Dynamic Fish Manure Extractor System

From Mindworks
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Fishing For Solutions Team Photo
Fishing for Solutions Team
Team Name Fishing for Solutions
Duration Fall - Spring 2014/2015
Faculty Advisors
  • Kevin Krueger
Team Members
  • Clint Hartz
  • Craig Woodruff
  • Braden Comstock
  • Stephen Sainsbury
  • Cole Schierman

Cleanliness in fish hatchery raceways is of the utmost importance when it comes to healthy fish. As an engineering team, our purpose is to design a system that can effectively reduce the build-up of fish manure on the bottom of the raceways without causing re-suspension of the manure in the water.

Project Learning


Current techniques used to clean fish hatchery raceways take an unnecessary amount of time. Minimum wage workers spend hours upon hours cleaning fish manure out of the raceways, but are ineffective in doing so due to problems with re-suspension of fecal particles. Therefore, the lack of an efficient way to collect fish feces causes hazardous living conditions for the fish in the raceways as well as for the ecosystem where the hatchery discharges its water: the Snake River.

Current Method Used in Industry

  • A screen that is pushed across the bottom of the raceways to collect manure (see photo)
Push Screen Method
  • A vacuum that cleans waste in the quiescent zone (see photo)
Vacuum System
  • Quiescent Zone: area of the raceway designed to help the re-suspended particles have time to settle in the settling basins.
    • Last 20 feet of the raceway
    • No fish in this area
    • Settling basins emptied by hand

Design Specifications and Client Needs

Our client requests a design that will accomplish the following needs:

  • Remove feces from the bottom of raceways without re-suspension of particles
  • Be durable (minimal maintenance)
  • Be easy to use (anyone can operate)
  • Be cost effective (less than our budget of $750)
  • Be simple (be replicable)
  • Cause a net decrease in labor
  • Is automated and more efficient than the current method
  • Increases overall productivity and health of the fish
    • Increase dissolved oxygen levels
    • Lowers phosphorous levels

Final Design Solution

Final Design System Demonstration
Design Component Description
A-Frame Model
This is the A-Frame we created as our final design.
  • It features two suction bars (forward and rear) to pump out manure
  • Very stable and is propelled downstream by the attached hose
  • Completely under water to help avoid damage due to freezing temperatures
  • Composed of PVC piping, which is very ubiquitous on a fish farm and easy to fix if there is damage to the frame
  • Easily fabricated and maintained- minimal electricity involved
Manual Reel with Built in Hub
This is the manual reel we designed to aid in the locomotion of the A-Frame.
  • Features a built in hub (similar to a garden hose reel) to keep the entrance valve stationary with respect to the rotating portion of the reel
  • Manual right now, but would be automated on a large scale
  • Exit valve goes to pump
Model Sized Pump
Here is the pump we used for our model design.
  • 2.25 gallons per minute
  • Centrifugal pump
  • On a large scale, this would be a 5 horse power pump

Preliminary Solutions before Final Design

Design Description Pros Cons Reason for Choosing a Different Design
Second Jet Model Modified Baffle (*Idea spurred from Chance Sundquist)
This was our first design attempt to extrapolate from last year's design. The idea was to create a velocity gradient by cutting another slit in the baffle, which essentially made two high velocity jets (the "old" and the "new"). Since the velocity of the jet depends upon the hydrostatic pressure and the flow rate in the raceway, the velocity of the "upper" jet will be slower than the "lower" jet.
  • Passive system
  • Used the water pressure to propel the baffle downstream.
  • Used velocity gradient to blow manure downstream but keep the manure from rising above the upper jet stream

Manure was only delayed from re-suspending

This design was eliminated because it delayed the problem by pushing manure downstream instead of eliminating the problem. If this solution were to be implemented, the downstream raceways could be adversely affected, meaning fish could become stressed, ill or could even die. This is obviously unacceptable.

Steel Frame with Trough
  • Materials
    • Model is made of solid steel tubing
    • PVC suction bar on bottom of frame
    • Pump attached to top of frame
  • Inside remains open for less intrusion
  • Trough is made of steel and carries effluent water to QZ-zone
  • Frame rides on track system on raceway walls that carries it down the raceway
  • Short suction line is more efficient
  • Very durable and sturdy
  • Heavy
  • Not portable
  • Need specialized skills to fix
  • More prone to damage from freezing
  • Has the most moving parts out of any design we created (undesirable)
We chose not to continue with this design because although it was much more durable than other designs, it violated all other criteria given by our client.

Floating Frame Design
  • Designed a frame to float on the water surface in order to utilize the force of the water to move down the raceway
  • Capable of using both fixed flotation and a variable floating ring
  • Airtight seals in ring provided buoyancy for the frame
  • Completely passive- used the force of the water to propel the frame downstream
  • Portable due to PVC material
  • Not stable
  • Needs baffle to propel downstream, which causes some resuspension of manure as seen in the two-jet baffle design

We ultimately did not choose this design because it was not stable enough when water was pumping through it. The weight of the water and the attached hose created a moment that made the system unstable.

Videos of Preliminary Designs

Design Video
Preliminary Design 1: Baffle with Two Jets (*idea spurred from Chance Sundquist)

Preliminary Design 2: Frame with Trough

Future Work

The next step is to build a larger scale model to be tested in the Coldwater Lab on campus. This will give a more similar environment to obtain data for analysis.

  • Simulate actual raceway conditions and dimensions
  • More accurate velocity and discharge measurements can be taken to improve pump selection
  • More applicable materials can be used like bigger pumps, flexible hosing, and industrial reels

Another step is to implement full automation. Possible ways to accomplish this would be to design:

  • Electric motor to rotate reel
  • Gear ratio
  • Use overflowing water to rotate reel

Team Information

Fishing For Solutions Team Photo
Team Member Biography
Craig Woodruff
Craig Woodruff is a Biological and Agricultural Engineer. Growing up along the Puget Sound in his hometown of Shelton, Washington he was drawn to water resources. He is planning on attending graduate school working towards a degree in water resources engineering. He is graduating from the University of Idaho in the Spring of 2015.
Braden Comstock
  • Major: Biological and Agricultural Engineering
  • Technical Interest: Bio-Systems Engineering
  • Graduation Date: May 2015
  • Hometown: Boise, ID
  • Hobbies: Biking, rock climbing, golfing, waterskiing, snowskiing, working on cars, and shooting.
  • Future Plans: Dental School
Clint Hartz
  • Major: Biological & Agricultural Engineering
  • Technical Interest: Environmental Engineering
  • Graduation Date: December 2015
  • Hometown: Coeur d' Alene, Idaho
  • Hobbies: Sports, fishing, and being outdoors.
Steven Sainsbury
My name is Steven Sainsbury. I grew up on a farm in a small town just south of Spokane called Valleyford, WA. I came to the University of Idaho to pursue a mechanical engineering degree to fulfill my passion of mechanics, how things work, and fabrication design. Upon graduation I will be working for a company in Spokane named Krueger Sheet Metal doing engineering and cost estimating.
Cole Schierman
  • Major: Mechanical Engineer
  • Technical Interest: Thermal Energy Systems
  • Hometown: Wasilla, Alaska
  • Graduation date: May 2015
  • Hobbies: Fishing, hiking, and sports

Document Archive

File:Snapshot Day Powerpoint -1.pdf

File:Fishing for Solutions Snapshot -2.pdf

File:2014 Fishing for Solutions EXPO Poster.pdf

  • Note: Design Review Presentations and Technical Presentation were too large to upload, however, all of the information from those presentations are on this webpage.