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Fish Pond (Aquaculture)

Application level

City

Household

Neighborhood

Management level

Household

Public

Shared

Inputs

Effluent

Outputs

Biomass
Author/Compiled by
Eawag
Robert Gensch (Xavier University)
Niels Sacher (Xavier University)
Dhawal Patil (seecon international gmbh)
Executive Summary

Fish can be grown in ponds that receive effluent or sludge where they can feed on algae and other organisms that grow in the nutrient-rich water. The fish, thereby, remove the nutrients from the wastewater and are eventually harvested for consumption.

Advantages
Can provide a cheap, locally available protein source
Potential for local job creation and income generation
Relatively low capital costs; operating costs should be offset by production revenue
Can be built and maintained with locally available materials
Disadvantages
Requires abundance of fresh water
Requires large land (pond) area
May require expert design and installation
Fish may pose a health risk if improperly prepared or cooked
Social acceptance may be low in some areas
In Out

Blackwater, Faecal Sludge, Greywater, Brownwater, Fertigation Water

Food Products

 

Three kinds of aquaculture designs for raising fish exist:

1) fertilization of fish ponds with effluent;

2) fertilization of fish ponds with excreta/sludge; and

3) fish grown directly in aerobic ponds

Fish introduced into aerobic ponds can effectively reduce algae and help control the mosquito population. It is also possible to combine fish and floating plants in one single pond.

 

The fish themselves do not dramatically improve the water quality, but because of their economic value they can offset the costs of operating a treatment facility. Under ideal operating conditions, up to 10,000 kg/ha of fish can be harvested. If the fish are not acceptable for human consumption, they can be a valuable source of protein for other high-value carnivores (like shrimp) or converted into fishmeal for pigs and chickens.

Design Considerations

The design should be based on the quantity of nutrients to be removed, the nutrients required by the fish and the water requirements needed to ensure healthy living conditions (e.g., low ammonium levels, required water temperature, etc.). When introducing nutrients in the form of effluent or sludge, it is important to limit the additions so that aerobic conditions are maintained. BOD should not exceed 1 g/m2/d and oxygen should be at least 4 mg/L. Only fish tolerant of low dissolved oxygen levels should be chosen. They should not be carnivores and they should be tolerant to diseases and adverse environmental conditions. Different varieties of carp, milkfish and tilapia have been successfully used, but the specific choice will depend on local preference and suitability.

 

Appropriateness

A fish pond is only appropriate where there is a sufficient amount of land (or pre-existing pond), a source of fresh water and a suitable climate. The water used to dilute the waste should not be too warm, and the ammonium levels should be kept low or negligible because of its toxicity to fish.

This technology is appropriate for warm or tropical climates with no freezing temperatures, and preferably with high rainfall and minimal evaporation.

Health Aspects/Acceptance

Where there is no other source of readily available protein, this technology may be embraced. The quality and condition of the fish will also influence local acceptance. There may be concern about contamination of the fish, especially when they are harvested, cleaned and prepared. If they are cooked well, they should be safe, but it is advisable to move the fish to a clear-water pond for several weeks before they are harvested for consumption. WHO guidelines on wastewater and excreta use in aquaculture should be consulted for detailed information and specific guidance.

Operation & Maintenance

The fish need to be harvested when they reach an appropriate age/size. Sometimes after harvesting, the pond should be drained so that (a) it can be desludged and (b) it can be left to dry in the sun for 1 to 2 weeks to destroy any pathogens living on the bottom or sides of the pond. Workers should wear appropriate protective clothing.

Applicability

A fish pond is only appropriate where there is a sufficient amount of land (or pre-existing pond), a source of fresh water and a suitable climate. The water used to dilute the waste should not be too warm, and the ammonium levels should be kept low or negligible because of its toxicity to fish.

This technology is appropriate for warm or tropical climates with no freezing temperatures, and preferably with high rainfall and minimal evaporation.

Library references

Wastewater-fed aquaculture.

EWARDS, P. ; PULLIN, R. (1990): (= Proceedings of the international seminar on wastewater reclamation and reuse for aquaculture. ). Calcutta, India: International seminar on wastewater reclamation and reuse for aquaculture URL [Accessed: 18.01.2011]

Duckweed Aquaculture

This literature review provides a first overview of the possibilities, potentials and limits of duckweed aquaculture and its combined use in wastewater treatment and animal feed production in low and middle-income countries. It is somewhat limited as critical literature on duckweed field use is scarce and difficult to obtain (e.g. unpublished internal documents).

IQBAL, S. ; (1999): Potentials, Possibilities and Limitations for Combined Wastewater Treatment and Animal Feed Production in Developing Countries. Duebendorf: Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology (Eawag) URL [Accessed: 15.04.2014]

Aquaculture with Treated Wastewater

This study has shown that significant quantities of protein for either human consumption or livestock feed could be produced from wastewater—based aquaculture, which could be integrated with sewage stabilization lagoon systems. Reuse of treated sewage to fertilize the microbial food chain for aquaculture presents one of the most economic resource recovery options for cities in developing countries.

