Skip to main content
ARS Home » Northeast Area » Leetown, West Virginia » Cool and Cold Water Aquaculture Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #344216

Research Project: Developing and Refining Technologies for Sustainable Fish Growth in Closed Containment Systems

Location: Cool and Cold Water Aquaculture Research

Title: Assessing the utility of ultraviolet irradiation to reduce bacterial biofilms in fish hatchery well water supplies

Author
item Redman, Natalie - Freshwater Institute
item Good, Christopher - Freshwater Institute
item Vinci, Brian - Freshwater Institute

Submitted to: Journal of Aquaculture Research and Development
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/29/2017
Publication Date: 8/31/2017
Citation: Redman, N., Good, C., Vinci, B. 2017. Assessing the utility of ultraviolet irradiation to reduce bacterial biofilms in fish hatchery well water supplies. Journal of Aquaculture Research and Development. 8(7):1000501. https://doi.org/10.4172/2155-9546.1000501.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4172/2155-9546.1000501

Interpretive Summary: Proliferation of iron bacteria and slime forming bacteria populations pose a significant threat to the operating efficiency of aquaculture systems. Accumulation of these bacterial biofilms can lead to biofouling and clogging of heat exchangers, aeration systems, chilling equipment, and other important aquaculture system components. The effectiveness of ultraviolet irradiation for the treatment of iron bacteria and slime forming bacteria in aquaculture source water was evaluated. Inactivation of iron bacteria by UV treatment was successful; however, the effect of UV on slime forming bacteria was inconclusive. This research provides the groundwork for a possible solution to the ubiquitous threat of iron bacteria biofouling in aquaculture systems.

Technical Abstract: The accumulation of bacterial biofilms and consequent clogging of screens, pipes, and heat exchanger equipment is problematic for water supply systems contaminated with iron bacteria and other slime forming bacteria. Despite the ubiquitous threat posed by iron bacteria contamination in groundwater sources, limited research has focused on physical treatments to address this issue. We sought to investigate the effectiveness of ultraviolet (UV) irradiation on inactivating iron bacteria and slime forming bacteria in a fish hatchery supply water known to have issues with bacterial biofilms. Biological activity reaction tests (BART) were used to analyze the presence or absence of iron related and slime forming bacteria in raw well water at UV dosages of 0, 15, 30, 45 and 60 mJ/cm2. Results suggest that UV treatment decreases iron bacteria survival, with the highest percent of non-reactive BART test vials resulting from 45 and 60 mJ/cm2 UV exposure; however, data regarding UV inactivation of slime forming bacteria were inconclusive. These initial ‘proof of concept’ findings can be used to design pilot UV water treatment systems for fish hatcheries known to have iron bacteria problems. Pilot treatment system testing can then provide the necessary results to ensure that UV treatment is effective against site-specific iron bacteria populations before full-scale treatment systems are implemented.