ATLAS-SSI is the industry's preferred partner for 316(b) project planning, engineering and manufacturing for both new and retrofit applications.

Our Modified Ristroph Fish Handling Traveling Water screens are currently being used around the country in both the Thru Flow design and Dual Flow design. We have demonstrated both in the Lab and in the field that our Fish Handling baskets reflect “Best Technology Available” (BTA). With our unequaled experience in the design and manufacturing of Screens we understand the operational demands that will be placed on the screens and have designed them to address these issues. We have designed our Fish handlings screens by addressing the maintenance issues we have come to understand from our over 30 years in this industry. We offer fine screening and coarse screening options on all style of screens.

We introduced our SmartScreen Technology® primarily to control every aspect of the screen design and operation. This is done by proper selection of screen design and screen components and by maximizing screen life by condition-based operation. This is accomplished by a real time automation system that is based on actual operating conditions of the screen such as differential pressures, screen speeds and seasonal events.

  • Tested and proven marine survival technology
  • Superior debris discharge capabilities
  • Engineered and manufactured to limit maintenance
  • Rugged heavy duty reliability
  • Outstanding factory support
  • American Made In the USA

We can also take your existing screen and upgrade it to “fish ready” or “fish handling”.

  • Fish Ready: We upgrade your screen components to a level that minimizes the upgrades at the time you need to be compliant.
  • Fish Handling: We can return your screen fully fish handling ready to be compliant with 316(b). This option includes modified Ristroph baskets, extended head section and a fish-return system.

What is 316(b) and why is it important

The Ins and Outs of Intakes and 316(b) Compliance

In 2014, the EPA issued its “Final Rule” regulating the cooling water intake structures of existing facilities that are designed to withdraw at least two million gallons of raw cooling water per day from the waters of the U.S. Each regulated facility requires an NPDES permit, which is designed to protect biological organisms from impingement (organisms trapped against the front of an intake structure) and entrainment (organisms passing through the cooling system). 316(b) further requires that the modified Ristroph system be optimized following installation. 

Optimization refers both to biological optimization and mechanical optimization. Each cooling water intake structure is unique and the environmental concerns at each facility vary and require individual analysis. Various conditions such as species of fish, water velocities, intake design, pump location and many other factors means there is no off-the-shelf, one-size-fits-all compliance to 316(b). ATLAS-SSI understands that and is equipped to support you through this process.


Picking a Fish-Friendly Water Screen that Will Last with Dan Giza and Ford Wall

Facilities looking to comply with the EPA’s Clean Water Act, especially those who need to comply with Section 316(b), may be in for a bit of a journey.

Since each facility is different, installation of fish-friendly modified traveling water screens must be followed by an investigation period of two years, which can be extended if things aren’t working well.

But it’s not only about passing the test, said Dan Giza, Senior Environmental Scientist at ASA Analysis and Communication. It’s also about making sure things are operating well into the future.

“The long-term things to think about, as well, that most facilities will do when they’re buying a new component for their plant, is these screens are a little different than traditional. Traditional screens may have only operated once a shift or a couple times a shift,” Giza said. “The new requirements for fish-friendly screens are that they operate and rotate continuously or near continuously, so you need to be thinking about the components like wear-and-tear, maintenance and things of that nature.”

While many are focused simply on getting past the testing phase or understanding the biological aspects of the regulations, Atlas-SSI Vice President of Sales Ford Wall said you have to take the mechanical aspect into account.

“The ruling actually doesn’t address mechanical optimization other than to say if a screen’s not running, it’s not optimized, and you’re not compliant if the screen is not running,” Wall said. “You need to take the mechanical side of this very seriously, because the screens are now running 24/7, seven days a week, and they’ve increased their run time by 75-80% at some plants now.”

Fortunately, Atlas-SSI’s modified traveling water screens are built not only to be compliant with the current regulations, but also to last over the long haul.

AUTHOR: Daniel Litwin
CONTRIBUTORS: Dan Giza, Ford Wall


The Intake: How Atlas-SSI Helped Con Edison Find an Ideal 316(b) Solution

Passing a regulation is one thing. Complying with it is another.

Con Edison had a big-time project on its hands when New York passed regulations that later were matched by the Aquatic Habitat Protection in Section 316(b) of the federal Clean Water Act.

So, the company turned to Atlas-SSI for screens that would keep fish – and future fish – safer from harm while the plants continued operating.

There was just one problem. They’d have to pull it off with a facility located on the other side of the river from the intake system and do it across an enormous expanse.

“Because of 316b and having to flume the fish and larvae back out to the river safely, you needed a lot of additional spray wash water,” said Rodney Brown, Regional Sales Manager for Atlas-SSI. “So, there had to be bigger pumps, a new piping system and some new relief valves and, of course, a whole new set of controls was required to be able to operate it remotely out there.”

The new system required from 10-12 times as much water to pump everything effectively, said Gary Thorn, the Manager of Steam Plant Projects at Con Edison. He was confident Atlas-SSI could do the job after a site visit – one that went much better than another he experienced when he was putting together the bid list.

“They gave us a GPS coordinate of their facility and we ended up in a junkyard. I always tell people I would’ve been better off if I’d stayed in the junkyard than what I eventually saw when I got to their facility,” he said. “Those site visits to see the vendor and see their capabilities were really important for us to get that gut feel that we had somebody we could work with that had the capability to accomplish something we needed to accomplish.”

That’s exactly what Atlas-SSI’s screens did, even coping with some difficult scenarios during and immediately after Hurricane Sandy.

AUTHOR: Tyler Kern
CONTRIBUTORS: Gary Thorn, Rodney Brown


The Impacts of Climate Change on Water Intake Systems
Impacts of Climate Change

A pressing phenomenon gripping the merchant supply industry is the impact of climate change on water intake systems. Warming ocean temperatures and nutrient pollution create rapid changes in source water quality—the result: increased water intake system blockages and operating challenges. The Intake’s Daniel J. Litwin spoke with Tim Hogan, Principal and Owner of TWB Environmental Research and Consulting, and Ford Wall, Vice President of Sales at Atlas-SSI. Hogan and Wall gave their perspectives on the situation and what steps permitted water intake users could take to manage these changing source water conditions better.

“Any large industrial water user that draws from a natural source, whether it be the ocean, a lake, or a river, has to be able to manage the environmental risk,” Hogan said. “How do we perceive any change in terms of environmental risk? And we see that when you focus on ten, twenty years down the road, things change over the long term. If you designed an intake only to manage one piece of debris or one specific species, that might not be the same species that are challenging you in years to come.” Hogan noted the increase of water blockage events is a growing trend, which poses risks to any industry utilizing water intake systems for large-scale uses.

Due to climate change or other practices, environmental changes can introduce harmful elements in water intake facilities, such as invasive algae.

“Years ago, when the Zebra Mussels invaded the great lakes, they caused a lot of problems, but one of the things they did because they’re Mussels, they cleaned the water up,” Wall said. “All of the sudden, the lakes were clear and beautiful, and then the sun shone down the water, and the algae grew because the water was now clear. The algae bloomed and inundated the power plant.” And this example is one of growing concern as rising water temperatures become a breeding ground for similar events.

AUTHOR: Daniel J. Litwin
CONTRIBUTORS: Tim Hogan and Ford Wall