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Can J Microbiol. 2004 Jan;50(1):51-6.

Wastewater-grown duckweed may be safely used as fish feed.

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International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh, Dhaka.


Duckweed has been used for the treatment of wastewater and as fish feed. A comparative study was carried out to determine (i) the efficacy of duckweed in treating hospital-based wastewater and (ii) the level of the microbial contamination of fish fed on wastewater-grown duckweed. There were two groups of ponds where fish farming was done. In one group of ponds (control ponds), duckweed that was grown using artificial fertilizer was used as fish feed; in another group (study ponds), wastewater-grown duckweed was used as fish feed. The faecal contamination of water, duckweed, and fish from study and control ponds were monitored by faecal coliform estimation. The presence of enteric pathogens among handlers, water, duckweed, and fish samples was also examined. It was observed that the faecal coliform counts of raw wastewater were 4.7 Log10 CFU/mL, which was reduced to <1 Log10 CFU/mL after treating with duckweed. There was no significant difference (P > 0.05) in faecal coliform counts in water collected from duckweed ponds and fish ponds of study and control areas. The wastewater-grown duckweed did not pose any health hazard to the handlers. These results demonstrated that the wastewater-treated duckweed may be safely used as fish feed.

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