Ornamental producer face increasing pressure to remediate and treat runoff, both to reduce deterioration of surface and ground water quality and also to facilitate conservation through recycling and reuse of this vital resource. Many nurseries and greenhouses are implementing water and nutrient management plans to manage inputs and runoff, to save money, and to comply with regulations.These plans include treatments based on chemical, thermal, or radiation methods (e.g., chlorine, pasteurization, and UV, respectively) to remove contaminants and pathogens.
Contaminants of concern when recycling production runoff include:
Certified organic growers and growers with an eye toward future sustainability need effective, research-based ecological alternatives to manage and recycle runoff. Some effective, ecologically-based alternatives to chemical treatment exist for removing various contaminants. The following ecological alternatives will be discussed: