"A shocking 99% of the world’s bacteria are found in biofilm communities. This so-called “bacterial adhesion” is like a living tissue on the pipe’s surface, and is a paradise for bacteria of all kinds. This can collect in pipes and lead to clogging – a constant source of frustration to growers, who previously had little choice but to turn to chemical remedies." Speaking is Raymond Lescrauwaet with Aqua-4D.
Aqua-4D Water Solutions - you might not guess - offers a solution to this. Their patented Swiss technology uses low-frequency signals which are applied to the water before irrigation
"The Aqua-4D system is a simple and ecological solution for those eager to avoid biofilm", Raymond continues. "The system subtly modifies the structure of the water, reducing the adhesion forces between organic matter and pipe surfaces. This means that biofilm cannot develop as it no longer adheres but flows right through."
Infectious disease in agriculture
Research has shown that a major cause of infectious disease in agriculture is the development of biofilm in water supply pipes, and the festering environment this provides for bacteria.
A PhD study at the University of Savoie in France studied the effects of the Aqua-4D system in a lab environment, Raymond shows. The researchers observed a biofilm layer decrease of up to 74% after a 45-day trial. "It was noted that practical application in the field with higher flow rates would lead to up to 100% of biofilm being eliminated."
"Indeed, this is exactly what has since been proven at various installations across the world", he continues. "Notable recent examples from 2018 include a validation study on a mushroom farm in the north of Thailand, and the case of Pierre Guyomar, a tomato grower in Brittany, northwest France."
Guyomar’s cooperative was suffering from clogging problems which after analysis, proved to be down to biofilm in the drippers. After trying and failing to resolve this using chemical solutions, they turned to Aqua-4D; even after a year of use without flushing, the pipes have remained completely clear.
"The evidence is mounting, therefore, in favour of ecological and non-invasive treatment against biofilm", Raymond continues. "As far back as 1988 it was found that “Biofilm bacteria display a resistance to biocides that may be considered stunning”, with even straight hydrogen peroxide having limited efficacy due to its interaction with the biofilm’s enzymes. More recently, a 2016 study showed the ineffectiveness of chlorination, with rapid repopulation of biofilm within seven days of treatment, meaning success only comes at the price of constant chemical use."
"With these examples, and results from new validation studies constantly emerging around the world, it is increasingly clear that ecological and chemical-free solutions to biofilm are the future, and with Aqua-4D we are leading the way."
Visit Aqua-4D at the Greentech 2019 in Amsterdam in hall 08, booth 791. Register your visit here.
For more information:
Aqua-4D Benelux & Deutschland
Mob +31 (0)6 51608350
Graaf Florislaan 40
1217KM Hilversum, Nederland