Trial To See Fish Farmed In Waste Water

The Fish Site
by The Fish Site
27 January 2010, at 12:00am

AUSTRALIA - Wannon Water is embarking on an innovative research project to investigate the feasibility of aquaculture as a tool in treating sewage.

Wannon Water Acting Chief Executive Officer, Andrew Jeffers said, “The project is being undertaken with researchers from Deakin University’s Warrnambool campus and is the first step in examining the potential for new and expanded commercial aquaculture in south west Victoria.” Some fish species consume organisms that grow in the nutrient-rich organic material in sewage, improving the water quality. Invertebrates and algae also utilise the nutrients, converting them into ‘clean’ biomass. “The project will examine the potential of aquaculture to provide a better quality of recycled water and reduce the energy inputs required in the sewage treatment process,” Mr Jeffers said.

Whilst the Wannon Water initiative builds on a background of research projects, there is limited experience in the commercial use of aquaculture for sewage treatment in Australia.

“The $100,000 project will identify the benefits, constraints, species options and future research and commercial opportunities for integrated recycled water aquaculture. The project will also include an Honours research project testing the nursery production of finfish in the treatment lagoons at one of Wannon Water’s water reclamation plants,” Mr Jeffers said.

“The research project will be completed in November 2010 and will ensure fish are contained within the Wannon Water facilities and closely monitored to provide insights into the feasibility and effectiveness of aquaculture as a tool in treating sewage,” Mr Jeffers said.

“In the long-term it is hoped the project will assist in new industry development for the south west, along with the improved environmental performance of sewage treatment processes, a reduced reliance on natural systems and fish stocks for products such as pet food, and potentially new products such as algae for biofuel,” Mr Jeffers stated.

“Wannon Water is excited by the potential of this project. It could help revolutionise the way we create and use recycled water, not only in our region, but across the industry,” Mr Jeffers said.

Wannon Water maintains an active research and development program to ensure it continues to deliver sustainable water services for regional prosperity.