Water quality is of utmost importance in any hydroponic system.
The majority of a plants’ weight is made up of water. It is the life blood of a plant as it carries the dissolved nutrients which the plant feeds from.
Plants which are grown in clean water grow faster, healthier and with less problems.
The quality of the water can therefore determine the success or failure of even the largest greenhouse facilities.
Water Treatment describes the various processes used to make water more acceptable for use in hydroponics.
The use of effective Water Treatment methods such as Filtration and Water Sanitisers will enable growers to maintain the highest level of water quality for their crop.
Assess the Water Supply First
Water that is deemed suitable for drinking by humans is not necessarily ideal for growing plants in. This is because many plants have a lower tolerance for certain elements (i.e sodium) than what humans would do.
Poor quality water can lead to a number of plant growth problems such as stunted growth, mineral toxicity, elemental deficiency symptoms, build up of unwanted elements in plant tissue, bacterial contamination etc.
Water from ponds, dams, rivers and shallow bores are very variable in quality and this can change daily. These sources are at risk of being contaminated by Pythium, Phytophthora or other disease organisms. Activities upstream are also unknown and many growers who rely on river water can have their crops damaged by the contamination of water supplies through irresponsible land use or chemical spills.
Rainwater collected from greenhouse roofs can be contaminated by dust borne fungal spores, salt water sea spray (sodium), acid rain (from nearby volcanic activity) or animal droppings.
Public water supplies are not always free from plant pathogens and depending on the type of municipal water catchment system, the composition of the water can also vary from day to day.
A scientific assessment of a water supply to determine the quality of the water is therefore essential before selecting land and committing to a commercial hydroponic facility.
It is not unusual for the proposed site of a commercial hydroponic facility to be rejected simply because the water quality is very poor or too expensive to effectively treat.
Pure Hydroponics can receive samples of water from overseas locations for testing in our preferred laboratory in New Zealand or we can recommend to clients the type of profile we need tested for so they can use their own local laboratory.
Once the results of a water analysis have been reviewed we can then recommend a suitable Filtration and Sanitation system.
This process eliminates any hidden costs and ensures the water used in the proposed hydroponic system will be as Pure as possible, making growing less challenging.
Once the water supply has been assessed a suitable filtration system can be recommended. This will remove as much organic loading as possible from the water supply in preparation for sanitation. The following pages outlines the most effective filtration processes for hydroponics.
Then Sanitise It
Sanitisers are very important. Any water that is used for the following applications needs to be fully sanitised to prevent the spread of disease and to increase the shelf life of harvested plants.
- Water used for nutrient solutions and the irrigation of plants.
- Water used for the washing of growpots , trays, secateurs and other equipment.
- Water used to wash down packing benches and surfaces that are in contact with plants.
- Water used for the post harvest rinsing and soaking of crops.
Pure Hydroponics has selected what we feel are the most effective sanitation products available for use in hydroponic systems and have described them in the following pages.
These sanitation products are totally safe for using with plants and they will effectively remove harmful pathogens from the water supply.
All products have been rigorously field tested and proven to perform in the most challenging of environments.
Please study thh following sections for more information:
- Water Sanitation & Treatment Products