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A water purification system that removes medicines from treatment water before returning to the sea

The Innovation Award Finalists: Benchmark Animal Health

Click on the flag for more information about Norway NORWAY
Friday, August 16, 2019, 23:40 (GMT + 9)

Press Release:

Water purification system for aquaculture: Benchmark Animal Health is nominated for CleanTreat, a system which cleanses the treatment water after delousing in well boats. 

  • Chemical based bath treatments that are released into the water are one of the biggest objections to the aquaculture industry. CleanTreat® works to solve this environmental challenge, says Neil Robertson, Benchmark’s Head of CleanTreat®.
  • The technology removes the medicinal components, and purified water is released back into the sea.

Clean Treat vessels working alongside wellboat | Photo: CleanTreat /Benchmark

CleanTreat has the potential to be used on well boats, tankers, platforms and onshore and is proven to be effective on most available bath treatments for sea lice. The solution also removes treated sea lice, so that they will not spread resistance to the treatments.

Ensures water purity

Sea lice treatments are carried out in the normal way using the well boat with fish dewatered and rinsed prior to return to the cage. All treatment water is returned to the well and once the fish are removed, purification through the CleanTreat system can begin. 

– All organic matter and detritus is removed prior to purification by a pre-filter. On board the well boat, chemists use high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) to detect chemicals and measure medicine levels. This ensures the purity of the water, Robertson explains. 

The purification process is repeated until all treatment water has been processed.

This video illustrates how the CleanTreat system operates.

rc1707_CleanTreat_ENG_01 from Benchmark Holdings plc on Vimeo.

Preventative health management

Sea lice are a significant challenge to the global salmon industry, estimated to cost up to USD 1bn a year due to losses to salmon farmers. 

– At Benchmark we believe preventative rather than reactive health strategies should be foremost in fish health management. However, proper veterinary care of farmed fish requires the availability of efficacious veterinary medicines when required and used in an appropriate manner, Robertson says. 

Tested in Norway 

Since 2017, the CleanTreat water purification system has been deployed in Norway to support trials of next generation sea lice treatment. The current system has purified more than 300,000m3 of treatment water supporting field trials in Norway. 

– During this time our teams have worked extensively to optimise the operational aspects of the system to meet the needs of our customers. Since the first system has been in operation we have increased the capacity and through-put by more than four times. 

– Our ongoing in-house research has demonstrated that CleanTreat can not only remove our next generation sea lice treatment, but is also effective at removing a number of medicines from both sea and freshwater.

Photo: CleanTreat /Benchmark

Ready for market 

He says that CleanTreat is already supporting commercial farms and as such is market ready. 

Robertson tells that by supporting farms to introduce the optimum levels of parasite control with minimal environmental impact, CleanTreat® is a commercially and environmentally secure solution in the fight against parasitic infestations.

– We anticipate CleanTreat® being used more widely as the system can be used alongside treatments for many diseases and parasitic infections. We are currently ready to begin work with a number of interested companies wishing to process their sea lice medicines through the system.  

Proud to be nominated

– We are proud that CleanTreat has been selected as a finalist for such a prestigious award. It is recognition of the ingenuity and hard work that the team has put in to develop this ground-breaking system for a sustainable growth of the aquaculture industry. 

He says they applied for the Innovation Award because the exhibition is a great opportunity to showcase the innovation that CleanTreat brings to the industry. 

– The award has recognised innovative products and solutions for more than two decades and is well-known across the industry. Aqua Nor is the major event in the salmon farming industry calendar and we expect that most of our customers will attend.

Photo: CleanTreat /Benchmark

Looking forward to Aqua Nor 

At Aqua Nor the Benchmark stand is located in Hall D - stand 342 and is set to be a hub of knowledge, innovation and collaboration. 

– Collaboration with others in the same sector is a key focus for us, so the opportunities that Aqua Nor provides make it an important meeting place.

All Benchmark divisions – Genetics, Health, Advanced Nutrition and Knowledge Services – will be strongly represented at the event. 

– This year’s stand is 80 sq.m. and we are looking forward to welcoming our customers to spend time on our stand, Robertson elaborates.  

At the stand visitors will be able to meet the Benchmark team who developed CleanTreat ®, watch a video animation explaining how it works and see a 3D model of the current system. 

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