Comparative Analyses of Conventional and Novel Water Treatment Technologies for Recirculating Greenhouse Fertigation Solutions
The reuse of irrigation water allows greenhouse growers to reduce the amount of water and fertilizer used for the development of their crops. Although, there are barriers that limit the widespread adoption of water recirculation which include the proliferation of plant pathogens, accumulation of phytotoxic chemical contaminants and nutrient imbalances. To address these issues, water treatment technologies are needed to disinfect and/or degrade chemical contaminants in order to recirculate irrigation water. The use of electrochemical systems for treating fertigation solutions was explored for overcoming their compatibility in recirculating hydroponics. Studies were performed with a head to head comparison using conventional and novel water treatment technologies for treating fertigation water. All treatment technologies were effective at removing biological and chemical contaminants by varying degrees. Furthermore, greenhouse trials determined that electrochemical water treatment was suitable for cultivating Cyclamen persicum with recirculating the fertigation solution through drip irrigation.