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.

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