so? 

    I have done some reading/browsing and I haven't come across any answers, yet. Please let me know about your thoughts on this and thank you for the great discussions. 

    Matthew J. DiIorgi
    Manhattan College
    Civil Engineering, Class of 2020
    Riverdale, NY 10471 

  • 2.  RE: Testing/Monitoring Flow in a Closed Pipe System

    Posted 11-21-2019 07:58 AM

    Hey Matthew,


    Purchase a "Field's wheel" at the website below. It's a circular slide rule for gravity flow in pipes. I think there's a similar one for pressurized flow in pipes but I forgot the name of it.







    Dave Ureña, P.E.

    Banneker, LLC

    3104 N. Armenia Ave

    Suite 2

    Tampa, FL 33607




  • 3.  RE: Testing/Monitoring Flow in a Closed Pipe System

    Posted 11-22-2019 11:15 AM
    ​Hi Matthew,

    Other ways to determine flow rate in the absence of installed pressure transmitters and flow meters could include:

    1. Gauging the inlet/outlet reservoir(s) for change in volume over some time
    2. There are meters that can be strapped onto the outside of a pipe
    3. Calculation - Assuming a pump performance curve is available (and the pump's actual performance is consistent with this curve), a system head curve could be generated based on the operating conditions, and the point of intersection between the two curves should indicate flow rate


    Joshua Hallock P.E., M.ASCE
    Hydraulic Engineer
    Colonial Pipeline Company


  • 4.  RE: Testing/Monitoring Flow in a Closed Pipe System

    Posted 11-21-2019 11:49 AM
    I am in same class and would love to know more on this.

    John Shrestha | john.shrestha@...
    BSc. Civil Engineering 2021, MNSU Mankato
    VP-ASCE Mankato | Honor Student| Junior
    Staff for The Reporters

  • 5.  RE: Testing/Monitoring Flow in a Closed Pipe System

    Posted 11-22-2019 11:17 AM
    In terms of monitoring flow in a pipe. I'm not aware of a technique that is used to monitor flows in old pipes. Older sanitary sewer systems can have an infiltration and inflow study conducted. To conduct and infiltration and inflow study you place monitors in manholes and monitor the flow going through the manhole over a minimum of a year. The reason we conduct these studies is to minimize the amount of groundwater that gets into the sanitary sewer system lowering the cost to treat the wastewater because there is less of it. 

    If we determine during this study that there is a significant and unexpected change in flow between manholes a televising crew can put a robot with a camera through the pipe to investigate what the cause is.

    Dustin Leduc A.M.ASCE
    Field Engineer
    Shakopee MN