Bridging the GAPs: Approaches to Treating Water On Farms

AG R I CU L TU R A L WA T E R T R E A TM E N T TOO L S

This chapter aims to introduce the methods for treating agricultural water for fruit and vegetable growers. It includes antimicrobial chemical options and antimicrobial devices that are available to treat water. The knowledge of how these chemicals and devices function, as well as the advantages and disadvantages of each.

There are various methods for treating agricultural water, including antimicrobial chemistries (chlorine for example) or antimicrobial devices (UV light for example). It is important to remember that there is no “one size fits all” selection. This section provides information regarding the most common methods used to provide reduction of microorganisms along with advantages and disadvantages of each method.

Commercial ly Avai lable Agr iculture Water Treatment Technologies

In general, there are two types of irrigation treatment methods: chemical and device treatments. Chemical treatments include the use of antimicrobial pesticide products that are required to be registered by the EPA.

Antimicrobial Pesticide Product – contains a substance or mixture of substances that is intended to destroy, repel, prevent, or mitigate (lessen the severity of) a pest. This includes substances that attract pests to lessen their impact, for example by attracting pests to a trap. Pesticide products must be registered by the EPA unless they qualify for an exemption. Pesticide Device – works by physical means (such as electricity, light or mechanics) and does not contain a substance or mixture of substances to perform its intended pesticidal purpose. EPA registration is required; however, these devices are regulated in that “false or misleading claims” cannot be made about the effectiveness of devices. If a manufacturer is making claims about a device, they should have scientific data to back up the claims. Some devices are not regulated. For example, any device that depends more upon the performance of the user than the performance of the device itself to be effective (such as a fly swatter) is not regulated. Also, traps for vertebrate animals are not regulated.

What type of irrigation water treatment system(s) do you use or are you familiar with?

Select your response to the poll question and click Submit below

• Antimicrobial pesticide (examples include chlorine, chlorine dioxide, peroxyacetic acid) • Antimicrobial device (examples include UV light, ozone) • I’m not familiar with any.

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