Blue gill hide in aquatic mats (Vallisneria) and are impinged on intake screens. Mats must be combed through to remove fish, which are then measured, recorded and reported - a very costly effort.

One of the 4 dams on the Snake River with a proposed nature-like bypass in the background. All 4 dams are suitable for such a bypass.

Gordon Burns: Field (406) 827-2128  Jean D. Johnson: Office  (406) 458-6363 1890 Sierra Road East,

Helena, MT 59602


A Dam Site - Better! LLC

Existing Screens
The FVES can be a powerful addition to existing screens and river diversions at power plants or irrigation diversion dams as well as a stand-alone solution to sending debris/grass mats on down the river. Winter ice? The FVES can provide a solution for that challenge as well.

Dr.Charles Coutant (Coutant Aquatics) and Mark Bevelhimer, Environmental Sciences Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Oak Ridge, TN, proposed a study of using sweeping flows at cooling water intakes to reduce fish impingement. Dr. Coutant later became a scientific adviser to NATURAL SOLUTIONS and can often be found in the NATURAL SOLUTIONS booth at such conferences as Fish Passage, HydroVision International, and American Fisheries Society.

*The project report is titled "A Test of the Flow Velocity Enhancement System (FVES) for Deflecting Aquatic Vegetation from the Intake of Genoa Power Station #3, Wisconsin."  It reviews the results of an evaluation of the FVES in deflecting aquatic weeds from cooling water intakes. The test, funded by the Electric Power Research Institute, was conducted in late 2012. While the product abstract is available online, the full 112-page technical results report is reserved for EPRI members.

Debris Management
​The Flow Velocity Enhancement System can provide critical debris management for fossil- or nuclear-fired power generation plants as demonstrated in a field test at Dairyland Electric Cooperative in Genoa, Wisconsin, in cooperation with the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI).* The FVES deflected aquatic mats and other surface debris away from cold-water intake screens into the main river channel, thus eliminating the plant’s “ownership” of riverine debris while reducing fish (primarily blue gill) impingement to meet 316(b) guidelines.

Our nature-like bypass rivers provide nature’s best solution for migrating fish populations, giving both juveniles and adults the safest passage and the best chance at survival. Over time, fish populations will return to the natal river where they were born using their “natural” bypass river. ​Not only are our natural river bypasses the optimum solution for migrating fish populations, but they allow power plants to focus on power generation and meet federal requirements of a biological nature. We hold a patent on this unique migratory fish bypass channel (US 6,652,189 B2), which is constructed of silica fume-enhanced shotcrete. It is applied pneumatically, without forms, allowing for the formation of rapids, water falls, shelves, and undercut embankments, giving the appearance of a natural contour. Resident gravels, cleaned and stockpiled during the “bedrock” process, would return to the channel and be flushed/sorted with release of water from the reservoir. The FVES guides migrants to the “river” until such time as a natural entrainment occurs. Lateral sub-irrigation and planting of local trees and vegetation will over time emerge as a natural river environment. Even irrigation diversion canals can benefit by a natural bypass, providing an important benefit to irrigators and recreationists.

Nature-like bypasses around obstacles

NATURAL SOLUTIONS designed the Flow Velocity Enhancement System® as a means of guiding migrating juvenile and adult fish into a “natural” river (or nature-like bypass) that can bypass dams or other barriers. The FVES design and construction process is patented (US 6,729,800 B2).

The FVES can:

  • Prevent fall-back of adult fish
  • Increase attraction to fish ladders  
  • Enhance egress  
  • Reduce predation at surface bypass collector outfalls; and  
  • Break up conflicting currents at the dam face. Conversely, the current can enhance
  • guidance away from hazardous water intakes.
  • mix cold bottom water with warm surface water 

At NATURAL SOLUTIONS, we've developed unique, innovative and cost-effective ways to solve your vexing water and marine problems. Here's a brief look at some of what we have to offer:

Flow Velocity Enhancement System
(FVES)® is a simple steel hollow tube with a unique, patented “log” for inducing motive water. FVES uses low volumes of high-pressure water to induce a high volume content of water through a venturi pump to create a turbulent velocity plume in the water body. The FVES generates turbulent boils and eddies typical of a natural river. (The water doesn't spiral as it would if spun by propellers.) Higher pressure motive water and/or larger diameter eductors create larger plumes (wider and longer) so plume sizes can be tailored to meet a specific need. The conversion of motive water to discharge water can be as high as 5-1 -- 1,000 gallons in and 6,000 gallons out. 

This “natural” current is attractive to juvenile and adult fish, providing migrational cues or guidance to fish bypass structures, nature-like fishways, or traps. 


NATURAL SOLUTIONS personnel networks with plant personnel and outside consultants to customize an FVES (which may include an array of units) based on plant needs and requirements. Debris loading, timing, maintenance, and river traffic are considered in the system design.

A velocity test conducted in a calm, quiescent bay near Helena, Montana, provides just one example of current generation possibilities. An 8-inch diameter FVES was positioned about 7 feet below the surface with a water column depth of about 15 feet. At 35 pounds of pump pressure, the FVES generated a measurable current of 210 feet (Marsh-McBirney FLO-MATE 2000) with a cone of about 70 feet and impacting approximately 1 million gallons of water.

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Heavy debris load on the Cowlitz River (Washington) surrounds the FVES work barge. Large log is about 30" in diameter and16' long. FVES current moved the mass across the river reach (360') and generated a strong enough current to produce eddies against the far shore.