STERILIZATION OF WATER AND NUTRIENT SOLUTIONS
This paper has been written in order to give interested parties some background knowledge on sterilization and the related techniques available today. Please bear in mind that different techniques have different strength in different applications. This means that we must not try to make one system work for all applications. Up until now there has not been a great interest in the horticultural field for using sterilization but pollution problems have put a pressure on the agricultural sector as a whole in order to get less effluence containing pollutants.
On one side the horticultural industry is being infected from the outside. More and more raw water analysis with infection not only of human pathogens but also with specific plant pathogens such as phytium is being brought to our attention. It is not only from the outside this pollution originates. The more effluence the agricultural industry is discharging into the environment containing fertilizer ions such as nitrate, ammonium and phosphates, pesticides and fungicides, the more infection they are getting, when they pump the polluted water back again and use it without any form for precaution or treatment. With central irrigation systems and reuse of the nutrient solutions comes the danger of easy spreading of the phatogens.
The reasons for treating and reusing the water are:
Better plant quality
Higher plant production
Conservation of water and nutrients
The sterilization process should eliminate pathogens like fungus,