Hypochlorous Acid Hydroponic Drip Applications
Keeping Drip Tables & Irrigation Systems Clean
Hypochlorous acid hydroponic drip applications keep modern coco and rockwool set-ups productive and operating smoothly. Hypochlorous acid (HOCl-) is available as stable concentrates specifically offered for growers that can be injected into drip fertigation systems or added and dosed into reservoirs.
Hypochlorous acid is widely used in the food handling industry to keep things hygienic and kill harmful bacteria, pathogens, etc without risking contamination to food. It is also very well suited to keeping salts and biofilms from accumulating on growing surfaces and inside irrigation systems and tanks. Plant roots often look visibly healthier and more vibrant with HOCl- applications. Typically growers maintain 350-400 mV (millivolts) of ORP (oxidation reduction potential) in their water supplies, reservoirs and lines for optimal benefits with no risk to plant health. Levels above 450mV may create stresses on sensitive crop varieties
HOCl- concentrates like ClearLine or UC Roots can also be added to water storage systems, for example RO product water tanks to help keep water supplies hygienic.
Protecting Crops & Investments
Experienced drip table growers know that attention to details stack yields and harvest qualities; important factors in an increasingly competitive marketplace. Keeping root systems healthy and free of biological contamination and nutrient salt build ups improves crop production and protects irrigation systems. Biofilms and residues, left unchecked, can lead to crop failures and sometimes require irrigation system replacement. Both are expensive prospects and important considerations for the serious or large scale drip table grower. Hypochlorous acid is highly effective in this regard and is safe, easy and economical to apply.
What Are BioFilms
Biofilms often form and occur as complex collectives of microorganisms, competing with roots for resources like minerals and oxygen and may promote vectors for crop infection. They are nearly impossible to avoid. Studies demonstrate that as soon as water comes into contact with surfaces, especially irrigation pipes in warm well illuminated places, these films begin to form–naturally, they can develop at faster rates and with a higher level of persistence when there is a constant source of moisture. Organic debris, nutrients, oxygen and microbes, among others, are key contributors to the existence and formation of biofilms.
Hypochlorous Acid Works
Hypochlorous acid products intended as growing solutions are highly effective on surfaces and in lines without harming people, plants or the environment when used as directed. Just how safe is HOCl-? People can gargle with it at concentrations hundreds of times higher than used in hydroponics applications effectively. Additionally, HOCl- is really good at keeping salt residues from accumulating on drip emitters, drip table surfaces, roots or in drip irrigation growing substrates such as rockwool or coco.
Clear Line VS UC Roots: What’s the Difference?
Clear Line is a very highly concentrated form of HOCl- that will require dilution for use as a stock solution for injection systems. As such it is highly economical to use. When added directly to reservoirs or cisterns, typically 0.25 to 0.5 ml per US Gallon is sufficient to reach optimal ORP values.
UC Roots is diluted and easier to apply in recirculating water culture systems such as the Under Current or HPAC (high pressure aeroponic cloner) systems. Typical dosage rates range from 3 to 5 ml per US Gallon of nutrient solution.
It is worth noting that not all HOCl- solutions are created equal, and here’s why:
If not intended as a growing solution, HOCl- may contain unacceptable levels of Sodium (Na) that can be toxic to plants.
Clear Line or UC Roots will not affect the PPM or pH of nutrient solutions in any significant way, when used as directed. It may even create a more stable solution in the root zone or growing media.
Clear Line and UC Roots have a guaranteed stable shelf life of one year; far surpassing many HOCl- solutions which need to be used very quickly after manufacture to be effective.
Grower Application Tips for Drip Table Irrigation Systems
Using an accurate ORP monitor and dosing system can simplify ORP management and means spending less timing manually adding to tanks or reservoirs.
In fertigation systems where water is stored, it is recommended to add Clear Line or UC Roots to water storage tanks periodically (every 2-5 days depending on temperature) if not using an ORP monitoring and dosing system.
Adding HOCl- directly to irrigation mains via a proportioner system like a Dosatron is an easy, reliable, consistent, effective and affordable way to ensure that all your pipes, manifolds, bubbler heads, emitters and spaghetti lines stay scale, biofilm and clog free.
For a simple 1:100 Dosatron Setting, Clear Line stock solution may be prepared by adding 8.5 fluid ounces of Clear Line to 2.5 US Gallons of filtered water. This should yield 0.2 PPM of HOCl- in the solution. If lines are dirty, the ORP elevated by the additions of Clear Line will be diminished more quickly (based on the microbial load).