Civil engineering hydraulics

WRL has several decades of experience in the research, investigation and application of fundamental and applied civil engineering hydraulics.

This field of expertise encompasses performance assessment of hydraulic structures such as dam outlet works, energy dissipaters, ocean outfalls, spillways and levees and plants such as pump stations, hydro and thermal power stations, and water and wastewater treatment plants. WRL also has a depth of experience and the equipment for accurate measurement of flows and flow patterns.

Studies are undertaken as either desktop studies, field measurement studies, numerical modelling (CFD) or physical laboratory studies. A strong understanding of the fundamentals of flow, cavitation, flow paths, pressure waves, turbulence, multi-phase flow and sediment transport ensures that effective and appropriate levels of study are undertaken.

Spillway physical model

When hydraulic behaviour is crucial to the operations of large (or small) infrastructure, WRL can utilise its knowledge and experience, specialist hydraulic laboratories and instrumentation to provide robust and cost saving solutions.


Cars in floodwatersKey areas

  • Hydraulics of industrial plants
  • Performance of hydraulic structures
  • Outfall hydraulics
  • Pipes, pumps 

Typical projects

Eidsvold weir

  • Physical modelling
  • Weir rating
  • Pressure and flow measurements over weir crest
  • Flow measurement around fishway entrance Physical model of a dam spillway design

Flowserve valve testing 

  • Prototype laboratory testing
  • Characteristic flow coefficient
  • Valve head losses
  • Valves weighing 3500kg 

William Slim Drive retarding basin 

  • Physical modelling
  • Culvert rating and efficiency measurements
  • Velocity measurements and scour potential
  • Energy dissipation 

Desalination outfall 

  • Desktop study
  • Conceptual design options
  • Valve/nozzle testing
  • Exit velocities and initial dilutions
  • Design optimisation
  • Physical testing of diffuser cap
  • Head loss testing
  • CFD modelling 

Suma Park Reservoir spillway 

  • Physical modelling
  • Hydraulic load and pressure measurement and analysis
  • Spillway design optimisation for PMF flows
  • Flow and velocity measurement around structure 

Air entrainment in steelworks cooling system 

  • Physical modelling
  • Flow, velocity and aeration measurement
  • Design evaluation and optimisation 

A complete list of relevant projects undertaken can be supplied upon request.