Improved Aquaculture Wastewater Treatment Through Application of Polyacrylamide

Period of Performance: 01/01/2001 - 12/31/2001


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Rangen, Inc.
P.O. Box 706, 115 13th Ave. S.
Buhl, ID 83316
Principal Investigator
Firm POC


Aquaculture wastewater management presents unique problems in treatment technology. Current methods employ settling of biosolids (fish and uneaten feed) as the primary means of treating aquaculture wastewater. Due to their fragile nature and constant contact with water, biosolids break into smaller sizes during waste collection. The suspended solid fraction, which requires more time to settle out, is carried into other rearing ponds of the receiving stream instead of being piped into offline settling basins. These solids represent a significant impact to receiving streams. Polyacrylamide (PAM) is effective in reducing soil and associated nutrient losses in irrigated agriculture by complexing soil particles to increase settling rate. PAM has also been shown to reduce bacteria and may reduce dissolved nutrients in wastewater. We propose to identify appropriate PAM products and determine concentrations which cost-effectively improve water quality of aquaculture waste supernatant through improved settling efficiency of fish waste. Reductions in suspended solids, phosphorus, nitrogen, BOD, and bacteria will be quantified in treated test solutions of fish waste. Phosphorus leach rates from treated solids and residual PAM levels in supernatants will be determined.