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:


(Date:6/14/2017)... -- IBM (NYSE: IBM ) is introducing several innovative partner ... developing collaboration between startups and global businesses, taking place in ... event, nine startups will showcase the solutions they have built ... France is one of ... 30 percent increase in the number of startups created between ...
(Date:5/16/2017)... May 16, 2017   Bridge Patient Portal ... and MD EMR Systems , an electronic ... for GE, have established a partnership to build ... and the GE Centricity™ products, including Centricity Practice ... These new integrations will allow healthcare ...
(Date:4/19/2017)... 2017 The global military biometrics ... marked by the presence of several large global players. ... five major players - 3M Cogent, NEC Corporation, M2SYS ... nearly 61% of the global military biometric market in ... global military biometrics market boast global presence, which has ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/10/2017)... ... October 10, 2017 , ... The ... prestigious awards honoring scientists who have made outstanding contributions to analytical ... during Pittcon 2018, the world’s leading conference and exposition for laboratory science, which ...
(Date:10/9/2017)... ... October 09, 2017 , ... At its national board meeting in ... professor in Harvard University’s Departments of Physics and Astronomy, has been selected for membership ... the winning team for the 2015 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental physics for the discovery ...
(Date:10/7/2017)... ... October 06, 2017 , ... ... advanced instruments and applications consulting for microscopy and surface analysis, Nanoscience Instruments ... consulting, Nanoscience Analytical offers a broad range of contract analysis services for ...
(Date:10/6/2017)... ... October 06, 2017 , ... ... the healthcare and technology sector at their fourth annual Conference where founders, investors, ... inspiring speakers and the ELEVATE pitch competition showcasing early stage digital health and ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: