If available in a large enough quantity, water can wear down rocks, cut through foundations and destroy the stability of a working area. Conversely, a nearby fresh water source can be a boon to a community. Either way, the amount of water present is critical to determining whether a water source is significant or negligible. There are several tools available to accurately measure the amount of water in an area.
Water Flow Meter
To measure the amount of water running through a stream, through an underground chamber or simply through a person’s home, a water flow meter is required. Flow meters are used in two ways. For measuring the flow of water through a piping system, the water flow meter is attached to the main “water in” pipe. All water used flows through this pipe and can then be directly measured by the water flow meter. Measuring the flow of natural sources of water is more difficult because it often involves measuring the flow of water at different depths. Measure a natural source of water with a flow meter by running a tape measure or measuring stick from the surface of the water to points at regular intervals. Dip the flow meter down to the same depth as the tip of the measuring stick and taking an average of the readings.
Too much or too little rain water can mean problems for developers or residents. A rain gauge displays how much rain (or snow) falls in an area. To use a rain gauge, place it outside in an open area before a rain, allowing it to catch water freely. The amount of rain collected in the catch pocket is measured by height and will accurately measure how much rain fell at that location.
Displacement meters measure water very accurately. These measuring tools pump water through a chamber using a motor or piston. The chamber is of a fixed size, meaning the water can be measured by pushing it through the chamber at even intervals. This method of measurement is particularly effective for measuring finite amounts of water, such as the amount of water used in a water heater or a water truck.