HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Could fish clean up sewage works?

A FEW tankfuls of fish could put a stop to the devastating blooms of algae caused when sewage works discharge effluent into rivers and lakes.

Most sewage works remove solids from raw sewage and get rid of organic matter with the help of sludge-dwelling bacteria. But few remove dissolved phosphorus and nitrogen from detergents and fertilisers. When too much of these nutrients get into fresh water, they can trigger explosive growths of algae. All the oxygen in the water is used up when the algae decompose, suffocating aquatic life. Some blooms also generate dangerous toxins.

So Ray Drenner, a biologist at the Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, has developed a waste-water purification system in which algae consume these polluting nutrients before the water is discharged. Fish then nibble away at the algae, incorporating the nutrients into their bodies or excreting them. The faeces sink to the bottom of the tank for regular collection and disposal.

In Drenner's system, which he developed with Laura Rectenwald of Baylor University in Waco, the outflow from a sewage treatment works passes through a series of tanks containing an algae-eating African fish called Tilapia mossambica (pictured above and right). The tanks are fitted with vertical plastic screens on which periphyton algae, which thrive on nitrogen and phosphorus, grow (see Diagram, right).

"The fish spend the whole day grazing the screens, cropping them almost to a fine velvety layer," says Drenner. The layer of algae constantly regrows.

Drenner stresses that the system will work only after sewage has undergone conventional treatment. The fish would serve as a "polishing" step to clean up the water before its final discharge. When fed with water from a sewage works in Waco, the system removed 82 per cent of the phosphorus and 23 per cent of the nitrogen.

In its current form, the system occupies a large area, making it unsuitable for treating water from big treatment
'"/>

Contact: Claire Bowles
claire.bowles@rbi.co.uk
44-0-207-331-2751
New Scientist
22-Feb-2000


Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Endometriosis: Could angiostatic therapy be the new treatment of the future?
2. Could mice hold the secret to longer life?
3. Could vitamins raise levels of bad cholesterol? Animal study suggests they might
4. Could memory performance and spatial learning be genetically based?
5. Could a specific protein contribute to erectile dysfunction for the diabetic and obese?
6. Could diabetes treatments fight cancer?
7. Could rice be the source for a natural herbicide?
8. Could hibernators hold the key to improving organ preservation?
9. Could Bt transgenic crops have nutritionally favourable effects on insects?
10. Could one less cookie a day help the fight against fat?
11. Could an anti-marijuana compound hold the key to body weight and appetite control?

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
TAG: Could fish clean sewage works

(Date:8/21/2014)... use a previously unknown process for harvesting energy and ... a Penn State University scientist has discovered. The discovery ... plant growth, harvesting energy from the Sun, and understanding ... and other lakes worldwide. A paper describing the discovery ... edition of the journal Science on 21 ...
(Date:8/21/2014)... from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC ) are ... Influential Scientific Minds 2014," a comprehensive list ... resource for science metrics and research performance analysis. ... influential "are performing and publishing work that their peers ... according to a Thomson Reuters statement. Researchers were identified ...
(Date:8/21/2014)... journal Carcinogenesis by researchers at the University ... adenomatous polyposis coli (APC) in suppressing colorectal cancer ... , Lead author Kristi Neufeld, associate professor in the ... Biology program at the KU Cancer Center, has spent ... the various activities of APC, a protein whose functional ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):Hot-spring bacteria reveal ability to use far-red light for photosynthesis 2Hot-spring bacteria reveal ability to use far-red light for photosynthesis 3BIDMC researchers named among 'the most influential scientific minds' 2BIDMC researchers named among 'the most influential scientific minds' 3Research offers insight into cellular biology of colorectal cancer 2Research offers insight into cellular biology of colorectal cancer 3
(Date:8/21/2014)... Dallas, Texas (PRWEB) August 21, 2014 ... Global Seaweed Fertilizer Industryā€¯ is a professional ... Fertilizer market. The report provides basic Seaweed ... application, and industry chain structure as well ... international market analysis, including domestic market as ...
(Date:8/21/2014)... SPRING, N.Y. , Aug. 21, 2014 /PRNewswire/ ... the launch of their Nutraceutical "TELO-20 for Dogs" ... and only Telomere-lengthening supplement in the world for ... ends of every chromosome in the body. A ... world,s leading experts in Telomere Science and Aging, ...
(Date:8/21/2014)... 2014 Mathematic studies at the Program for ... funded by the Jeffrey Epstein VI Foundation , have ... visually identified for elimination. These aggressive cells are the driver ... a topological map of what to look for when examining ... while tumor cells can be extracted from biopsy, it,s very ...
(Date:8/21/2014)... VIEW, Calif. , Aug. 21, 2014 /PRNewswire/ ... properties and behaviors based on external stimuli such ... poised to have a disruptive effect in multiple ... revolutionize the business landscape by printing objects ranging ... aerospace and automotive sectors. Logo - ...
Breaking Biology Technology:Internationals Seaweed Fertilizer Industry 2014 Development Trend Analysis in New Research Study at DeepResearchReports.com 2Internationals Seaweed Fertilizer Industry 2014 Development Trend Analysis in New Research Study at DeepResearchReports.com 3Telomere Biosciences Announces: TELO-20 for Dogs, the World's First Telomere-Lengthening Supplement for Dogs, to Promote Healthy Aging and Longevity 2Telomere Biosciences Announces: TELO-20 for Dogs, the World's First Telomere-Lengthening Supplement for Dogs, to Promote Healthy Aging and Longevity 3Science Power Jeffrey Epstein and Harvard University Fund Project to Visually Stop Tumor Growth 2Frost & Sullivan: 4-D Printing to Usher in Age of Low-Labor, Fast-Paced Product Manufacturing 2Frost & Sullivan: 4-D Printing to Usher in Age of Low-Labor, Fast-Paced Product Manufacturing 3Frost & Sullivan: 4-D Printing to Usher in Age of Low-Labor, Fast-Paced Product Manufacturing 4
Cached News: