Bridging the GAPs: Approaches to Treating Water On Farms

• Fertilizers • Pesticides • Herbicides Filters should not influence these compounds

Multi -hurdle approach

In implementing any chemical water treatment, there are some best management practices to follow. These include injecting a chemical at startup and at the end of irrigation. This allows sanitating the lines for irrigation delivery and reduces the likelihood of biofilm formation. Filtering water prior to treatment can reduce the amount of the organic matter in the water line, which may result in the formation of fewer chloramines, or in the case of UV light may increase the effectiveness by increasing transmissivity. It is also recommended that any foliar spray or injected chemical treatments be done after water treatment has been done. All agricultural water should receive uniform treatment on the farm. This may require more installed systems and monitoring.

Monitor ing

Recall, as part of the Produce Safety Rule, there is a monitoring requirement if treatment of water is done. The Produce Safety Rule in the Food Safety Modernization Act states: “You must monitor any treatment of agricultural water at a frequency adequate to ensure that the treated water is consistently safe and of adequate sanitary quality for its intended use and/or consistently meets the relevant microbial quality § 112.43.”

Treatment isn’t required, but if it is done it must be monitored.

Monitoring – A chemical should be monitored to assure proper use rates.

• Too little indicates less compound being injected

Potential for untreated water

Too much indicates overtreatment

• May be over maximum concentration indicated on the product label

Verify settings for any injection system

• Variable speed adds flexibility, but can be easily changed resulting in insufficient treatment

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