Environmental Control of Bilharzia Snails in Small Reservoirs

by William R. Jobin, Dir.; Rumford River Lab., Foxboro, MA,

Serial Information: Journal of the Irrigation and Drainage Division, 1973, Vol. 99, Issue 3, Pg. 365-373

Document Type: Journal Paper


In tropical reservoirs certain snails which transmit schistosomiasis, a parasitic disease, may be controlled by engineering methods. This disease, also known as bilharzia, is a chronic, debilitating infection that damages the liver and other vital organs. It is the major public health problem in Egypt and many other tropical areas. In order to evaluate an engineering method for the control of the snails, automatic siphon spillways were constructed on two farm ponds in Puerto Rico which contained stable populations of the snails. The purpose of the siphons was to cause rapid drops in the level of water, thus stranding the snails on the shore. After 1 yr of operation, it was found that the technique was successful if the siphon primed at the desired frequency. Although the siphons were inexpensive, their design needs improvement since a large volume of water was lost prior to priming. The method has some possibility for use in small reservoirs and irrigation ponds in the tropics.

Subject Headings: Siphons | Tropical regions | Diseases | Environmental issues | Reservoirs | Spillways | Ponds | Developing countries | Egypt | Africa | Middle East | Puerto Rico | United States | Caribbean

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