5.4. Troubleshooting

Wed, 09/19/2012 - 14:25 -- klm-admin

During construction certain difficulties are encountered when the ponds are being excavated, because the exact makeup of the soil is different in certain locations.

Also difficulties may arise with water seepage into the ponds, which prevents construction equipment from operating. For these reasons it is important that the construction manager is on site at all times when construction is taking place. It is also essential that consultants be available for quick consultation during construction. In some cases a one or two hour delay could create severe problems and future delays.

Here are some commonly committed mistakes to avoid:

5.4.1. Planning

  • Starting without carefully reading the planning checklists in this guide starting without knowing the available infrastructure for agriculture and aquaculture in the region.
  • Starting without a project manager or wastewater recycling consultant.
  • Starting without consulting the local community.
  • Promising perfectly clean water.
  • Starting construction before the key planning elements are complete.
  • Hiring a contractor without a contract or without seeing their work.
  • Committing too many resources to a piece of land before its legal status or soil conditions are finalized.
  • Designing a facility without doing extensive soil tests.
  • Designing a facility without testing incoming wastewater.
  • Designing a facility without knowing conditions required for aquaculture.
  • Designing a facility without checking the existing wastewater collection system.
  • Designing a facility prior to deciding if biodigesters are feasible in the collection system.
  • Asking lawyers to do work without checking legal fees first.
  • Hiring a conventional wastewater treatment engineer to design a wastewater recycling facility without instructing them on differences from conventional wastewater treatment.

5.4.2. Construction

  • Allowing the heavy machine operator on site without supervision or training in how to dig ponds.
  • Beginning construction without an operator who is going to take over the site.
  • Beginning construction without soil test results.
  • Beginning construction without planning for planting on the site immediately after construction is complete.
  • Building in the rainy season without added preparation.
  • Retrofitting the site with major components after construction starts.
  • Building far away from the wastewater source.

5.4.3. Operation

  • Starting without a team training program is fatal.
  • Not checking planting and harvesting program in detail during the first year.
  • Ignoring the mosquito problem.
  • Putting wastewater in ponds before doing a final construction inspection and informing the community.
  • Operating without an agricultural expert.
  • Leaving the site operator to survive on their own without management help.
  • Expecting an operator to produce revenues with only a short-term occupancy agreement.
  • Paying hourly maintenance workers with no incentive to optimize agricultural production from the site.
  • Growing grass on site with no commercial application.
  • Trying to purify wastewater without using agricultural products -  this makes land too expensive.
  • Putting wild fish in fish ponds with no management plan.

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