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How Metal Screens Are Utilized in Water Management Systems

Continuing with our overview of the many uses and applications of perforated metal panels, today we’ll look at how metal screens are utilized in water management systems, such as reservoirs, dams, fishing hatcheries, and power plants. Perforated and profile bar metal screens and panels are an integral part of high-volume water intake facilities from both a functional and an aesthetic viewpoint. (If you’re like me, you probably wouldn’t think the appearance of a dam or power plant is very important, but architects and designers would beg to differ, and for good reason. After all, outward appearances go a long way toward influencing our impressions of companies.)

So, what’s the purpose of installing perforated metal screens in water intake facilities? Your humble correspondent investigates, after the jump.

Water intake systems are designed to extract a specific volume of water at a constant rate from a lake, river, stream, or other body of water, and metal screens often surround the main intake point to protect the system. Sometimes the water may be for use in water treatment plants or hydroelectric plants, where it’s crucial that the water be free of debris or aquatic life to prevent any damage to other parts of the system. This is where perforated screens come in – they can be placed at the water source in order to prevent the intake of any potentially harmful debris, such as rocks, branches, and fish. High-quality metal screens are sturdy enough to effectively act as a shield for the intake system.

fish diversion screens by HendrickScreens are available in a few different variations, with the most common being the “profile bar” screen. The interlocking design of the profile bar design allows skilled fabricators to specify slot openings to within one-thousandth of an inch. This gives architects and engineers a lot of flexibility when determining how much debris needs to be filtered from the water. For instance, a screen with half-inch-wide slot openings would block a six-inch-wide tree branch, but maybe not a small pebble. The specificity of the screen design is important to engineers and architects, and there are several online tools to see how various slot openings differ.

Metal screens are important for protecting aquatic life against water extraction from their habitat. There are many environmental regulations which businesses must comply with in order to mitigate the impact that the water intake process has on an ecosystem. Metal screening is a safe way to protect fish, crabs, and other marine life from the water intake system, just as it’s a safe way to protect the system from the marine life.

If you’re an architect or building developer looking for a great way to maintain the integrity of a water intake system, take a look at metal screens and grates to see if they’re the solution.

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