Aquaculture, the farming of aquatic organisms such as fish, crustaceans, mollusks and aquatic plants, involves cultivating marine and freshwater populations under controlled conditions. Operating in marine, brackish, and freshwater environments, aquaculture provides food for people and, on a smaller scale, supplies fish for stocking lakes, bait for fishing, and live specimens for home aquariums.
Ensuring water quality characteristics are within desired levels is an important part of aquaculture operations. Monitoring chlorophyll levels can assist in determining feeding and growth cycles. Monitoring CO₂ levels is important to ensure proper growth and development of finfish as well as precipitation of calcium carbonate for creation of shellfish shells. Other key water quality parameters such as blue/green algae and CDOM/FDOM as well as the possible introduction of detrimental substances such as oils or sewerage should also be monitored.
In addition to water quality parameters, histamine levels in fish are important to monitor. As certain bacteria break down the muscle tissue of fish, they produce high levels of histamines which can cause symptoms similar to an allergic reaction. Rapid, prolonged chilling of the fish is required to prevent the formation of histamines. Fluorometry is a low-cost, simple method of histamine detection with sensitivity levels as low as 5ppb.
Ballast Water Indicative Compliance
The inadvertent introduction of invasive aquatic species to coastal waters when discharging ballast water has been known to cause both ecological and economic damage. Accordingly, regulations are established specifying low levels of living/viable organisms and how to detect them before releasing ballast water.
Treatment systems are being employed and the challenge of how to show compliance is under examination. One of the methods for determining compliance that is receiving a lot of attention is active fluorescence which looks at the viability of the organisms in the ballast water. Coupling this with fluorescence measurements, giving an indication of quantity of cells in the ballast water, enables rapid assessments of risk of non-compliance with the standards. Portable, easy-to-use, not requiring reagents, and giving results in less than 1 minute make the Ballast-Check 2 a very attractive solution for indicative ballast water monitoring.
What's in the box?
Setting Ship and Tank Values
Measuring a sample - HIGH risk reading
Using the Calibration Check Standard
Measuring a sample - LOW risk reading
Protecting the oceans from invasive aquatic species
DNA quantitation is an essential step for several life science research protocols. RNA transcription and transfection, sequencing, cDNA synthesis and cloning are all examples of common DNA techniques which benefit from a defined template concentration. An inaccurate estimation of the amount of DNA template may cause these techniques to fail. DNA concentration is often measured by UV absorbance at 260 nm (1A260 = 50 µg/mL) in a 1 cm path length cuvette. However, greater accuracy can be achieved for quantitating DNA using fluorescent dyes such as Hoechst 33258, a bisbenzimide DNA intercalator that excites in the near UV (350 nm) and emits in the blue region (450 nm). Hoechst 33258 binds to the AT-rich regions of double stranded DNA and exhibits enhanced fluorescence under high ionic strength conditions. Fluorescence from Hoechst 33258 is proportional to the concentration of DNA in the sample.
Cooling Tower and Boiler System Monitoring and Control
Fluorometers are commonly used in chemical dosing control systems of cooling towers and boilers. Fluorescent dyes are added to the chemicals and their levels provide an indication as to whether the chemical dosing is in the desired range. Fluorometers can also be used for tracking product quality through a distribution system to ensure dilution does not occur. Using fluorometers to monitor and control industrial processes is an easy way to improve quality and service, increase efficiency, and reduce operating costs.
CTD is an acronym for Conductivity, Temperature, and Depth. CTDs are commonly used by oceanographers and researchers for determining essential physical properties of water. CTDs provide data collected in a uniform sampling technique that gives scientists precise and comprehensive charting of the distribution and variation of water temperature, salinity, density and other parameters to help them understand how oceans, rivers and lakes affect life.
Fluorometers are commonly integrated with CTDs to expand the scope of properties being monitored. Stable, continuous data streaming and a depth range down to 6000 meters make fluorometers an invaluable addition to any CTD system.
Aquatic ecosystems are some of the most productive in the world, but they are also among the most fragile. While dredging is necessary to create and maintain navigation channels to ports, harbors, and marinas, the several million cubic yards of sediment that are dredged each year can cause increased turbidity and re-suspension of contaminated sediment that significantly impacts these sensitive ecosystems.
Sample collection and analysis for monitoring water quality during dredge operations are time consuming, tedious tasks. Considering quick feedback regarding re-suspension is crucial, real-time measurements from on-site in situ fluorometers allow operators to manage dredge activities and react quickly if sediment levels exceed environmental limits. This is particularly true in cases when the dredged sediment contains contaminants that pose an added risk to wildlife and people. In situ fluorometers can also be a useful indicator of site conditions long after a dredging operation completes.
Many water treatment plants monitor their source water prior to arrival for treatment and purification. Careful monitoring can prevent potential issues with taste and odor and well as provide an indication of filter run times. Water quality tests for watershed tributaries and reservoirs include: chlorophyll, cyanobacteria, temperature, pH, dissolved oxygen, bacteria, ammonia, nitrate & nitrite, phosphate, turbidity & pesticides as well as emerging contaminants. Continuous monitoring systems with early warning alerts can help identify potential issues before the water supply is disrupted and record detailed information to track historical trends of water composition.
Environmental monitoring encompasses a vast range of objectives and sampling strategies. Some examples are:
Characterize waters and identify changes or trends in water quality over time.
Identify existing or emerging water quality problems.
Gather information to design pollution prevention or remediation programs.
Determine whether goals, such as compliance with pollution regulations or implementation of effective pollution control actions, are being met.
Respond to emergencies such as spills and floods.
Some types of monitoring activities meet several of these purposes at once while others are specifically designed for one reason.
