Dutch rose nursery Arend Roses supplies 40 to 45 million roses per year in 8 different varieties. Besides the quality of the roses and the service for customers, Arend Roses also takes care of the environment. They therefore opt for green, innovative technology to make rose cultivation more sustainable. That is where WaterQ/Litree came into the picture.
Transition to ultrafiltration
"We understand the importance of good entrepreneurship," says Richard van der Lans of Arend Roses. "In recent years we have invested heavily in sustainable technology and more transparency. For this we have been rewarded with the highest achievable Florimarkt Production quality mark and the Fair Flowers Fair Plants label. When the disinfection installation at one of their locations needed replacement, the entrepreneurs started looking for a sustainable alternative.
From left to right: Freya Simon (WaterQ), Ferry van Rodijnen (Arend Roses), Richard van der Lans (Arend Roses) and Cock van Harskamp (WaterQ).
"Early last year we first talked to Richard and Ferry about the possibilities of the Goalkeeper," says Freya Simon of WaterQ/Litree. "Goalkeeper is a disinfection installation based on ultrafiltration (UF). Over the past fifteen years we have gained a wealth of experience in the application of UF in urban areas and on an industrial scale, such as at oil refineries. While we are based in the Netherlands, most of our activities were focused on large scale projects abroad. But of course, we did follow the developments in the Netherlands. We saw great potential in the application of UF in Dutch greenhouse horticulture. As the name suggests, UF is a fine filter that does not kill pathogens, but completely removes pathogens – bacteria, fungi and viruses – from the water. Solid waste is removed too, but nutrients remain in the water. In short, the UF removes harmful particles, but does so without also removing the beneficial ones. This offers the plants healthier water for cultivation, without residual products, radiation or the addition of chemicals. That is where we saw an important advantage for horticulture entrepreneurs: in ease of use, effectiveness, and sustainability.”
In Arend Roses, WaterQ/Litree found a partner. Richard: "We understood the potential of UF, but of course it was a new technology for us. We just went in with an open mind and began discussing our plans. We fine-tuned the installation together. At first, the Goalkeeper was still functioning parallel to the old UV system, in case we had to switch. But since the summer, the UV system has been completely switched off. We now fully rely on the Goalkeeper.”
An Arend Roses greenhouse location
Freya: "We are very happy to have found a partner for this pilot in Arend Roses. It was indeed still new to them, yet they went through with it. Especially in the beginning when we still had to adjust the installation, it was very pleasant working with them. They always challenged us to think of new possibilities. Our partner Litree, who produced the membrane, had technicians working behind the scenes to help us optimize the Goalkeeper. Their R&D department worked hard to solve any issues coming our way. We are very grateful for their efforts to realize the potential of the Goalkeeper in horticulture. We now know that UF does not only work, but that its solid advantages over traditional methods make the Goalkeeper future-proof. Especially considering the Dutch national goal of full recirculation in horticulture, it is an important win that the Goalkeeper does not need discharge water.”
The Goalkeeper has ultrafiltration as its working principle and is therefore a 'passive' system. Did Arend Roses notice an advantage in energy consumption? "It's a quiet system," Richard agrees. "It is economical, low in energy consumption and requires little maintenance. Moreover, there are no lamps that need to be replaced and there is no addition of chemicals. In our case, we have added a cloth filter, so we no longer need flushing water.”
No more nitrate formation
Besides the disinfection functionality, the Goalkeeper also offers a solution in terms of nitrite formation. "The UF does not form nitrite," Richard explains. "If we compare this location to our other location, where we still work with UV disinfectors, the Goalkeeper significantly reduces the burden of nitrite. That benefits the plants.”
The pilot will be completed next month. The Goalkeeper will remain. "We continue to show good tests results again and again,” Freya adds. “It’s good to see solid proof of our system’s capabilities. The roses look stunning. We believe that, in Goalkeeper, we have a potential disruptor in the water reuse market for horticulture.”
Visit WaterQ/Litree at the Horticontact (Gorinchem, the Netherlands) at stand G128.
For more information:
For questions about the Goalkeeper, please contact Freya Simon (+31649018560) or Cock van Harskamp (+31649018540). For email enquiries, please direct them to: firstname.lastname@example.org.