Bulb cultivation sector targets zero farmyard emissions

In the Waterproof Flower-Bulb Cultivation project, bulb cultivation stakeholders are working together on the development and testing of water treatment technologies to process farmyard wastewater that is contaminated with plant protection products. The project’s objective is to design and test technologies suitable for the treatment of the (most contaminated) farmyard streams.

Water is used in several bulb cultivation activities. Farmyard washdown can load surface- and groundwater with plant protection products, thereby deteriorating water quality. By treating this water one can make it suitable for reuse or, at the very least, prevent the discharge of protection products into the surface- and groundwater.

The project is broad-based, with bulb cultivation companies, the Royal General Bulb Growers’ Association (KAVB), Water Authorities, technology providers and KWR collaborating on solutions. The research is being conducted by KWR and co-funded by TKI Water Technology, which is a component of the Dutch Top Sector policy.

Technology quickly applicable in the sector

The project benefits greatly from the participation of technology companies and bulb cultivators, since this means that available treatment technologies can be quickly applied in the sector. Moreover, the knowledge from other sectors comes in handy – for example, expertise in drinking water production or in water treatment in greenhouse horticulture.

Search for the right treatment technologies

The project has begun with the collection of samples at different bulb cultivation companies to determine the composition of different water streams at the farmyard. This involves examining the concentration of plant protection products in the water streams, but also other parameters that are important for the design of a water treatment technology, for example, the stream’s turbidity and its organic matter content. Researchers will then focus on the removal of the plant protection products using different technologies, both in the laboratory and under operating conditions. The project runs until September 2020.

Execution and funding

This project is being executed by KWR, while the project partners provide knowledge, materials and funding. These partners are: the Hollands Noorderkwartier, Hollandse Delta, Zuiderzeeland, and Van Rijnland Water Authorities, fa Schutte and J& T Bloembollen (represented by Flynth), Lonza, Agrozone, Profyto DSD, VAM Watertechniek and the KAVB. TKI Water Technology is a co-funder.

For more information on this news item or the project, please contact Peter Knippels: .