Ozone for Horticulture Water Treatment

Horticulture water requirement is specific for the well maintenance of the project.

In gardening it is necessary to be careful with chemical contamination just as much as with a possible plague. Ozone is an excellent solution to horticulture water use, as it treats the water without chemicals.

How can ozone act in such an impactful way in horticulture? Scroll down and you’ll find your answer!

The horticulture industry demands large amounts of high-quality water. Ozone is an effective oxidizer used to disinfect drinking water supplies and treat industrial wastewater.

Rising global temperatures, increased drought periods, and a growing demand for water means that every drop of water gains a more significant value and every drop is valuable.

Because water is being recycled, concerns about disease, chemical contamination, water discharge, and leaching of nutrients to groundwater are growing, ozone relieves all of these concerns because it is a 100% natural agent, provides a barrier to prevent plant diseases, sanitizes recycled water and increases the productivity and crop yield.

How does it work?

The production of high quality vegetables requires high quality water in copious quantities. Increasing urbanization in many areas of horticultural production, increasing water demand and decreasing quality and quantity means that the horticulture industry preserves current and future water resources.

Contaminated water, when recycled, often ends up being applied to plants sensitive to plant growth regulators or otherwise applied where growth regulators are not intended to be used. In addition, contaminated water may be discharged off-site and have unintended downstream consequences.

Unlike chlorine, ozone is non-toxic and does not produce disinfection byproducts (DBP’s).

Once dissolved in water, ozone destroys the pathogens and then safely reverts back to oxygen. After being dissolved in water, it destroys the pathogens before returning to oxygen.

More plant pathogens are developing resistance to many traditional fungicides and growers are also seeing undesirable side effects on their plants from the application of chemicals.

Ozonization should be considered as part of an overall strategy to reduce plant pathogens in recirculated irrigation water with the concomitant risk of increased disease incidence.

In order to make the ozonization process more efficient and profitable, factors such as the quality of recirculated irrigation water (levels of turbidity, composition and the presence or not of organic or inorganic constituents), water volume to be treated (large volumes of water will considerably increase the ozone generation requirements), as well as the physical characteristics of the area (terrain, layout of the plantations, etc.) should be considered.


The horticulture industry is now realizing the benefits of ozone. Farmers are now beginning to use ozone treatment to disinfect water (recycled or fresh).

Increasingly, stringent water policies are being developed that have led farmers to seek modern treatment alternatives with less impact on the environment.

Plant growth regulators during horticultural production are used to control the growth of plants and also to increase their yield, which in turn lead to the possibility of contamination of irrigation water with these plant growth regulating chemicals.

Some applications of ozonated water in horticulture:

  • Irrigation to kill bacteria and micro-organisms which damage the plant since its germination stage and the removal of molds, root rot and fungi;

  • Pretreatment (sterilization) of soils before sowing;

  • Immersion of soil pots in ozonated water for disinfection of cuttings;

  • Treatment of water used for irrigation in order to eliminate algae, heavy metals (such as iron and manganese) and related bacteria (eg. iron bacteria, mangano-bacteria, etc.) present in artificial basins and maximum reuse of water;

  • Greenhouse spraying for the reduction and elimination of insects and pests;

  • Washing of fruits and vegetables, to ensure maximum hygiene and prolongation of its freshness and shelf life after harvest;

  • And much more.


Ozone is a naturally produced gas that is commonly used as a sanitizing agent to help kill microorganisms in water.

Ozonated water has been used abroad in greenhouses, out-of-ground and in open field cultivations and, by now, it is increasingly used given the excellent results obtained without using chemical products.

Some tested and recognized ozone benefits on the horticulture are:

  • Ozone is easy to produce from air or oxygen;

  • Ozone dissolves 12 times more easily in water than oxygen;

  • Ozone is efficient in pathogens control (chlorination is an effective method of combating pathogens but its residual effects can harm plant life, ozone does not leave any residue);

  • Ozone does not produce more toxic compounds than removed ones, and neither introduces foreign matter to the medium, fact that chlorine does;

  • Ozone reacts readily with organic and inorganic compounds due to its high reduction potential and reactivity;

  • Along with disinfection, ozone also lowers the COD, color, odor and turbidity of the water treated;

  • Possible excesses of ozone in water decompose readily to oxygen, without leaving any residue;

  • The increase in oxygen means that many diseased plants are quick to recover and pathogens are also less likely to take hold of healthy plants;

  • Ozone is safe for plant nutrients.

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