The importance of quality water for the purpose of plant growth is indisputable. With a large number of growers gradually arriving at this realization, the need to reclaim and recycle greenhouse waste water has become a real need for every grower. But, how do you turn your greenhouse into a water recycling facility? Keeping in mind the water flow volumes that are in use during plant irrigation, it is evident that what ever you install for greenhouse water treatment systems it will have to be able to keep up with production.
The challenges that greenhouses face are many. The irrigation water treatment systems has to be adequate to both effectively treat and monitor E.C. and the Ph. Also you have to ensure there are no bacteria, pathogens or diseases in the water. The capital cost of installing a greenhouse water recycling system with storage tanks can be a major concern. In addition to space and site restrictions, growers have to think about specific problems like water quality and plant health. A well-designed water treatment system is truly necessary for providing the best crops and even getting a positive return on investment for the owners of the facility.
Government-Mandated Greenhouse Water Recycling in Canada
The government of Canada has made it mandatory for greenhouses to recycle water. All greenhouses in Canada must follow these laws around recycling and managing these types of sewage from day to day operations:
- Water with added nutrients
- Water that has been used for irrigation and washing of crops
- Recycled water
- Water carried through floor drains inside the greenhouse operation, including water that mixes with storm water
Greenhouses also have to get an approval from the Ministry of the Environment for wastewater or storm-water discharges. The process of acquiring this approval is fairly streamlined. Now, apart from the approvals and certifications from the authorities, the greenhouses also need to take a step towards recycling their irrigation water. There are different types of water treatment systems that can not only aid the process, but help you excel at growing at high yields.
Water Recycling & Treatment Systems in Greenhouses
The purpose of greenhouse water filters is to clean irrigation water by the removal of a) suspended matter b) dissolved organic matter, and c) dissolved inorganic matter. For this purpose, growers need greenhouse water filter systems that will not only fix these problems but also offer additional benefits. Let’s take a look at the greenhouse water system types that growers use in a greenhouse to provide clean, recycled water to their plants:
The most basic form of a water filter system in a greenhouse is the sand filter, which may be of three types:
- Rapid Sand Filter
- Slow Sand Filter
- Upward Flow Sand Filter
Rapid sand filters and upward flow sand filters implement flocculant chemical usage for higher effectiveness. In contrast, slow sand filters remove 90% while improving the taste of the water, without any chemical use. The medium through which the water is passed is sand. However, a sand filter may also have an activated carbon layer. This kind of greenhouse carbon filter is helpful in removing odour and odd tastes from the water.
Sand filters tend to get clogged, and the filter systems then have to be back-washed. The water forms a sludge that may be good for plants when mixed with the soil. However, when it’s not disposed of properly, it can contaminate drinkable water. Usually there are some large expenses here as you have to replace the filters and even pay environmental fees for their removal.
There are two other types of filters that growers like to use in greenhouses. This is where we move away from the term water filtration and move into very advanced water purification systems. They same types you would see at a Municipal Water Treatment Plant. Large commercial greenhouses only really have two options, they are Ozone Water Treatment Systems or UV Light Technology.
Let’s take a quick look at how each system uses two different technologies to give you an informed look at advanced water purification for ultimate plant safety.
Ozone Water Treatment Systems
This system uses ozone, a gas that when dissolved in water, is capable of killing microorganisms instantly, by breaking down pathogens, and destroying any bacteria in the water. They help to control water contamination through oxidation. As soon as the gas is infused in water, the oxidation process begins at contact with any contaminates in the water. Ozone is very effective at treating greenhouse waste water as it is 99.999999% effective at killing all bacteria in the water.
Ozone also has another amazing benefit for your crop, once it cleans the water, the ozone dissolves back into oxygen, as these two elements are related. Ozone is O³ where Oxygen is O², When oxidation happens ozone looses one molecule and turns back into pure oxygen which plants love. Highly oxygenated water has amazing benefits for root health and plant resilience.
Don’t believe me?
Have a look at this greenhouse study talking about all the benefits of dissolved oxygen in the water. The article directly states: “The measurement of Dissolved Oxygen (DO) is also proving to be just as critical to plant growth.” In the future growers will measure the dissolved oxygen levels in the water, just as much as they measure Ph and E.C. for plant production.
UV Light Technology
In these UV Lights, the ultra-violet rays mutate microorganisms so that they can no longer reproduce. UV light can also break down pathogens. It sterilizes the microorganisms in the water, controlling their population. The water needs to be in the UV chamber, but these systems have a hard keeping up with high flow rates. They are only effective is you use them at slower water flow rates or in a holding tank. The water also needs to be free from turbidity, i.e., with a large number of suspended particles and can not be used if any algae is present.
Greenhouses now prefer to choose between UV or Ozone treatment systems. However, most growers now prefer Ozone Recycling that are engineered to overcome the shortcomings of UV like the following:
- They cannot work if the water is turbid.
- They work only when the water is in the UV chamber.
- They are not effective if the water flow rate is too high.
- They cannot affect algae.
- They have a very high replacement rate. (after all it is just a light bulb, remember?)
Ozone water treatment does not have these kinds of problems. They obliterate all contaminants quickly and completely. So, the choice of water recycling in greenhouses is quite clear (Lol, see what we did there?!). Ozone water treatment is usually the #1 choice for treating large volumes of water, like the ones seen at local city water treatment facilities.
Ozone Pro for Greenhouse with CCS-SW80 Plasma Ozone Technology
To get the perfect solution for the sterilization needs of growers, the Climate Control Systems, Ozone Pro Technology uses state-of-the-art design and features to recycle water for plant irrigation. This treatment system can steadily sterilize water with flow rates of 10-1000 US GPM. With 94% more oxygen produced by the Oxygen Generators, this system ensures maximum ozone production, with 99.999% effectiveness in killing pathogens and contaminants.
What more can we say? Growers demanded perfection and we delivered.
Water Recycling with CCS-SW80 Plasma Ozone Technology – Benefits:
- Less Plant Disease: Water-borne microorganisms that can harm your plants and cause diseases are destroyed by ozone technology through direct contact, and no chemicals.
- Very Cost-Effective: This ozone treatment system can be quite cost-effective in the long run, as it helps to save on water bills and fertilizer costs with greenhouse automation.
- Better Plant Growth: After the process of sterilization, ozone breaks back down to oxygen. The oxygen boost at the plant roots can contribute to faster maturation and healthier plant growth in the greenhouse. You’ll notice a higher volume of yield, with better flavors.
Contact Climate Control Systems:
With the Canadian government making water recycling mandatory for greenhouses, water recycling systems are essential. Of the filters commonly used globally and on the market today, Ozone water treatment is considered extremely reliable.
They offer the highest control over contaminants and pathogens in water with added benefits. Irrigation water that’s sterilized using our Ozone Pro Technology will result in bigger crop yield, a better bottom line and best of all… Peace of Mind.