CHAPTER 7 - WEIRS
5. Conditions Needed for All Types of Sharp-Crested Weirs
Certain requirements are common to all sharp-crested weir measurement structures. Extensive experiments on weirs and long-term experience show that the following conditions are necessary for accurate measurement of flow (see also, Fig. 5-2):
(a) The upstream face of the weir plates and bulkhead should be plumb, smooth, and normal to the axis of the channel.
(b) The entire crest should be level for rectangular and trapezoidal shapes, and the bisector of V-notch angles should be plumb.
(c) The edges of the weir opening should be located in one plane, and the corners should have proper specified angles.
(d) The top thickness of the crest and side plates should be between 0.03 and 0.08 inch (in).
(e) All weir plates should have the same thickness for the entire boundary of the overflow crest. If the plates are thicker than specified in condition (d), the plate edges shall be reduced to the required thickness by chamfering the downstream edge of the crest and sides to an angle of at least 45 degrees; 60 degrees is highly recommended for a V-notch to help prevent water from clinging to the downstream face of the weir.
(f) The upstream edges of the weir opening plates must be straight and sharp. Edges of plates require machining or filing perpendicular to the upstream face to remove burrs or scratches and should not be smoothed off with abrasive cloth or paper. Avoid knife edges because they are a safety hazard and damage easily.
(g) The bottom edge plates and fastener projection upstream should be located a distance of at least two measuring heads from the crest. If not, the plates must be inset flush with the upstream face of the supporting bulkhead, and the fasteners must be countersunk on the upstream pool side. Upstream faces of the plates must be free of grease and oil.
(h) The overflow sheet or nappe should touch only the upstream faces of the crest and side plates.
(i) Maximum downstream water surface level should be at least 0.2 foot (ft) below crest elevation. However, when measuring close to the crest, frequent observations are necessary to verify that the nappe is continually ventilated without waves periodically filling the under nappe cavity.
(j) To prevent the nappe from clinging to the downstream face of the weir, the head measurement should be greater than 0.2 ft. Conditions (d), (e), and (f) also help to prevent clinging. If measurements must be made at heads approaching this value for substantial periods, operators must ensure the head measuring system has commensurate precision with respect to needed accuracy and must continually check for clinging.
(k) The measurement of head on the weir is the difference in elevation between the crest and the water surface at a point located upstream from the weir a distance of at least four times the maximum head on the crest.
(l) Keep the approach to the weir crest free of sediment deposits. All the approach flow conditions as discussed in section 17 of chapter 2 of this manual apply.
Additional requirements and limitations specific to different types of weirs follow.