Hydrometry for Inchdairnie Distillery

Using field hydrometry we were able to assess local watercourses as a source of process water for Inchdairnie Distillery. Together with the use of flow statistics, we were able to obtain more realistic data to use in outline abstraction design.


Inchdairnie Distillery wanted to use water from local watercourses as a source of process water. However, these watercourses have very small catchment areas (< 0.5 km2) and theoretical methods of water quantity estimation can be limited for such small catchments. An alternative source of data was required to help in abstraction optioneering.


Continuous water level recorders were installed on the two watercourses and water level data logged at a 15 minute intervals over a 12 month period. Spot flow gauging's were undertaken using both a current meter and timed volumetric measurement. Stage discharge relationships (rating curves) were also developed at both locations to allow the water level data to be converted to flow. Analysis of the resulting flow data was then undertaken, including the development of the flow duration curves.


A comparison of the field values with those obtained from desk-based methods showed that the desk-based methods overestimated the field measurements. The implication for abstraction in these particularly small catchments that the desk-based method had identified would have resulted in a higher pass forward and environmental flows.

The use of field hydrometry and flow statistics allowed more realistic data to be obtained and used in outline abstraction design. The information was also used to help support the successful application for an abstraction licence from SEPA.

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Want to know more?

For more information about this project please contact David Cameron.


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