Once about a time the monks built their toilets over carp ponds to enrich the water. A modern day version of combining the culture of herbivorous fish – Tilapia – could use the by-product of using algae to polish waste water. Making the links between innovations
Aquaponics venture GrowUp Urban Farms is producing its target of 4 metric tons of farmed tilapia per year, raised in a warehouse in UK capital London, reports Reuters.
In 2015 Undercurrent News reported the company had been granted planning permissionto begin the project, thought to be the city’s first commercial-scale aquaponics venture.
For co-founder Kate Hofman, producing food in this 6,000 square feet building was not only clever and cost-effective, it was also a sustainable way to feed people in the city.
A pioneering collaborative research project between Wessex Water and the University of Bath is investigating using algae as a natural and sustainable way to treat wastewater. The water company has teamed up with the university’s Water Innovation and Research Centre (WIRC @ Bath) to create algae ponds to remove nutrients from wastewater, while also generating a valuable by-product.
The team, led by Dr Tom Arnot in the university’s department of chemical engineering and Professor Rod Scott in the department of biology and biochemistry, is investigating utilising algae ponds to treat wastewater and reduce levels of phosphorus.
Managing phosphorus is major challenge for UK water companies
Phosphorus is a non-renewable resource present in human waste and used in detergents, agricultural fertilisers and cleaning products. It is also a water pollutant which can cause both environmental and economic damage. Removing phosphorus from water bodies has become an increasingly key concern for the UK’s water utility companies, with pressure from the Environment Agency to find new solutions due to the Water Framework Directive. When phosphorus levels become too high in the environment, eutrophication can occur. High phosphorus causes an increase in algal blooms and other aquatic plants, which leads to a depletion in oxygen levels within rivers and streams as well as the potential release of toxins from the algae. The phenomenon results in a significant loss of plant, insect and fish species and an overall less healthy watercourse. Click here to read more