Water Resources Division
Washington 25, D. C.


April 5, 1961



To: District Engineers and Staff Officials (SW)

From: Chief, Surface Water Branch

Subject: WATER, SURFACE – Checking discharge measurements

Responses to Branch Memorandum No. 61.38 were received from all but six of the district engineers and from several other persons – a gratifying response. A few of the respondents expressed serious doubt as to the wisdom of abandoning the general practice of checking all measurements, a few favored no checking of measurements, but most favored adopting what might be termed a middle-ground approach. All replies were constructive and helpful and many were made after making an appraisal similar to that made by Mr. Reck or by appraising the subject from a combined engineering and management point of view. We express to you our appreciation for the care and thought that went into the preparation of your comments.

In most letters, doubt was expressed as to the desirability of adopting the statistical method and concept of quality control. As an alternative, several proposed that measurements should be checked only if they are in such categories as the following:

Several districts commented on the most probable source or error and favored checking that step or those steps believed to be the principal source. A number mentioned short-cut procedures presently in use, and several felt that if a change were to be made in the practice of generally checking all measurements it should be permissive, as opposed to mandatory. This appears to be the best course of action and you are authorized to modify the past general practice of checking all current meter discharge measurements to the extent warranted in your district, providing adequate safeguards are established and maintained.

In establishing safeguards consider the following:

Please furnish this office a short memorandum setting forth your plans, including any written instructions.



E. L. Hendricks

WRD Distribution: A, B, S-2, FO-2, SL