JOHNSON COINTREAU, S. (1987): A Status Report on Studies Conducted in Lima, Peru. (= Integrated Resource Recovery Project Technical Note , 3 ). Washington: The World Bank URL [Accessed: 15.04.2014]

Food Safety Issues Associated with Products from Aquaculture

This is the report of a Study Group that considered food safety issues associated with farmed finfish and crustaceans. The principal conclusion was that an integrated approach — involving close collaboration between the aquaculture, agriculture, food safety, health and education sectors — is needed to identify and control hazards associated with products from aquaculture.

FAO ; NACA ; WHO (1999): (= WHO Technical Report Series , 883 ). Washington: World Health Organization (WHO) URL [Accessed: 15.04.2014]

Domestic Wastewater Treatment in Developing Countries

The primary emphasis of the book is on low-cost, high-performance, sustainable domestic wastewater treatment systems. Most of the systems described are ‘natural’ systems – so called because they do not require any electromechanical power input. The secondary emphasis is on wastewater re-use in agriculture and aquaculture.

MARA, D. ; (2003): London: Earthscan URL [Accessed: 15.04.2014]

Community-Based Technologies for Domestic Wastewater Treatment and Reuse- options for urban agriculture

The report suggests that emerging trends in low-cost, decentralised naturally-based infrastructure and urban wastewater management which promote the recovery and reuse of wastewater resources are increasingly relevant. Technologies for these sanitation options are presented. The concept of managing urban wastewater flows at a decentralised or "intermediate" level, based on micro watersheds, is explored. Effluent treatment standards that are currently accepted in order to protect public health and safety are reviewed.

ROSE, D.G. ; (1999): (= Cities Feeding People (CFP) Report Series. , 27 ). Ottawa: International Development Research Center Canada (IDRC)

Guidelines for the safe use of wastewater excreta and greywater. Volume III. Wastewater and Excreta Use in Aquaculture

Volume III of the Guidelines for the Safe Use of Wastewater, Excreta and Greywater deals with wastewater and excreta use in aquaculture and describes the present state of knowledge regarding the impact of wastewater-fed aquaculture on the health of producers, product consumers and local communities. It assesses the associated health risks and provides an integrated preventive management framework.

WHO (2006): Geneva: World Health Organisation URL [Accessed: 26.02.2010]
Further Readings

Compendium of Sanitation Systems and Technologies (Arabic)

This is the Arabic version of the Compendium of Sanitation Systems and Technologies. The Compendium gives a systematic overview on different sanitation systems and technologies and describes a wide range of available low-cost sanitation technologies.

TILLEY, E. ; ULRICH, L. ; LUETHI, C. ; REYMOND, P. ; SCHERTENLEIB, R. ; ZURBRUEGG, C. ; (2014): 2nd Revised Edition. Duebendorf, Switzerland: Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology (Eawag) PDF

Key Issues in the Safe Use of Wastewater and Excreta in Aquaculture

This document is a guidance note for program managers and engineers that summarises the key issues of the 3. Volume of the WHO Guidelines that focuses on the safe use of wastewater and excreta in aquaculture.

EDWARDS, P. Asian Institute of Technology (2008): (pdf presentation). (= Guidelines for the Safe Use of Wastewater, Excreta and Greywater in Agriculture and Aquaculture , 3 ). Bangkok, Thailand: World Toilet Organisation URL [Accessed: 19.02.2010]

Wastewater-fed aquaculture.

EWARDS, P. ; PULLIN, R. (1990): (= Proceedings of the international seminar on wastewater reclamation and reuse for aquaculture. ). Calcutta, India: International seminar on wastewater reclamation and reuse for aquaculture URL [Accessed: 18.01.2011]

Duckweed Aquaculture

This literature review provides a first overview of the possibilities, potentials and limits of duckweed aquaculture and its combined use in wastewater treatment and animal feed production in low and middle-income countries. It is somewhat limited as critical literature on duckweed field use is scarce and difficult to obtain (e.g. unpublished internal documents).

IQBAL, S. ; (1999): Potentials, Possibilities and Limitations for Combined Wastewater Treatment and Animal Feed Production in Developing Countries. Duebendorf: Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology (Eawag) URL [Accessed: 15.04.2014]

Aquaculture with Treated Wastewater

This study has shown that significant quantities of protein for either human consumption or livestock feed could be produced from wastewater—based aquaculture, which could be integrated with sewage stabilization lagoon systems. Reuse of treated sewage to fertilize the microbial food chain for aquaculture presents one of the most economic resource recovery options for cities in developing countries.

