As environmental regulations become more stringent, environmentally sound waste management and disposal are becoming increasingly more important in all aquaculture operations. One of the primary water quality parameters of concern is the suspended solids concentration in the discharged effluent. For example, EPA initially considered the establishment of numerical limitations for only one single pollutant: total suspended solids (TSS). For recirculation systems, the proposed TSS limitations would have applied to solids polishing or secondary solids removal technology. The new rules and regulations from EPA (August 23, 2004) require only qualitative TSS limits, in the form of solids control best management practices (BMP), allowing individual regional and site specific conditions to be addressed by existing state or regional programs through NPDES permits. In recirculation systems, microscreen filters are commonly used to remove the suspended solids from the process water. Further concentration of suspended solids from the backwash water of the microscreen filter could significantly reduce quantity of discharge water. And in some cases, the backwash water from microscreen filters needs to be further concentrated to minimize storage volume during over wintering for land disposal or other final disposal options. In addition, this may be required to meet local, state, and regional discharge water quality. The objective of this research was an initial screening of several commercially available polymers routinely used as coagulation-flocculation aids in the drinking and wastewater treatment industry and determination of their effectiveness for the treatment of aquaculture wastewater. Based on the results of the initial screening, a further evaluation of six polymers was conducted to estimate the optimum polymer dosage for flocculation of aquaculture microscreen effluent and overall solids removal efficiency. Results of these evaluations show TSS removal was close to 99% via settling, with final TSS values ranging from as low as 10-17 mg/L. Although not intended to be used for reactive phosphorus (RP) removal, RP was reduced by 92-95% by removing most of the TSS in the wastewater to approximately 1 mg/L-P. Dosage requirements were fairly uniform, requiring between 15 and 20 mg/L of polymer. Using these dosages, estimated costs range from $4.38 to $13.08 per metric tonne of feed. ?? 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Additional publication details
Screening and evaluation of polymers as flocculation aids for the treatment of aquacultural effluents