“Proper greenhouse water recycling is the key to increasing your profitability, year after year. Without adequate control of your nutrient feed solution, the entire process of fertigation can prove harmful for your crop’s steady growth.” Speaking is Christopher Labbate with Climate Control. The company offers ozone water treatment to eliminate pathogens spreading through water. “Water recycling has become a popular trend in the agricultural industry. As more greenhouse operations are in need of treating their nutrient wastewater on site. Growers are recognizing that using quality water has substantial benefits in many areas of production, including plant health and quality control.”
Although using a hydroponics system may eliminate soil borne pests, there are other pathogens that spread through water. Pathogens and other water bacteria are a cause for concern in water quality. Most greenhouses today use some type of recycled water treatment in their irrigation systems or use chlorination. Sometimes multiple solutions are combined to answer the problem of crop management.
Climate Control offers Ozone solutions. “Ozone is a powerful oxidant gas that is injected in the water to kill microorganisms, bacteria, and break down other plant pathogens by oxidation. This occurs immediately at point of contact and continues to disinfect your nutrient solution. Some of the ozone reverts back into oxygen in the treated storage tank and this can be a large advantage to growers as it is beneficial to growth”, Christopher explains.
Ozone generators create ozone through an electric discharge of sparking Oxygen (O2) to create Ozone (O3). This can be controlled by software to increase or decrease the concentration of ozone, to output the desired amount for optimal plant health.
“Monitoring and control of pH and Electrical Conductivity (EC) have become standard practice, for improving plant health and quality throughout growers. By measuring these two simple factors, most nutritional problems can be avoided.”
According to Christopher, the measurement of Dissolved Oxygen (DO) is also proving to be just as critical to plant growth. “Minimum levels of dissolved oxygen are also required for a healthy plant. Most growers do not have the sensors to read this important quality of the water. Ozone water treatment not only kills 99.9% of bacteria in your irrigation water, but also gives added benefit. By providing dissolved oxygen for the root zone of the plants, you will see a 10% increase in crop yields.”
Ozone is effective in getting rid of odors in the water as well, like from iron and manganese. “It's the gold standard for drinking water, and used in many municipal water treatment plants around the world.”
Currently many growers might doubt between UV Sterilization. This technique inactivates microorganisms and stunts pathogen growth with UV light. Christopher believes this is not sufficient. “This happens while the water is in the UV chamber only, and as long as the water has sufficient contact time. And it’s also interesting to note that UV disinfects the water by sterilizing the contaminants so they can no longer replicate. Whereas ozone will destroy the contaminants completely by breaking them down. Then Ozone dissolves back into oxygen, which is very beneficial to the rootzone of the plant.”
Christian concludes: “Our mission at Climate Control Systems has always been, to help growers stay profitable by offering cutting edge automation and control technology. You can also expect to save 35% on water costs and 40% on fertilizer expenses with this industrial grade ozone water sterilization equipment.”