Project: Treating discharge water from Greenhouse farm Berlikum | Status: completed

Together with Easymeasure and Water Waves, the Centre of Expertise Water Technology (CEW) has tested a new method for removing crop protection products from greenhouse horticulture discharge water. The project ‘Zuivering Spuiwater Glastuinbouw Berlikum’ (‘Purification Discharge Water Greenhouse Farm Berlikum’) was launched with the commissioning of a pilot installation in the Water Application Centre (WAC) in Leeuwarden on 18 February 2016. This project is a collaboration between LTO Glaskracht Nederland, LTO Noord, Menameradiel Municipality, Wetterskip Fryslân, Easymeasure BV, Water Waves BV and the CEW. The Province of Friesland supports this project as an innovation projects in the Fryslân subsidy scheme for the economy, recreation and tourism.

 Outline agreement on treating discharge water from greenhouse farming

The reason for the project is the purification obligation for discharge water from greenhouse horticulture as of 1 January 2018. This is laid down in the outline agreement that was recently concluded by the greenhouse farming sector and other parties. The purification obligation stipulates that farmers must remove 95% of crop protection products from discharge water. With conventional techniques, this means a major investment for individual farmers.

National interest

The aim of the wastewater project is to reduce the purification costs for individual farmers through innovative technology and by setting up collective facilities. In this way, the project contributes to the healthy and sustainable development of greenhouse horticulture in Berlikum and elsewhere. LTO Noord and LTO Glaskracht Nederland, respectively associations of agricultural entrepreneurs and greenhouse horticulturalists, are therefore co-initiators of this project, which has already attracted national attention. The technology used is based on a new variant of the Fenton reaction, in which plant protection products are broken down under the influence of an oxidising agent (hydrogen peroxide) and iron particles in the water. The ambition of the project group is to use the new method to reduce by 50% the costs for the removal of crop protection products.

 Frisian research

As a practice-oriented research institute, the Centre of Expertise Water Technology (CEW) in Leeuwarden conducted the tests together with Easymeasure and Waterwaves. The municipality of Menameradiel and the water board Wetterskip Fryslân are involved in the project because the discharge water from the greenhouse horticulture sector is discharged into the wastewater treatment plant (Wetterskip Fryslân) via the municipal sewage system.

With the commissioning of a definitive pilot installation in the Water Application Centre (WAC) in Leeuwarden, the ‘Spuiwaterreinreinreinbouw Glastuinbouw Berlikum’ project was festively concluded on Wednesday, 28 June 2017. Further tests are currently being carried out with this installation in order to obtain BZG certification. A certificate will be awarded if more than 95% of each crop protection product is removed.

[Caption] Joeri Beerens (right), a fourth-year environmental science student at Van Hall Larenstein Leeuwarden and Biense Hoogland, project assistant at the CEW, starting the first test in the Water Application Centre.

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