Seawater Facilities

Seawater Facility Usage and Access

Requests to use seawater facilities should be sent to the Seawater Committee Chair, Jeremy Testa. You will find information regarding use as well as links to the required request forms below.

Guidelines for Use of CBL Seawater Facilities

1. General

a. Request Form: New users of the Seawater Laboratory and the Seawater Pad are asked to fill out a request form and submit it to Seawater Committee Chair. Current users are asked to update request forms on an annual basis. A request form is included in this document. We will try to accommodate all requests. CBL’s Laboratory Director has final authority on space conflicts which cannot be easily resolved. The Seawater Usage Form can be found on the P-drive in the Forms folder.

b. Consultation: New applications should be discussed in advance of rearing system set-up with the Seawater System Manager.

c. Safety: Use of biohazardous material and/or radioactive isotopes must obtain approval of application through CBL’s Safety Officer. Material Data Safety Sheets and biohazard spill kits must be readily accessible in laboratories where such chemicals are used. All chemicals must be labeled and stored according to federal and CBL guidelines. Studies using biohazardous or radioactive chemicals are prohibited on CBL’s outdoor Seawater Pad.

d. Exotic Species: Deliberate rearing of exotic species requires prior approval from CBL Laboratory Director. Investigators are responsible for complying with state and federal regulations regarding quarantine and human health procedures associated with rearing exotic species. Studies on exotic species are prohibited on CBL’s Outdoor Seawater Pad.

e. Pathogenic Species: Deliberate rearing of pathogenic organisms is prohibited on CBL’s Outdoor Seawater Pad.

f. Vertebrate Animal Care: All projects using fishes or other aquatic vertebrates, require prior approval by UMCES Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC). The Protocol No. from IACUC must be posted in labs and on tanks where vertebrates are being reared.

g. Contact Information: Names of at least two individuals responsible for upkeep must be posted in assigned areas or on tanks, and provided to the Seawater System Manager. Only those individuals designated on the request form or on assigned tanks will be permitted to maintain tanks and provide food to research organisms.

h. Lab and Tank Maintenance: Assigned tanks should be labeled with the user name, organism name, and if needed, a vertebrate. Tanks must be maintained daily. Investigators are responsible for day-to-day maintenance of designated rearing systems, cleaning adjacent areas, and keeping common work areas clean and uncluttered. Dead organisms should be disposed of in the dumpster. At experiment’s end, investigators are responsible for thoroughly cleaning tanks and plumbing.

2. Safety

a. Electrical Shock: Electrical shock is an ever present hazard in wet labs. This hazard can be minimized by using outlets which are well grounded (GFI circuits) which are located on the overhead plumbing manifolds in each common-use laboratory. The Seawater system outlets are all GFI circuits. Connections between electric cords should be secured with electrical tape. Electrical appliances and their connections should be located off the floor and away from the splash zone around tanks. Do not locate electrical cords or appliances where there is any chance of them falling into water.

b. Servicing Electrical Equipment: Do not stand in water or on a metal ladder when servicing electrical equipment.

c. Immersion Heaters: Immersion heaters can be a fire hazard, particularly if used in flow-through or recirculating systems. If you use immersion heaters in such systems, you must provide an adequate fail-safe device such as a liquid level control switch.

3. Maintenance

a. Seawater Line Change: Ambient seawater system red and green lines are switched on Tuesdays at 0815 unless otherwise noted on the status board (by stairs on first floor). All supply valves to tanks will be turned off and the line changed. Users are responsible for turning on and purging their lines after the line change. If you are absent on a line change day, please make arrangements to have someone switch and purge the lines to your tank(s). No line changes occur for filtered seawater.

b. Loss of Power to Pumps: The seawater pumps do not have a back-up power source in the event of a power outage. If the power goes out, seawater flow ceases. Flow will not resume until power is restored; and then only if the pump has not lost its prime. Users should make provisions for such occurrences. In the event seawater flow stops during off hours, the Seawater Systems Manager should be contacted.

c. Leaks and Flows: Flow seawater systems require attention and frequent adjustment. Users are responsible for learning functions of valves on the supply distribution lines to their tanks. Flow and valves should be checked daily to prevent blocked lines, leaks, or floods.

d. Setting up Supply Lines: When setting up supply line or putting one back in service, initial flow of stagnant water should be discarded to seawater troughs. To prevent back suction of filtered seawater lines, please make sure that supply lines are not submerged.

Floors and Troughs: Saltwater on floors and surfaces will not dry; floors must be periodically washed down sparingly with freshwater and squeegeed. Seawater troughs are for seawater only; do not discard chemicals, trash, fish, or other debris in these troughs.