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 in use around the country in both the Thru Flow and Dual Flow designs. 

Our fish handling baskets reflect “Best Technology Available” (BTA) and we have demonstrated this in the lab and field. We design and manufacture them to withstand the extreme operational demands of their intended environment.

Thanks to our 30 years of industry experience, we also incorporate features into the design to address various potential maintenance issues. We offer fine and coarse screening options on all styles of screens.

We introduced our SmartScreen Technology® primarily to control every screen design and operation aspect. We accomplish this by correctly selecting screen design and components and maximizing screen life through condition-based operation. 

We utilize a real-time automation system based on the actual operating conditions of the screen, such as differential pressures, screen speeds, and seasonal events.

  • Tested and proven marine survival technology
  • Superior debris removal and 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 fully fish handling screen ready to comply with EPA 316. This option includes modified Ristroph baskets, an extended head section, and a fish-return system.
316(b) compliant fish screening equipment.

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 U.S. waters. 

Each regulated facility requires an NPDES permit, which is designed to protect biological organisms and reduce 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 to both 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 fish species, water velocities, intake design, pump location, and many other factors mean that there is no off-the-shelf, one-size-fits-all compliance to 316(b). ATLAS-SSI understands that and will 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, installing fish-friendly modified traveling water screens must be followed by an investigation period of two years. You can extend the time frame 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 of 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 consider the mechanical aspect.

“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 comply with 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 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,  required a whole new set of controls 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 challenging scenarios during and immediately after Hurricane Sandy.

AUTHOR: Tyler Kern
CONTRIBUTORS: Gary Thorn, Rodney Brown


The Impacts of Climate Change on Water Intake Systems

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 in 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


  • Our screens are Modified Ristroph Fish Handling
  • Traveling Water screens
  • SmartScreen Technology® primarily to control every aspect of the screen design and operation.
  • EPA 316(b) compliance
  • Design services available


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

What is 316(b) and why is it important

Frequently Asked Questions About 316(b) Fish Screens

Can ATLAS-SSI retrofit our existing screen with a fish-handling traveling screen?

Yes, we can retrofit most fish screens with a 316(b) compliant fish screen that gently sluices marine and aquatic life off of the basket via low-pressure water. It prevents fish from getting caught up in the high-pressure water spray that cleans the debris from the baskets.

How many different basket types does ATLAS-SSI offer?

We offer three different 316(b) compliant fish baskets made out of pultruded fiberglass, coated carbon steel, or stainless steel.

Related Resources

316(b) Compliant Fish Screens Brochure

Learn more about the benefits and value that you’ll get from an ATLAS-SSI 316(b) compliant fish screen.

Screen Rebuild at A Power Plant [Case Study]

Learn how ATLAS-SSI diagnosed the failure of a power plant raw water intake screen and rebuilt it in nine days.

East River Generating Station [Case Study]

Read more about how we helped a generating station diagnose a screen failure—and the repairs we made to prevent it from re-occurring.