In January, 2014 Aquacare Environment Inc. completed the successful design and installation of a reuse system at the Lummi Natural Resources Skookum Hatchery in Deming, WA. The project was finished in three months, and replaced deteriorating concrete raceways.
The system has reduced this section of the hatcheries water usage by ⁓80% and allowed it to fall in line with current and future water usage regulations. Furthermore, the system is low maintenance, partially automated, and long lasting.
Similar systems have been constructed at other locations on the West Coast and are helping hatchery managers reduce their need for clean source water.
Here are some pertinent reasons why water reuse systems are beneficial:
Reduce Water Use by 80%
Reuse is an attractive alternative to flow through systems when source water is limited, contaminated, or costly. Reuse decreases the volume of incoming water that needs to be pumped, treated, heated, or chilled. Similarly, it decreases the volume of effluent water that may require treatment. It also provides security against changing climate or regulatory conditions.
Reduce heating or chilling costs by 80%
If heating or chilling the water is necessary for hatchery operation a reuse system has the potential to save a significant amount on energy costs. Sending previously chilled or heated water down the drain is costly and wasteful. Reducing water use reduces temperature control demands, which decreases energy and equipment costs. In low nitrogen producing egg incubation systems temperature can be carefully managed by recirculating up to 98% of the water.
A hatchery reuse system captures solids and re-aerates the water to decrease CO2 and increase O2 levels. Water can also be treated with UV and heated or chilled while being circulated. This circulation can be done economically when designed properly to allow the use of low head, high volume pumps. Replacing leaky, crumbling concrete raceways with circular tanks is an option to increase the lifespan of the hatchery and make reuse even more economical.
Reuse is conserving water in hatcheries all over the US. Aquacare Environment Inc. has helped construct salmonid hatchery reuse systems for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, and for clients near Bellingham and Rochester, WA. These systems have proven to be both cost effective and easy to manage. They can be operated seasonally, and have added biosecurity over traditional flow-through systems.