The Weird World of Fluming


The Weird World of Fluming

Maybe you have heard of fluming mentioned but are not really sure what it is?

The dictionary describes it as:

‘A flume is a human-made channel for water in the form of an open declined gravity chute whose walls are raised above the surrounding terrain, in contrast to a trench or ditch.’

Other meanings overseas include:

‘Flume is an economic way of moving large volumes of low-medium pressure moving water. It is essentially a long polyethylene tube where the user creates holes at a set interval all the way along the tubing for water to flow out of. The tubing is made with a high-quality virgin polyethylene that has a high UV rating.’

But you want to really know what it means for us in New Zealand, in the drainage industry. The object of fluming can be boiled down to this:

‘To get water away from the end of culverts and prevent erosion around and under culverts.’

There are many solutions that are used in New Zealand for a variety of reasons. You need to answer the following questions first, before you can get the right solution.

  • Do you want the water to slow down?
  • Is it to go sideways or straight down the slope?
  • What type of terrain is it?
  • How will or can it be restrained?

Once you have the answers to these questions, you are ready to find the right fluming solution for your job.

 Pipe cut in half lengthways

This first picture below shows a EUROFLO pipe cut in half lengthways. Cutting pipes in half lengthways is a popular fluming solution for areas that need to move a lot of water fast. Its smooth bore takes away water faster and in higher volume and its ribbed exterior is ideal for water drainage management to prevent erosion and meet environmental concerns. Being stackable it is also easily transported to site.

See EUROFLO Culvert Pipes

Fluming Socks

Socks are a low-cost solution to use where access is difficult. They are installed in long lengths to channel water to the base of steep slopes in a controlled way. The cleat adds strength and allows the product to be secured on both sides of the flume. It lies flat when not in use.

See EUROFLO Culvert Pipes

Plywood Chute

Using plywood is a traditional method of fluming that can be constructed on site. Plywood is used for large jobs or ones of irregular size. It can be constructed to the exact size and shape that is needed for the job.

Kiwi Ingenuity

When you have to use what you have to hand to construct a flume then it has been observed that a tractor tyre tube cut in half and attached to the end of a pipe can work! Not a recommended solution however.

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