Last edited 17 May 2021

Hydraulic pressure

The term ‘hydraulic pressure’ refers to: ‘The pressure exerted by water (whether at rest or moving) on a surface or structure. Hydraulic pressure has the units of force per unit area and is calculated for water at rest as the product of the depth of water and its density. The pressure can differ for water in motion.’ Ref Culvert, screen and outfall manual, (CIRIA C786) published by CIRIA in 2019.

Hydraulic pressure can also refer to the pressure exerted by other liquids, such as those used in mechanical equipment – sometimes referred to as hydraulic fluids.

See also: Hydrostatic pressure.

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