CCH2O Crop Production Bulletin:
by: Erik Biksa
Grow room sanitization accomplished between each crop in a grow room or indoor agriculture growing facility is the first line of defense in avoiding the need to treat plants during cropping for issues like crop pests or pathogens that can damage your bottom line as well as crop quality at harvest later on. Besides negating the use of potentially harmful and often costly crop sprays or treatments, a sterile growing system and growing environment increase growth rates and yields. Thorough and adequate grow room sanitization helps ensure that plants do not need to expend energy during the cropping cycle fighting off problems–crops perform best when they can channel their available energy into developing healthy root, leaf and reproductive growth.
Problems of the Past
Traditionally, chemical grow room sterilization has been the only effective option available to greenhouse or indoor farmers. Chemicals used can vary in their effectiveness, ease of application and safety. Almost all are expensive to use and apply. More recently, the adoption of organic-based sterilizers for grow systems and surfaces like walls and floors has been regarded as an improvement versus the very dangerous and expensive to apply fumigants used in the past.
Peroxyacetic Acids like ZeroTol, SaniDate, etc are organic-based effective cleansers for grow room sanitization including systems and grow room surfaces. However, they can be dangerous to work with and require significant trained labor to dilute and apply. Moreover, they tend to be expensive, especially when factoring freight, handling and the fact that they create a reoccurring expense with each crop changeover. In today’s volatile marketplace, shipping and product availability can be subject to change–and there is never a guarantee with the price either.
The next link in the evolutionary chain for grow room sanitization is naturally occurring and available on-demand, with the simple push of a button. It leaves no harmful residues. As a matter of fact, the only byproduct left following effective sanitization and cleansing of growing equipment and grow room surfaces is oxygen.
Say what, sounds too good to be true?
Innovative Growing Solutions, Naturally
We’re happy to say that it IS true, and that’s why CCH2O is pleased to offer an industrial build quality mobile ozone disinfection cart as part of our range of innovative growing solutions. Ozone (O3) occurs naturally in the earth’s atmosphere–ever notice that “fresh” smell in the air after a good rainstorm? Chances are, what you are detecting is the effect of Ozone. When electrical currents are generated in the atmosphere, O3 is created. Ozone is basically an Oxygen molecule (O2) with an additional oxygen molecule in the bond. It is highly unstable–it really just wants to become O2, ie the stuff we need to breathe to live. When O3 comes into contact with other particles like dirt and impurities in the atmosphere, the third oxygen molecule leaps off from the O3 bond, attaching itself to other particles and effectively oxidizing them or “zapping” them into oblivion, if you prefer.
Ozone is a highly effective oxidizer. Pathogens, biofilms, microbes, etc are not able to build resistance, unlike many chemical treatments. The oxidation reaction occurs instantaneously when O3 comes into contact with unwanted grunge in your grow room sanitization process–the results are clean and sterile surfaces with nothing but pure oxygen left to dissipate. Imagine that: a sparkling clean and fresh smelling grow room ready to plant up with no reliance on dangerous chemicals that are tedious to apply and costly to replace.
Applying O3 for Grow Room Sanitization
Until more recently, ozone was difficult to apply in a controlled rate while assuring good contact with surfaces. This made it difficult to use effectively for applications like grow room sanitization. When generated by electrical arcing (Corona Discharge), Ozone occurs as a gas. It does not last long because it is highly unstable (which in part makes it such an effective oxidizer). This makes ozone very difficult to measure and apply with any consistency in disinfecting or sanitizing surfaces.
CWT’s Ozone Systems have solved this problem and made applying ozone as a disinfectant easy, effective and consistent by dissolving high levels of O3 into water which then can be applied to surfaces or run through systems, irrigation pipes, fogger lines, etc. The Mobile Ozone Cart is robust and portable, making it easy to use in all areas of your indoor farming operations. Besides effective grow room sanitization and sterilization of hydroponic systems and irrigation equipment, there are many other places ozone can be applied to improve your cropping endeavors and bottom line. Additionally, sterilization using the ozone cart does not require high temperatures for prolonged periods, cold water ozone sterilization is efficient and saves power.
Drying racks, if not properly sterilized, can become a breeding ground for pathogens to contaminate your buds or impart musty or other undesirable qualities to your harvest.
Propagation trays and domes should be completely sterilized before reuse–spraying with ozone makes it easy and effective to prevent propagation pathogens while leaving no residues to harm tender young plants.
Weekly sanitization of water holding tanks, cisterns and main supply lines helps keep biofilms at bay, reducing pressures on the crop.
Ductwork can harbor spores, dust and other contaminants; the perfect job for ozone.
What, spray water into my ducting?!
No, the ozone cart is super versatile and flexible–it also allows you to produce and distribute ozone as a gas. Just connect the ozone gas discharge tube to your ductwork or grow room, set the ozone level and duration and clear the area. Once complete, rest assured any unfriendlies camping out in your air distribution system have met their end.
Mobile Disinfection Cart Features
Ozone gas discharge or ozonated water, allows the operator to select an appropriate delivery system for different jobs and tasks, ie atmospheric sanitization versus systems or surfaces.
Oxygen output or ozone output selection, when you just want the cleaning power of oxygen or for when you need to apply ozone for a higher level of cleaning and sanitization.
Variable ozone level output and duration, the operator can customize and streamline cleansing power and duration for different jobs, saving time and labor while enhancing safety protocols.
Industrial robust stainless steel construction and heavy-duty wheels provide a long service life, even under tough conditions with frequent use.
Compact package, big output and flexibility–the cart is truly mobile and is easy to move around from one area to another in your growing facility.
Designed, assembled and backed in the USA–help is available from a highly knowledgeable and well-trusted name in the industry.
Includes corrosion resistant heavy duty generous length of hose and stainless steel tri-clamps so you can put your mobile sanitization cart to work right away–you’ll just need a source of freshwater.
For more information or a quotation, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org