U of I


Sediment Trap

Home Team Project Description Concept Design Final Design Documentation



Project Background:

The Center for Ecohydraulics Research Stream Laboratory (CERSL) is a 2500 square foot lab located on the first floor of the Idaho Water Center (IWC) in downtown Boise.  The CERSL features a high gradient sediment flume designed in close collaboration with state and federal agencies and several of the major research laboratories in academia. The facility has been carefully designed to fill a current void in laboratory facilities to study the interaction of sediment and turbulence. The objective of the Mainstream project is to design, fabricate and test a sediment trap system capable of trapping and weighing sediment that is traveling down the bed of the IWC’s flume.


In order to conduct research on how sediment reacts in turbulent flow, the existing flume, with an already constructed sediment feeder, must have a way to trap the accumulated sediment on the bed load, be able to continuously weigh the sediment, transport the sediment to the dumpster located in the alley and finally separate the sediment from the water for recirculation. Plates will be used as a stop for the bed load holder. These will be inexpensive and easy to use. A funnel, located after the bed load holder attached to the bottom of the funnel, leads to a three pronged drum which will be rotated and attached load cells will be used to take weight recordings. This solution is based off a working well-designed sediment trap already in use at the University of Minnesota. As the sediment falls from the drum it will settle at the bottom of the funnel. The sediment will be mixed with water into slurry and taken up in a controlled matter by an auger attached to a pipe. A slurry pump will be used to pump the slurry through the pipes to the dumpster. In the dumpster the sediment will be allowed to settle once more and the remaining water with only suspended sediment will be pumped and piped back to the beginning of the flume for recirculation.

Project Sponsor:

The Center for Ecohydraulics Research

Special Thanks To:

Dr. Ralph Budwig
Dr. Jay McCormack
Chris Huck
Jeff Schoenfelder
St. Anthony Falls Laboratory
Department of Mechanical Engineering
Department of Biological & Agricultural Engineering