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19 Mar 2018

Slow Sand Filters

Pitton, B.J.L., Oki, L.R. (University of California Davis), White, S.A (Clemson University)

Slow sand filters (SSF) can provide high-quality water from untreated sources like irrigation runoff. SSFs consist of a sand bed with about three feet of water above that flows through the sand via gravity. A microorganism community develops on the sand that has the ability to remove plant pathogens, including water molds, viruses, bacteria, and fungi. Flow rates are approximately six inches per hour so they can occupy a large area if sizable volumes of water need to be treated. However, SSFs are simple to install and are fairly cheap to operate compared to other treatment technologies.

6 Mar 2018

Microbial Technology

Bell, N., Majsztrik, J., and S. White (Clemson University)

Ecological treatment methods such as slow sand filters, bioreactors, and algal turf scrubbers are low-cost, low energy technologies which harness the power of naturally-occurring microorganisms to remediate nutrients, agrichemicals, and pathogens in water.  System costs are substantially lower than chemical disinfestation and remediation technologies.  European horticultural growers have been using slow sand filters (SSFs) since the early 1990s, however SSFs have been used since the early 1800s to clean contaminants from water for human consumption. Recent research has shown that slow filters containing pumice and rockwool are able to effectively remediate pesticides and nutrients from irrigation water. 

16 Feb 2018

Plants With Purpose

Garcia-Chance, L., Majsztrik, J., and S. White (Clemson University)

Bioremediation, which is the process of using plants and microbes to remove contaminants from water and soil, has been used successfully in many different forms. Ornamental growers can use plants to effectively treat irrigation water. These systems are able to remove nutrients, sediment, and other contaminants from water before it is reused of runs off site.  There are a number of different ways that bioremediation can be used at ornamental operations including installing floating mats on irrigation ponds which can save space, provide additional revenue, and reduce algae growth.

Nurserymag Dec 2017 (1518 KB)

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