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Bar Screen Systems

Bar Screen Assemblies are used in an open channel (free surface) flow applications to separate & detain course debris and contraband. These unusual solids have a potential for “clogging” the public sewer line, causing expensive cleaning and downtime of the sewer system. Bar Screens can be used for sanitary or stormwater applications. As opposed to expensive automatic rake screens, bar screens are more economical but require manual cleaning.

Bar screens are ideal for facilities which have a full maintenance staff. The bar screen is designed for ease of maintenance while maximizing safety. The Bar Screen consists of a structural concrete vault assembly with a preformed channel. The channel is placed at the flowline elevation of the inlet and outlet sewer pipe connections (typically at 3’ to 8’ below grade). Within the channel, vertical stainless-steel screens are positioned at an inclined angle. Screen openings are typically ½” to 2”. Often, multiple screens are used with progressively smaller screen openings.

Additional Resources


ParkUSA offers full support on designing a Bar Screen System. The variations present when designing a Bar Screen System tend to make difficult to standardize a model. Many variables have direct effect on the final model, such as space availability, rainfall intensity, sediments load, trash types, BOD/COD presence, etc.

The quantity of screenings depends on the length and slope of the collection system and the presence of pumping stations. When the collection system is long and steep or when pumping stations exist, fewer screenings are produced because of disintegration of solids. Other factors that affect screening quantities are related to flow, as quantities generally increase greatly during storm flows. Peak daily removals may vary by a 20:1 ratio on an hourly basis from average flow conditions. Combined collection systems may produce several times the coarse screenings produced by separate collection systems.

Given the complexity of collection systems and types of materials that may be considered “grit,” the quantity and characteristics of grit removed from wastewater will vary. Grit quantity is influenced by the type and condition of the collection system, the characteristics of the drainage area, garbage disposal methods, the slope of the collection system, and the efficiency of the grit removal system.

Regardless of the complexity of the system, the Bar Screen system comprises the following basic components:

  • Precast Concrete Structure w/ Access Hatch, Grating, or Handrails 
  • Stainless Steel Platforms & Screens 
  • OSHA Approved Ladders 
  • Automatic Flow Meter & Totalizer Protective Surface Liners 
  • Hoists & Raking Tools 

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