30 Jan 2019
Shrimp Farm Innovation: Central Pond Sludge Drain, AKA The Shrimp Pond Toilet
Written by Zach Stein

The Shrimp Pond Toilet – Will Every Shrimp Pond Have One?

In our travels, we’ve seen an increasing number of ponds built around a centralized drainage hole in the middle of the pond, like a shrimp pond toilet. This allows farmers to pull sludge out of the pond during the grow out cycle instead of only afterwards.

We were struck by this concept and wanted to explore it further in this post.

What is a Shrimp Pond Toilet?

A shrimp pond toilet is essentially exactly what it sounds like. A drain in the middle of a circular or square shrimp pond that is used to carry away excess solids and sludge.

Because they are more expensive to install and maintain, shrimp pond toilets only really make sense in intensive, super intensive, and hyper intensive systems were the capacity for a rapid buildup of shrimp waste (or uneaten feed) can prove toxic and dangerous to the animals. This is why tracking ammonia is critical.


How does a Shrimp Pond Toilet Work?

In order for a shrimp pond toilet to work effectively, you need two things, a relatively uniform pond size (circle or square) and at least four paddle wheels.

The paddle wheels are used to create a slow but constant current in the pond, circulating the water in a downward spiral toward the drain. Kind of like a toilet. The current helps moves the heavier solids towards the center of the pond where they can collect and then flow out to a drainage canal and eventually a holding pond.

Are Shrimp Pond Toilet Drains More Eco-Friendly?

Absolutely. In addition to having more control over solids removal during the grow out, shrimp pond toilets offer farmers the ability to collect shrimp waste in a much more concentrated form so that it can be treated before being released as effluent. Ideally the entire pond system is a closed loop, as seen in another post.

We have seen systems that grew tilapia in these treatment ponds to help further process the shrimp waste before it was released back out into the main waterway.


As shrimp continues to intensify, the use of shrimp pond toilets in farms will only increase. When paired with proper ecological management, we think the opportunities they bring are quite impressive. If you are looking to reformat your intensive ponds, dig deeper into shrimp pond toilets.

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