US Geological Survey

Hydrologic Instrumentation Facility

The replacement Hydrologic Instrumentation Facility (HIF) has national responsibility for the design, testing, evaluation, repair, calibration, warehousing and distribution of hydrologic instrumentation that measures water velocity and water level.

The replacement site is envisioned to be a world-class facility located on the campus of the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, complete with labs, offices and warehouse space. The building will be designed to allow external groups to tour and view testing sequences.

To aid in the recruitment and retention of staff, the building will provide natural light to all offices, warehouse, break rooms and meeting spaces. The labs will be designed for maximum flexibility, and opportunities for science on display will be incorporated.

Specialized laboratory features and equipment include:

  • 62,000-gallon constant head tank
  • 450-foot long tow tank to test and calibrate instruments to measure water velocity
  • Large acoustic tank
  • Small acoustic tank
  • 250-foot long tilting flume
  • 120-foot long submerged jet tank to provide low turbulence water movement

Additional specialized equipment and spaces include a standpipe/test well, small flume test stand, sump, next generation water observing system, Triaxial Helmholtz Coil and walk-in chamber and a national monitoring smart grid.

The HIF provides hydrologic instrumentation and equipment services to the USGS Water Science Centers and other federal partners, such as NOA and FEMA. Services include the sales, rental and servicing of equipment, as well as evaluation and development of new instrument technologies and verification/certification of in-service equipment used to measure water velocity and water level.


Tuscaloosa, Alabama


78,000 GSF


Laboratory programming, planning and design through CA


Stanley Group