News article

Benefits of UV-C Disinfection in Horticulture

Effective Prevention of ToBRFV Spread and Cost Savings in Water and Fertilizer
Priva Vialux-Line
19 April 2023

In addition to preventing the spread of viruses such as ToBRFV, the use of UV-C disinfection systems for drain water in horticulture can also lead to cost savings in water and fertilizer. When drain water is disinfected and reused, growers can save on water costs as well as reduce the amount of fertilizer needed to be added to the irrigation water. This is because the nutrients that are already present in the drain water can be reused by the plants, leading to more efficient use of fertilizers.

Moreover, by using UV-C disinfection, growers can reduce their reliance on chemical disinfectants, which can be expensive and potentially harmful to the environment. UV-C disinfection is a safe and environmentally friendly disinfection method, as it does not introduce any chemicals into the water or the environment.

With the Tomato Brown Rugose Fruit Virus (ToBRFV) being a serious threat to greenhouse growers worldwide, growers are concerned about spreading the virus through recirculated drain water. The virus is highly contagious and can easily spread to plants through mechanical means such as handling crops with contaminated hands, clothes, tools, or even cell phones. To help prevent the spread of the virus, growers must implement strict biosecurity measures.

However, science research laboratories mention that spreading viruses via contaminated water is a risk as well and this risk can be reduced by disinfecting the drain water before reusing it. A research trial by Norman Groen Agro Control shows that UV-C disinfection is an effective way to help prevent the spread of ToBRFV through drain water.

“The recommended standard dose of UV-C is 250 mJ/cm2, which has been proven effective against other plant pathogens” explains Kees van der Kruk, water specialist at Priva. “Our Vialux M-line UV-C disinfection unit not only meets the recommended dose, but it also comes with over 25 years of proven experience in drain water disinfection”. The use of UV-C disinfection systems for drain water is a safe, efficient, and environmentally friendly method that can help prevent the spread of ToBRFV among tomato growers worldwide.

In summary, using UV-C disinfection systems for drain water in horticulture can not only help prevent the spread of plant pathogens such as ToBRFV, but it can also lead to cost savings in water and fertilizer and promote more sustainable practices in horticulture.

5 benefits of UV-C disinfection for CEA

  1. Increased sustainability: By disinfecting and reusing drain water, growers can reduce their water and fertilizer usage, and waste. This can lead to significant cost savings and a more sustainable approach to agriculture.
  2. Improved plant health: Disinfecting drain water with UV-C light not only helps to prevent the spread of viruses such as ToBRFV, and other pathogens, but it also eliminates harmful microorganisms that can affect plant health. This can lead to better yields, improved quality of produce, and overall healthier plants.
  3. Protection against other pathogens: UV-C disinfection can also protect against other plant pathogens that can be present in drain water, such as Phytophthora and Pythium. This can prevent disease outbreaks and reduce the need for chemical treatments.
  4. Compliance with regulations: Many regions have regulations in place that require growers to treat and disinfect drain water before it is discharged into the environment. By using UV-C disinfection, growers can comply with these regulations and avoid stiff penalties.
  5. Easy to integrate into existing systems: UV-C disinfection systems can be easily integrated into existing drainage systems, without the need for major modifications or disruptions to operations. This makes it a convenient and practical solution for growers.


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Juan Gonzalez

Account Manager Horticulture

Juan Gonzalez

Bill Whittaker

Business Development Manager

Bill Whittaker