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Published by: Lou Pei Han on Jun 27, 2013
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P. E. (Civil) License Review Manual, Volume V


A weir is an orifice with its top face in the free surface of flow. It is a notch of geometric
shape through which water flows. The most common types are the rectangular, triangular (V-notch) and trapezoidal weirs.


By integration of a formula which includes area of discharge times velocity of flow through the area, the theoretical weir flow formula for rectangular weir is:


Q = discharge in cfs
C = experimental weir coefficient
b = width of weir in ft
H = head on weir above weir crest in ft

= velocity head of approach stream in ft
= ~ : / 2 ~

The most frequently applied practical formula for rectangular weir is the Francis formula,

Where n = the number of contractions For a rectangular fully contracted weir with negligible velocity of approach: Q = 3.33 (b - 0.2H) H3I2 and for a suppressed weir with negligible velocity of approach:

Q = 3.33 b ~ ~ / ~ For these formulas to be applicable, the nappe must be ventilated so that the water jumps free on the crest creating a bottom contraction. If this does not occur, the discharge will be greater than calculated by the above equations.

The triangular weir or V-notch handles low flows better than other types. For small flows on a rectangular weir, the nappe may not spring clear. In such a case, the V-notch becomes necessary. The theoretical formula is:



8 Ctan0 2

,& H5I2


1. ranging from 3 to 4. Inc. CA 92649 . ProfessionalEngineering Development Publications.4 Components of Flow over a Weir i 4 OVERFLOW SPILLWAYS The equation for discharge over a spillway is essentially the same as for a rectangular weir: Q = CLH~I~ Where Q = discharge (cfs) L = effective crest length (ft) H = total head on spillway crest (ft) C = discharge coefficient. Copyright O 1994. This slope tends to increase the flow over that of a rectangular weir with the same width b to offset the decrease in discharge from end contractions. Hydraulics. The formula is: A = 3. C = 0..367 bH3I2 Where b is the length of the weir crest Total Head 1 vf h = ~ Figure 9.59 9. For 8= 90°.: Section 10. Huntington Beach.3 THE 'TRAPEZOIDAL WEIR Many trapezoidal configurations are possible and of greatest importance is the trapezoidal weir of Cipolletti which has sides battered at 114 vertical to 1horizontal.5. Chapter 9 Where 8 = vertex angle C = weir coefficient which varies with head and 8. 5912 Bolsa Avenue.

6 H' ratios.Inc. (Civil) License Review Manual. Volume V The ideal spillway takes the form of the underside of the nappe of a sharp-crested weir when the flow corresponds with the maximum design discharge of the spillway. Figure 9. For an Ogee-spillway. 5912 Bolsa Avenue. An Ogee weir is close to the ideal shape.5 in which H' = design head for the spillway at the design discharge. Hd = height of the spillway. CA 92649 . shows the variation of weir coefficient.. Professional Engineering Development Publications. Huntington Beach.5 Sharp Crested Weir and Ogee-Spillway Copyright O 1994. C for various Hd + \ Head on Weir (a) Sharp Crested Weir (b) Ogee Spillway a t Design Capacity (c) Ogee Spillway When Flow Exceeds Design Capacity Figure 9. the discharge coefficient C can be approximately determined from the followingFigure 9.10-204 l? E.

6 Weir Coefficients for various H'/H~ ratios Copyright O 1994. Huntington Beach..Section 10. 5912 Bolsa Avenue. CA 92649 . Inc. Hydraulics. Chapter 9 Figure 9. Professional Engineering Development ~ublications.

7 9. However.1 EXAMPLE PROBLEM EXAMPLE PROBLEM 1 .82 12 x 5.60 = cfs Copyright O 1994. Q = 3.33 x 12 (5..262)~/~ . (Civil) License Review Manual. Inc.82 cfs Next determine an approximate velocity of approach V. if it is desired to include it.25) [(1. CA 92649 .886 fps This value is for all practical purposes negligible.012)~/~]56. Volume V 9. how much water is flowing? Solution Apply the Francis formula assuming no velocity of approach: Q = 3.25 . Huntington Beach.0. recalculate the flow to include velocity of approach.25 ft.25 = 0.33 (12 . Professional Engineering Development Publications.10-206 l ? E.(0. 5912 Bolsa Avenue. If the depth of water a short distance upstream from the weir is 5.4)3/2= 55. Then = 55.SHARP-CRESTED WEIR A sharp-crestedweir 4 ft high is constructed across the entire width in the end of a rectangular concrete canal 12 ft wide.1 x 0 x 1.7. The walls of the canal extend beyond the top of the weir. and the nappe is sufficiently ventilated.

The weir has a height of 4 ft. Aweir extends across the channel. n = 0. B. CA 92649 .54 ft C. (Civil) License Review Manual.9. in the channel. Copyright 0 1994. Normal depth: y. The discharge for the weir is given by the equation Q = 3. Length of the channel from the depth in part (d) to the depth in part (a). 130). C. and the channel bottom of the reach.4 L H ~ / ~ - Find: A. Inc. Solution Fig.385. D. Critical depth yc in the channel.2 EXAMPLE PROBLEM 2 -WEIR ACROSS RECTANGULAR CHANNEL Arectangular channel for which Q = 64 cfs. Professional Engineering Development Publications. Normal depth y..8 (V T Chow. Plot a graph showing the energy gradient.10-170 F ! E.81 B. Huntington Beach. Critical depth: 1 b = 0. E. Volume V 7. So = . Depth upstream from the weir. water surface.81 ft From the Figure 6.385 = 1.013. P7.01.2 (a) Depth upstream from the weir Dw = 2. Depth immediately downstream from the jump. pg. Section factor: + 4 = 6. b = 4 ft.9. = 4 x 0. 5912 Bolsa Avenue.

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