How To: Set a flow direction without sources or sinks


When setting flow direction on a geometric network, sources and sinks are often used. However, sources and sinks are not always available, so another method must be used. The geoprocessing tool Set Flow Direction can be used to set flow direction on a geometric network based on the digitized direction of the lines.

In some instances, the Set Flow Direction button on the Utility Network Analyst toolbar is disabled or does not properly set the flow direction. If this is the case, then the Set Flow Direction geoprocessing tool will be needed to set the flow direction based on digitized direction.

The instructions provided describe how to set a flow direction using digitized direction.


  1. In the Catalog window, navigate to Data Management Tools > Geometric Network > Set Flow Direction.
  2. Select the geometric network.
The geometric network does not have a layer representation in the Table of Contents, so it must be browsed to using the file browser in the Set Flow Direction tool.
  1. Select WITH_DIGITIZED_DIRECTION as the flow option parameter.
The flow direction can also be removed by running the Set Flow Direction tool with RESET_FLOW_DIRECTION as the flow option parameter.

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