White Paper

Partially Filled Pipe Flow Measurement Challenges And Solutions

Source: KROHNE, Inc.

By Rich Lowrie, KROHNE, Inc, and David Spitzer, Chesapeake Flow Solutions, Inc.

KROHNE has successfully deployed its TIDALFLUX electromagnetic flowmeter solution for many applications throughout North America to provide crucial process information. This document high-lights the results of two such projects.


Is the magmeter half full or half empty?
That interesting twist on an old cliché is an apt question to ask the people of a certain small Pennsylvania city. The town is located in Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania, smack in the middle of the state’s Coal Region, named for the abundance of anthracite coal that was first discovered way back in 1790.

With a little bit of background, the reasons for posing the half full/half empty question becomes abundantly clear. The town was experiencing a serious problem with wastewater overflow – not a complete surprise, given that the sewers themselves had been built back in the 1800’s. These were not plastic or even metal pipes; the four-foot-diameter pipes were fashioned out of good, old-fashioned masonry.

For as many years as anyone can recall, raw sewage was being transported via the sewers and dumped straight into an open creek. Eventually, due to environmental concerns, state and federal regulations required that the water be treated before being discharged. Consequently, in the 1970’s, an interceptor pipe was installed, which would grab a portion of this flow and send it to a recently built wastewater treatment plant.