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What are the major safety hazards associated with aquaponics?

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What are the major safety hazards associated with aquaponics?

Editor's Note: The answer to this question has been set up as a page on the Online Urban Aquaponics Manual site.....and this thread will remain open so that you'll have the opportunity to provide feedback......or additional information......and then it will be locked and made available for ongoing use as part of our emerging FAQ system.

Gary

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Electrical shock in my opinion is the biggest safety hazard. Rule of thumb water below the waist electrical above. Know that this rule can't always apply but do my best to follow it. Had a 200 watt tank heater short out put my hand in the water and got a pretty good jolt.

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I think electrocution is the top risk, followed by drowning.  Although shocks of varying degrees are likely, by definition the consequence is not that high generally at the voltages we generally use.  

 

I was wondering about mitigating the risks of drowning in DWC?  Easy to put mesh over fish tanks to stop access, though I think its much harder to mitigate the risk of small children drowning in DWC where they may lift a raft and fall in, and 30cm is more than enough for them.  Would need to restrict access to the DWC entirely for small children to mitigate the risk IMO - one reason why I probably wouldn't do DWC as I can't do this easily.

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Hi,

 

Other risks include that of collapse or poorly designed elevated grow beds or tank supports.......and trip hazards.  I've rarely seen a backyard AP system that doesn't have pipework, hoses or power leads on the ground.

 

Gary

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There is also chemical risks if people have potassium hydroxide, HCl etc laying about.  Though they are generally supplied in child proof containers.

 

Good call - chemicals are a frequently overlooked hazard.   Calcium hydroxide (builders lime) is nasty stuff in the hands of a child and it comes in paper packaging.

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Lets not forget the use of power tools being inherently dangerous.  It is while performing,those simple, seemingly inocuous tasks when people are most likely to injure themselves.  Learned that the hard way...I now  have 4.67 fingers on my right hand because I was thinking about what I was going to "do next" while using a table saw.  I now only use my left hand to flip someone off, the nub just doesn't convey the proper emotion :-)

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I have two high schools i supply an aquaculture system to that do not have a ground fault interupter. I'm going to install a special cord on my own dime, the two outlets go to, that has a built in GFI. Someone getting shocked or killed is not acceptable and I could loose everything.

Unfortunately the downside is if the GFI trips it has to be reengaged manually and if no one is there, or knows the GFI has gone to the battery back up, the batteries run out of juice and the system shuts down. Result: fish kill. Been there done that with the one school that does have GFI. Fortunately they now have an alarm system.

May go with an air tank with a solenoid that releases air if the power goes out.

Edited by Cecil (see edit history)

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Lets not forget the use of power tools being inherently dangerous.  It is while performing,those simple, seemingly inocuous tasks when people are most likely to injure themselves.  Learned that the hard way...I now  have 4.67 fingers on my right hand because I was thinking about what I was going to "do next" while using a table saw.  I now only use my left hand to flip someone off, the nub just doesn't convey the proper emotion :-)

 

Hi Scott,

 

Bad luck with the finger, mate.

 

I agree, giving the "bird" just isn't the same without the full digit.  

 

You're right to draw our attention to the special hazards arising during the build phase of an AP project.

 

 

I have two high schools i supply an aquaculture system to that do not have a ground fault interupter. I'm going to install a special cord on my own dime, the two outlets go to, that has a built in GFI. Someone getting shocked or killed is not acceptable and I could loose everything.

Unfortunately the downside is if the GFI trips it has to be reengaged manually and if no one is there, or knows the GFI has gone to the battery back up, the batteries run out of juice and the system shuts down. Result: fish kill. Been there done that with the one school that does have GFI. Fortunately they now have an alarm system.

May go with an air tank with a solenoid that releases air if the power goes out.

 

Cecil…..while I had thought about using bottled oxygen as a back up (an idea first suggested to me by Paul Van Der Werf), I hadn't considered plain old compressed air….which would be less effective (but less expensive) than oxygen.

 

Gary

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I could see that being a lot better if any power interruption extended past the battery life of a normal battery backup system.

For sure!

From what I understand it's "energized" to stay in the closed position when it recieves juice as in when there is power. But when the power goes out the solenoids opens and releases the oxygen.

I wonder if one could connect it to the batteries or inverter so that once the batteries are used up it then opens the solenoid to extends " past the battery normal backup system" as you say.

I say this because one school and my own system has a battery back up already. Adding the oxygen tank would add more backup time.

Edited by Cecil (see edit history)

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on the lighter side, I think one of the major "safety" hazards to Aquaponics....

 

It will consume you, addict you, drive your family wild, redirect many social conversations, cause you to get "5-gallon bucket butt" (from sitting on a bucket pondering your next move), help you meet people from across the world that you would never think you would have anything in common, wake you up in the middle of the night with a solution to the problem, give you a plumbing fetish that can't leave well enough alone.

 

....but I wouldn't have it any other way!

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