JOHNSON COINTREAU, S. (1987): A Status Report on Studies Conducted in Lima, Peru. (= Integrated Resource Recovery Project Technical Note , 3 ). Washington: The World Bank URL [Accessed: 15.04.2014]

Food Safety Issues Associated with Products from Aquaculture

This is the report of a Study Group that considered food safety issues associated with farmed finfish and crustaceans. The principal conclusion was that an integrated approach — involving close collaboration between the aquaculture, agriculture, food safety, health and education sectors — is needed to identify and control hazards associated with products from aquaculture.

FAO ; NACA ; WHO (1999): (= WHO Technical Report Series , 883 ). Washington: World Health Organization (WHO) URL [Accessed: 15.04.2014]

Possibilities and Limits of Wastewater-fed Aquaculture

At the University of Applied Sciences Waedenswil, Switzerland, wastewater-fed aquaculture is a research focus since 1993. This paper summarises some of the results and insights gained since then.

JUNGE-BERBEROVIC, R. University of Applied Sciences Waedenswil. (2001): Waedenswil: University of Applied Sciences Waedenswil URL [Accessed: 19.02.2010]

Domestic Wastewater Treatment in Developing Countries

The primary emphasis of the book is on low-cost, high-performance, sustainable domestic wastewater treatment systems. Most of the systems described are ‘natural’ systems – so called because they do not require any electromechanical power input. The secondary emphasis is on wastewater re-use in agriculture and aquaculture.

MARA, D. ; (2003): London: Earthscan URL [Accessed: 15.04.2014]

Wastewater Treatment and Use in Agriculture

This Irrigation and Drainage Paper is intended to provide guidance to national planners and decision-makers, agricultural and municipal managers, field engineers and scientists, health and agricultural field workers, wastewater treatment plant operators and farmers. Consequently, it covers a broad range of relevant material, some in considerable depth but some more superficially. It is meant to encourage the collection, treatment and use of wastewater in agriculture in a safe manner, with maximum advantage taken of this resource. Informal, unplanned and unorganized wastewater use is not recommended, nor is it considered adviseable from the health or agricultural points of view.

PESCOD, M.B. ; (1992): (= FAO Irrigation and Drainage Paper , 47 ). Rome: Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) URL [Accessed: 25.10.2011]

Community-Based Technologies for Domestic Wastewater Treatment and Reuse- options for urban agriculture

The report suggests that emerging trends in low-cost, decentralised naturally-based infrastructure and urban wastewater management which promote the recovery and reuse of wastewater resources are increasingly relevant. Technologies for these sanitation options are presented. The concept of managing urban wastewater flows at a decentralised or "intermediate" level, based on micro watersheds, is explored. Effluent treatment standards that are currently accepted in order to protect public health and safety are reviewed.

ROSE, D.G. ; (1999): (= Cities Feeding People (CFP) Report Series. , 27 ). Ottawa: International Development Research Center Canada (IDRC)

Waste Stabilisation Ponds

This document provides information and instructions on waste stabilisation ponds. Various case studies are mentioned, e.g. the wastewater-fed fishponds in Calcutta in India.

VARON, M. P. ; MARA, D. D. ; (2004): Delft: International Water and Sanitation Centre URL [Accessed: 17.05.2012]
Case Studies

Wastewater-fed Aquaculture in Viet Nam.

Case study on wastewater-fed aquaculture in Vietnam.

DALSGAARD, A. ; (1996): (pdf presentation). (= Newsletter , 4 / 1 ). Viet Nam : Mekong Fisheries Network Newsletter

Traditional Aquaculture Practice at East Calcutta Wetland. The Safety Assessment.

Case study on the traditional aquaculture practise at the East Kolkata Wetlands, India with special focus on the risk assessment in fish cultivation and subsequent consumption in terms of metal accumulation in the fish.

RAYCHAUDHURI, S. ; MISHRA, M. ; SALODKAR, S. ; SUDARSHAN, M. ; THAKUR, A. R. ; (2008): (pdf presentation). (= American Journal of Environmental Sciences , 2 / 4 ). Calcutta: American Journal of Environmental Sciences URL [Accessed: 22.02.2010]

Waste-Fed Fisheries in Periurban Kolkata.

Case study of the perhaps largest wastewater fed aquaculture system in the world in the periurban area of Kolkata.

MUKHERJEE, M. ; (2003): (pdf presentation). (= UA-Magazine , 36 / 10 ). Kolkata: Dept. of Fisheries URL [Accessed: 22.02.2010]
Training Material

Volume III: Wastewater and excreta use in aquaculture.

This presentation gives a detailed overview on the 3. volume of the WHO guidelines on the safe use of wastewater and excreta in aquaculture including many pictures of existing wastewater-fed aquaculture and fish pond technologies all over the world. Apart from the health risk and appropriate health protection measures, a lot of information on socio-cultural, environmental and economic aspects is given as well as supporting information on planning and implementation of sewage-fed fish ponds.

EDWARDS, P. ; (2008): (pdf presentation). Bangkok, Thailand: Asian Institute of Technology

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