Recycled water quality dynamics and implications for ornamental crop production©
Capture and reuse of agricultural runoff for irrigation was first adopted primarily for environmental protection (Skimina, 1986). Over the past 30 years, this practice has evolved to be an important sustainability strategy for many ornamental crop production nurseries. However, until very recently, little was known about recycled water quality dynamics in runoff containment ponds (Hong et al., 2009). In that 2009 study, we discovered through continuously monitoring that water quality in a containment pond fluctuates dramatically over time with pH being mostly alkaline. To determine whether this fluctuation and alkaline pH prevalence also occur in other containment ponds, we have since expanded the monitoring program to include nine ponds in Virginia, two in Maryland, and one in Mississippi through a joint project with University of Maryland and USDA ARS Southern Horticultural Lab (http://www.irrigation-pathogens.ppws.vt.edu/). This expanded monitoring demonstrated that dramatic fluctuation and alkaline pH prevalence are common in containment ponds (Zhang et al., 2015a, b, 2016). This presentation uses a small subset of the Virginia data to illustrate this and some other major findings and discuss their potential implications for ornamental crop production.
Hong, C. (2017). Recycled water quality dynamics and implications for ornamental crop production©. Acta Hortic. 1174, 353-358