It’s Time to Get Serious About Irrigation Water

Starting in March of this year, at least 210 people in 36 states were sickened with a particularly virulent strain of E. coli O157:H7.  The contamination was from contact with lettuce or spinach.  According to CNN News, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) was able to determine that the E. coli bacteria sampled from those who became ill was closely related genetically, so a single source of infection was the most likely cause. The US Food and Drug Administration, along with the CDC and various state partners, then traced the outbreak back to a single growing region: Yuma, Arizona.

This area of Arizona supplies up to 90% of the leafy green vegetables that America eats during the winter months.  The common denominator is that the canals that transport water contained the E. coli bacteria.  The FDA is investigating  how E. coli was in that water in the first place, but in reality, the routes of contamination can be too numerous to count.  Humans, horses, cows, chickens and many other mammals can deposit feces into the water, either directly or indirectly.

It’s really easy to understand why and how this happens.  What is important is that it does not continue to happen.  The technology exists which can prevent this from happening in the future. More resources whould be allocated to prevbenting “what happened” than “how it happened.”  We have a real good idea how it did happen and it will happen again and again… if we don’t fix it.

Chlorination and De-Chlorination

Chlorine has long been utilized for disinfecting water.  The only issue is that the levels of chlorine residual necessary for proper disinfection can be detrimental to the plants, so after disinfection, the water also needs to be de-chlorinated by carbon filtration. This can be expensive and it requires both electricity, chlorine and waste of water.

Ultraviolet Disinfection

Ultraviolet or “UV” disinfection has been around for decades and is generally recognized as an effective tool for disinfecting water that’s contaminated with potentially dangerous microorganisms, like E. coli bacteria and other cysts. UV water purifier systems have become very popular in the past few years, as they can be quite effective in both residential and commercial applications.

Electro-Absorptive Nanofiber Filter

The Disruptor media filter is manufactured with Nano Alumina Fibers that have a Zeta potential of 51 millivolts. Many contaminants (including bacteria and cysts) are actually “magnetically” removed from the water supply and “secured” in the Charged Filter. This is truly “disruptive technology.”

Quantum Disinfection

Quantum Disinfection (“QD”) is a brand new technology developed using the same technology utilized in the manufacture of semiconductors.  It has a unique media that attracts electrons from microorganisms, causing the cell wall to collapse, which literally “vaporizes” the bacteria on a subatomic level. QD is a revolutionary technology that uses quantum mechanic principles of electron movement to create catalytic active surfaces. This is the first time such a technology has been used to disinfect water.

Conclusion

Any of these four technologies may be utilized under different circumstances and in many applications, more than one technology may be utilized to assure “fail-safe” disinfection.  Knowing what technolgy to utilize is the result of a proper water analysis, such as this WATER TESTA through water test is the first and most important step in treating irrigation water for bacteria.

A word of caution:  There is no one “best” technology, so if you are trying to disinfect water, do not trust a company that offers just one technology. Look to a company that offers multiple solutions tailored to your specific water disinfection needs.

Handling produce is very critical to the health of people who consume it. It is also very critical to irrigate that produce with water that is bacterially “pure.”

 

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