Importer Guidance for Aquatic Animal Health Import Quarantine Unit
Appendix B: Example standard operating procedure for quarantine

This example of a generic procedure must be modified by the importer to the specifics of the quarantine unit, and their implementation will be verified during quarantine unit inspections.

This SOP is a generic example of the information that needs to be covered in a biosecurity plan. Each item that is italicized prompts the importer to enter site-specific information for the premises.

Water quality monitoring

Note: The maintenance of water quality is critical to good fish health management. However, this written procedure is limited to those water quality parameters that may impact the efficacy of water treatment and the disinfection of newly fertilized or eyed eggs and equipment. This information can be combined with the water treatment or egg disinfection SOPs, if desired.

Rationale: The efficacy of water treatment, equipment disinfection, and egg disinfection procedures are impacted by specific water quality parameters.

Definitions: List any definitions or acronyms required to understand the SOP.

Responsibility: Identify the staff names or positions that are responsible for the information in the SOP and for carrying out the procedure.

Required equipment: List all required equipment and locations; e.g. pH test strips, pH meter, refractometer, sample bottles, laboratory submission forms, reagents, glasswear, etc.

Procedure: The goal of this SOP is to ensure that water quality is monitored consistently and accurately, in order to be confident in the water quality parameters that impact water treatment, egg disinfection and equipment disinfection activities.

Acceptable parameters vary depending on the disinfection methods used for water treatment, egg disinfection, and equipment disinfection. Add the specific parameters that are commonly measured on your premises; e.g. turbidity prior to UV disinfection, pH prior to egg disinfection.

The water quality monitoring program should be designed to consider natural, seasonal water quality changes and the premises' specific needs. Describe the parameters measured routinely or those that change throughout the year due to changing conditions.

Water quality should be measured frequently enough to differentiate normal variation from declining water quality conditions. Clearly identify what level of each parameter is acceptable and the expected actions of staff if they encounter an unacceptable result.

pH is measured prior to egg disinfection and if chlorination/de-chlorination is used as a water treatment method.

Measure pH (insert frequency) using pH test strips/pH meter.

Describe calibration method for pH meter, or provide a web link or include a copy of the manufacturer's instructions.

Identify where in the system to collect the water sample.

Provide instructions for recirculation systems where the water quality is continually monitored on how to monitor the system, how to verify that chemical stores automatically added by the system are sufficient, and how to conduct calibrations.

Adjust pH to neutral using (insert chemicals or methods used to modify pH; e.g. sodium bicarbonate/calcium carbonate or flushing with fresh water to decrease un-ionized ammonia concentrations).

Provide the amount of chemical to add to a given volume of water, or calculations required for the specific chemical added.

Water quality parameters that may impact the efficacy of water disinfection are as follows:

  • total dissolved solids;
  • total suspended solids;
  • iron manganese;
  • hydrogen sulphide;
  • calcium magnesium;
  • residual ozone levels; and
  • add any other parameters that need to be measured to ensure disinfection systems are effective.

Describe procedures used to monitor each of the above water quality parameters if they are a concern for your site, including frequency of testing. These parameters are measured after water filtration but before the water enters the UV unit. Identify the location in the water treatment system to collect a sample.

Water quality testing on site is conducted as follows:

  • calibrate and maintain equipment (provide staff with manual); and
  • identify levels of each water quality parameter that require action on the part of staff; e.g. TDS <800 to 1000 g/l; TSS <10 mg/l; Iron <0.3 mg/l; Manganese <0.05 mg/l; H2S—non-detectable; Ca/Mg <120 mg/l CaCO3.

Safety concerns: Provide staff with MSDS sheets for all chemicals used in water quality monitoring. Identify safety issues around use of UV (e.g. voltage) and ozone disinfection systems (risks of human exposure to ozone).

Contingency plan: Identify actions that staff is required to take in the event of deteriorating water quality.

Record-keeping requirements:

  • identify records kept; e.g. fish health, results of diagnostic testing; and
  • identify where records are stored.
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