Algae blooms can have a major impact on irrigation systems and cost producers time and money to clear clogged pumps, spray and drip lines, not to mention possible chemical application costs.
WaterIQ Technologies™ and its partners specialise in environmentally friendly ultrasound technology for efficient and cost-effective solutions to combat harmful algae and biofilm.
“WaterIQ helps our customers prevent, remediate and sustain removal of harmful and disruptive algae from some of our most valuable water assets – all without chemicals,” says CEO and chairman Lawrence Field.
Wineries source water from waterways, river take-outs or boreholes, while irrigation ponds are used during the growing season and fill and deplete over time. These are susceptible to algae blooms under favourable conditions. “Unmitigated, algae can add toxins to water supplies and clog the intact or even the irrigation lines, through ingestion,” says Lawrence.
At the same time, wineries are often located in areas with high environmental awareness and often high restriction and regulation on water use, additives, and quality controls – especially on recycled water re-entering a public supply.
The presence and growth of algae can therefore present a serious challenge.
Prevent, mitigate, sustain
In response many growers attempt use of weaker algaecides and the use of bubblers to try to mitigate algae – usually with limited success. “Most wineries need to build their brands around clean, sustainable growing and the presence of harmful and often toxic algae counters that brand, as does the use of algaecides to kill the algae,” says Lawrence.
That’s where Water IQ comes into the picture. “We work with our customers and dealers to help understand the types of algae in a pond and seek to install systems ahead of algae becoming a problem,” Lawrence explains. “We seek to prevent, mitigate, and sustain.
WaterIQ uses a proprietary ultrasound technology that transmits more than 2000 discrete frequencies in two bands. “The emitted sound waves create a resonance in simple cellular structures (algae) that disrupts their inner cellular mechanisms, causing them to lose buoyancy, sink and die. On the bottom, the algae decomposes without harming beneficial aerobic bacteria, unlike with the use of algaecides, which destroys good bacteria as a side effect.”
California case study
WaterIQ has installed its systems in some of the most prestigious labels in California, where a strong regulatory environment dictates what can be used in cultivation and growing and strictly controls the use of water and water quality.
That means growers have few options to ensure the highest quality water and prevent algae blooms that disrupt their operations. Many are brands built on sustainability, and are looking for partners to help them live up to a reputation as stewards for the environment and community.
Ultrasound units in an irrigation pond address this need by preventing, combating, and sustaining algae removal without the use of harmful chemicals.
“Our systems operate around the clock and cloud-connected devices enable real-time monitoring of operation to integrate with a customer’s sustainability and control systems,” says Lawrence.
“The negative effects of algae blooms in winery surface water assets are many including impacted irrigation suction screens, clogged drip emitters and the possibility of harmful toxins,” says Anthony Domenici, CEO and Founder of Aquatic Resource Management Inc. in California, a consultant for the wine industry.
“We have found the implementation of WaterIQ Technologies ultrasonic algae defence systems to be effective, chemical free solutions to mitigating algae blooms all while helping vineyards and wineries meet their sustainability goals.“
Water management using ultrasound technology shows great potential for addressing algae blooms in water sources, reducing the potential release of toxins into the water supply, improving the flow of water to crops, and reducing the labour and support costs associated with cleaning algae from irrigation ponds.