Whenever water is taken out of rivers, fish and debris are taken out with it.
Modern fish screens solve this and have been successfully implemented on irrigation diversions and water offtakes, worldwide, for decades.
Over the past few years AWMA have been assisting NSW DPI Fisheries to refine internationally proven screens so that they operate in a way that is suitable for Australian conditions. It has since been recognised that installing fish screens on Australian irrigation diversions and water offtakes, will make a significant contribution to the protection of native fish stocks in our rivers.
AWMA recently worked in partnership with the Trangie Nevertire Irrigation Scheme (TNIS), NSW DPI Fisheries and NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment – Biodiversity & Conservation, to deliver a Fish Screen Solution suitable for Macquarie River’s TNIS irrigation pump station.
The TNIS pump station extracts up to 800 million litres of water per day from the Macquarie River and delivers it to 33 regional farms. Many of these irrigators operate lateral and pivot irrigation systems with spray nozzles that if blocked, set off alarms at any hour, requiring manual cleaning. A screening solution was required to reduce fish and debris entrainment whilst guaranteeing reliable irrigation flows.
AWMA engineered a fish-friendly intake screen design that extracts water through large self-cleaning wedge wire Cone Screens.
AWMA Cone Screens were specified for this project due to a number of unique features:
- Large screen surface area; almost 50m2 of screen surface ensures even flow distribution, reliable water delivery and low velocities to avoid impingement and entrainment of fish and debris.
- Low profile; the low profile of the cone screen ensures flow volumes can be delivered during times of low river levels.
- Self-cleaning function; the unique brushed self-cleaning function of AWMA Fish Screens facilitates regular cleaning of the screen surface. Under normal operating conditions the cleaning cycle will be programed for once a day and only take a few minutes.
- Proven screen medium; stainless steel wedge wire with 2mm-3mm slot size has been proven to be most effective for the protection of Australian native fish species.
The AWMA Fish Screen Solution for TNIS, funded by the NSW Government’s Drought Relief Initiative, has been viewed as the ‘benchmark best practice solution’ for intake screens on pumped river diversions.
Brush-cleaned cylinder and cone screens are designed and manufactured by AWMA under a licensing agreement with Intake Screens, Inc.