Hydraulics Laboratories

The 50,000 square-foot Hydraulics Laboratory at the UWRL contains a variety of flumes, channels, pumps, pipelines, equipment, and instrumentation for conducting hydraulic research, model studies, valve testing, and flow meter calibrations. Water is supplied by gravity flow at rates up to 200 cfs from an upstream reservoir through a 48-inch diameter pipe to a flume (8-feet wide by 6-feet deep) that extends more than 500 feet.  The 48-inch pipe can deliver water at 30 feet of head to the main laboratory level through a network of steel piping located under the floor.

The 11,000-square-foot laboratory increased the number and scope of open channel hydraulics modeling projects possible at the UWRL. Detailed large scale models of dams and spillways, as well as other hydraulic models, can be constructed and tested with flows up to 130 cfs. As a recirculating facility, the new laboratory can provide a flow in any season of the year, without impacting river operations.  The Modeling Laboratory was dedicated on September 24, 2009.



  • Physical and numerical modeling and testing
  • Hydraulic computer model development, calibration, and simulation
  • Analysis and certification of pipeline controls and measurement systems
  • Hydraulic structures analysis and modeling
    • Physical model studies
    • Hydraulic structures
  • Hydraulic testing and calibration services
    • Ultrasonic meters
    • Venturi meters
    • Flow nozzles
    • Turbine meters
    • Orifices
    • Insert probes
    • Magnetic flow meters
    • Turbine meters
    • Coriolis meters
    • V-cones
    • Open channel measuring devices
    • Velocity probes

  • Hydraulic field services
    • Flow measurement
    • Open channel velocity profiling
    • Third party witness testing
    • Engineering consulting services
    • Flow meter installations
    • Pipe system problems
    • Dam and control structure issues
    • Cavitation damage
    • Many other hydraulic problems

Hydraulics Modeling Laboratory

Exclusively for physical models

  • Triples the UWRL’s capacity for large models.
  • Models as large as 56 ft by 140 feet.
  • Model flow rates of 130 cfs.
  • Model reservoir depths of 6 feet.


  • Overhead crane system.
  • Five large overhead doors.
  • Indoor access for large trucks.
  • Equipment access to all model components.
  • High bay for overhead views and photography.
  • Efficient lighting, no shadows.

Large (close to prototype size) models

  • Less distortion due to differences in friction and viscous effects.
  • Increased accuracy of modeling vortices and surface disturbances.
  • Better correlation with and calibration of numerical models.

Building security with restricted access

  • Unlimited use of laser (PVT) measurement systems.
  • DOD, DOE, and Homeland Security projects.

Flow conditions

  • Testing independent of other hydraulics lab.
  • Indoors testing independent of weather.
  • Testing independent of irrigation canals and river demands.
  • Testing 24-7.
  • Constant head and steady flow capacity.
  • Long duration model runs with simulation of hydrographs.
  • Constant water quality and temperature.

Better quality control programs

  • Increased flow measurement accuracy and water surface elevation measurements.
  • Secondary flow measurement for quality control verification.
  • Increased accuracy in velocity measurements.
  • Flow measurement traceable to NIST with calibration using lab’s 300,000 lb weight tanks.

For more information on the Hydraulics Laboratories, please contac Ms. Maria Gates at (435) 797-3120, E-mail: maria.gates@usu.edu.