Starting this autumn it is possible to test disinfection equipment for pathogen elimination in soilless cropping methods. It is also possible to test substances or products to eliminate pathogens from the nutrient solution and to clean the piping. The last group can also be tested for remnants which may be able to damage plants. According a strict protocol pathogenic bacteria, fungi or virus will be added to a standardised nutrient solution which also contains organic materials and plant protection products to simulate commercial practice. This makes continuous testing and comparison possible.
Disinfection equipment, such as UV light, heat treatment installation or ozone the reduction in pathogen concentration will be determined at levels supplied by the manufacturer or dealer. Ultimate goal is a pathogen reduction with a factor 1000 or more. Disinfection products, such as hydrogen peroxide, elector chemical activated water, bleach, the pathogen reduction will be determined as well as the possible risk for remnant concentrations to damage plant roots. Other products which are claimed to eliminate biofouling in pipeworks can be tested on their behaviour.
Finally the whole testing procedure will be certified to show growers or any other user that the product or apparatus is suitable for its purpose.