Recycled Irrigation Water

July 1, 2021

PROBLEM/Solution

Recycled Irrigation Water

Problem: When using recycled irrigation water, hydroponic growing utilizes significantly less water providing a water conservation benefit with typically faster growth and greater plant yields. Although there are a few different methods with this type of growing, essentially it is the re-using or recycling of one main water volume.

But, recycling irrigation water can offer some major problems if not properly controlled. The first most obvious is the development of pathogens – fungus, molds and bacteria especially if 1higher water temperatures are trying to be maintained.  Filtration of solids and the loss of dissolved oxygen (DO) can also be points of serious concern. Trying to cost effectively manage all these areas keeping chemical free can be a challenge.

Recycled Irrigation Water: image of recirculating water in Hydroponic operation, presence of mold and fungi  
Recirculating water in Hydroponic operation, presence of mold and fungi.

SOLUTION: Injecting or infusing Ozone into recycled irrigation water during a recirculating process provides exceptional benefits for re-used water while becoming chemical free. Ozone provides the best disinfection known for the destruction of all pathogens introduced or transmitted through water. Ozone will also re-infuse the water with increased levels of DO, which is significantly depleted with re-used water. In addition, we have found that with 1increasing water temperatures, as desired by some hydroponic growers, we can actually maintain high levels of DO which will significantly improve the plants root uptake while providing an aerobic plant environment.

We conducted a test for Ed Rosenthal who was experimenting with the benefits of increased water temperatures in hydroponic growing. He asked us if we could increase and hold water temperatures at ⁰84F maintaining a DO level of 10ppm or greater. We were able to increase water temperatures in excess of ⁰100F maintaining DO levels greater than 10ppm, and at ⁰84F we sustained DO levels within a range of 19ppm to 22ppm. Utilizing ozone to accomplish this also assured all molds, fungi and bacteria would be eliminated which is otherwise very difficult in this type of anaerobic environment.

Recycled irrigation water: image of healthy marijuana oxygenated plant roots, no pathogens.
Healthy marijuana oxygenated plant roots, no pathogens.

 

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CONTACT & LICENSES

California Groundwater Association
National Groundwater Association