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Wageningen University:

Netherlands: HortiMaX participating in tests of water purification methods

Wageningen University (WUR) Greenhouse Horticulture, a leading research institute in the Netherlands, announced in August that it would conduct a comparative study of four water purification methods for use in greenhouse horticulture. The research project into removing pesticides from discharge water is now well underway. HortiMaX, a worldwide supplier of horticultural and water purification technology based in the Netherlands, has played a key role in the project from September.

New environmental targets
The Dutch government and horticultural industry set new targets to reduce nitrogen and phosphate levels in discharge water at a meeting of the Platform Duurzame Glastuinbouw (sustainable greenhouse horticulture platform). The concentrations of pesticides found in surface water are also still too high. The horticultural sector faces a huge challenge if it is to meet the set targets.

Water purification methods
The institute is testing various methods of water purification to find new ways of reducing the discharge of pesticides. Of the 30 purification methods reviewed, four technologies were selected that could be used at greenhouse nurseries in the short term. Once the tests are complete, the aim is to choose one or more of these technologies for implementation in the sector next year.

Water purification tests with the HortiMaX Vitalite H2O2

The ‘end-of-pipe’ solutions are considered most likely to be chosen for use in the short term. These solutions involve breaking down or removing the unwanted substances in the discharge water. HortiMaX has developed the HortiMaX Vitalite H2O2 for this method of water purification. This system uses low pressure UV light to activate hydrogen peroxide, breaking down the pesticides in the water. The research institute is currently testing the effectiveness of this technology. The project’s steering group opted for HortiMaX because of its extensive experience with low pressure UV disinfection and its general expertise in water treatment.

The results of the research project will be announced at the end of 2012. The evaluation will take into account the cost price of the technology and the capacity and reliability of the purification system. Growers and water purification experts are assisting in the project.

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