For long term studies, CDOM, turbidity, pCO₂, carbon sediments and nutrients are some of the primary hydrological parameters that are monitored providing environmental information essential for effective water resource management and research. Real-time data combined with historical information helps managers and researchers make empirically-based water resource and environmental decisions.
EPA Method 445.0
Please click the links below for information on EPA Method 445.0. All documents are in PDF format.
Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs)
Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) can cause harmful conditions for humans as well as marine or terrestrial wildlife. HABs can be characterized as either toxic or non-toxic (nuisance blooms) and by color (red, brown, green) depending on the primary algal group associated with the bloom. The occurrence of HABs can be correlated to many events such as eutrophication, low grazing pressure, temperature/salinity shifts or upwelling, but focusing monitoring efforts on these events to try and predict HABs can be challenging because of the many mechanisms that feed into what causes harmful algae to bloom.
Detection of large HABs isn’t a concern because they’re easy to see and smell so efforts are really geared toward mitigation of these large scale blooms. However, small scale HABs that introduce toxins into the water can be very harmful to animals and the general public and they can be difficult to detect if the proper instrumentation isn’t being used for monitoring. It is critical to be able to detect very low levels of algae as well as measure relative abundances and report on photosynthetic efficiency of the algal standing stock.
Available from our Partner - Sequoia Scientific
The LISST-HAB from Sequoia Scientific is a self-contained, stand-alone instrument system for use on profiling packages, towed and remote vehicle applications, for deployment during a HAB event. The system will continuously measure particle size distribution and concentration, along with the fluorescence of Phycocyanin
(Freshwater HAB’s), Phycoerythrin (Marine HAB’s), Chlorophyll and beam attenuation.
Oil Spill Response
U.S. Coast Guard SMART Team
When oil spill response teams are dispatched to the scene of an oil spill it is critical they have the proper instrumentation to monitor the areas of contamination and the effectiveness of dispersants and burning techniques. The Special Monitoring of Applied Response Technologies (SMART) protocol was developed to guide responders identifying and mapping very low concentrations of Crude Oil originating from spills in natural waters. In early 2010, the Turner Designs C3 Submersible Fluorometer was selected as the new standard for the SMART protocol together with a specialized instrumentation and mapping system. This system provides responders and government agencies a powerful, reliable and easy-to-use platform to collect and process oil spill data. You can learn more about the SMART protocol at http://response.restoration.noaa.gov/oil-and-chemical-spills/oil-spills/resources/smart.html
Available from our Partner - Sequoia Scientific
The LISST-BLACK from Sequoia Scientific is a self-contained, stand-alone instrument system for use on profiling packages, towed and remote vehicle applications, for deployment during and after an oil spill event.
Horizontal Profiling & Real-Time Data View
In situ fluorometers, deployment hardware, software, and portable computing technology have made collecting real-time data and parsing it with location information easier to do. Real-time graphic representations provide visualizations of fluorescent concentration, position and depth allowing researchers the flexibility to make real-time adjustments, resulting in more precise, focused field-work and data collection. In order to facilitate real-time data collection, Turner Designs released the C-ray Towed Deployment body for the C3 Submersible Fluorometer. The C-ray enables the C3 to be deployed alongside a moving vessel at a slow speed while transmitting data over a cable. These data can then be easily parsed with GPS data.
Real-Time data from the C3 can also be captured and viewed using Turner Designs’ C-Soft program. C-Soft allows operators to view waveform or tabular data as they are being saved to a file on the PC desktop. The images below illustrate the powerful way data interpretation can be facilitated by graphical format.
A vehicle is a work platform designed to be operated either remotely or via direct tethered connection. The variety of unmanned vehicles on the market has been increasing over the past few years. Some operate in the water, some operate at the surface and some both. Some have large payloads and stay at sea for weeks or months, others are small and ideal for quick mass deployments. As the variety of the vehicles has increased, the integration requirements for the sensors have become more challenging.
Fluorometers are a common environmental research tool because they are specific, require no reagents, and are well established in the industry. Once mounted on a mobile platform, fluorometers can be used to pinpoint contamination sources, track oil spills, or study general water quality over vast areas. Turner Designs offers fluorometers easily integrated into vehicles for both deep water and surface measurement.
Keeping our waterways and coastal environments free of wastewater contamination is a growing problem causing many universities, governmental agencies and facilities to take notice. There is a detectable increase in wastewater dumping corresponding to the increase in human populations and densification of coastal, lake and riverine areas. An important step in mitigating or predicting harmful situations is to monitor and decrease the amount of wastewater dumped into aquatic habitats. Unfortunately, wastewater isn’t a specific material; rather, it is composed of multiple materials sometimes making it difficult to distinguish from other water types.
However, wastewater does have certain components with fluorescent characteristics and, if configured correctly, fluorometric instrumentation enables users to detect wastewater even in complex mixed water systems. Optical brighteners and tryptophan can both be measured and are proxy indicators of wastewater contamination. There have been many studies correlating coliform bacterial counts with optical brighteners and tryptophan-like fluorescence can be linked to anthropogenic DOM inputs from sewage and farm wastes. Because bacterial counts are often tedious and take longer to determine, a quick measurement using fluorescence will provide real-time data on the potential contamination of a given system.
Wastewater also has certain characteristics such as high organic loading, which can result in rapid decay and production of pCO₂ upwards around 10,000 ppm, for certain holding ponds. Those CO₂ levels are 20x the typical CO₂ levels found in natural water. If leaked into natural waterways such as estuaries, rivers, or lakes, these systems and the organisms contained within can be greatly impacted changing the dynamics or the productivity of that aquatic habitat.