Canada: Commercial field trial on greenhouse water treatment

After labour and energy, water and fertilizers are the two largest inputs in any greenhouse operation. As fertilizer costs escalate and access to suitable irrigation water decreases, collection and re-use of nutrient-rich irrigation run-off becomes a viable water management option. Factor in existing and emerging regulatory concerns and the practice of recycling irrigation solutions is even more appealing. However, these benefits can easily be overshadowed by concerns over pathogen proliferation and accumulation of chemical contaminants (e.g. pesticides & growth regulators) in irrigation runoff.

A team of researchers from the University of Guelph, led by Dr. Mike Dixon and former NASA scientist Dr. Thomas Graham, have been conducting research in the treatment of nutrient solutions for the past 17 years. Their recent work has investigated the efficacy of using ultraviolet (UV) and ozone-based water remediation technologies for both pathogen and chemical contaminant control in greenhouse nutrient solutions.

The research team, in collaboration with its commercial partners, is currently conducting a field trial to evaluate UV, ozone, and advanced oxidation technologies for the remediation and reuse of irrigation run-off in a commercial floriculture setting. The ultimate goal of this program is to empower growers, through the development of suitable technologies to lower pathogen loads, reduce water and fertilizer consumption, and improve effluent quality when discharge to the environment is necessary.

Invitation to the public
You are invited to a demonstration and information session during the evening of June 15, 2016, from 4:30 to 6pm. This open house is being held during the same day as the Greenhouse Canada Grower Day and is located only a few minutes’ drive away from the Grower Day location, at Westland Greenhouses, 4428 15th St, Jordan.

Equipment and services were supplied by ACROBATic Controls, HortiMaX and Nature’s Green Way with additional support from Flowers Canada Ontario and OMAFRA (under the New Directions and Leading to Accelerated Adoption of Innovative Research programmes). The research team, and their commercial partners will provide an overview of the test systems and answer questions regarding the technologies under investigation.

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