Agriculture is the source of food and clothing for humans, the basis for survival, and the primary condition for all production. It plays a leading role in economic development. Water is essential for the development of all things, and agriculture, as a major industry that sustains human beings, has even more stringent requirements for water.
However, not all water resources can be used in agricultural production, such as industrial wastewater, seawater, and brackish water, which contain biologically harmful substances and cannot be used directly in agricultural production, and need to be treated with technology and equipment before they can be used in agricultural production.
Reverse osmosis membrane technology is better at removing salts from brackish water and is commonly used for the desalination of seawater or brackish water, the softening treatment of water, wastewater as well as purification, concentration, and separation in the food and pharmaceutical industries, and the chemical industry. NEWater is a manufacturer with research in various reverse osmosis water treatment industries. and has provided different water purification plants after a series of complex process designs in agricultural production, which have a wide range of applications in the agricultural sector all over the world.
2.0 What are Agricultural Water Treatment Systems?
Almost all surface water contains some pollutants. Such as bacteria, viruses, chlorides, sulfates, sodium, nitrates, arsenic, etc. Common water sources for agricultural irrigation are generally oceans, rivers, lakes, wells, etc., and the discharged irrigation water and discharged sewage also have an impact on water quality.
With the maturity of water treatment technology, water treatment technology can remove 90% to 99.99% of the total TDS in water. Obtaining a large amount of freshwater by processing surface water from different sources and applying it for agricultural irrigation can help improve the production quality of the farm and achieve exponential growth in financial returns.
Common agricultural water treatment systems include:
- Agricultural reverse osmosis systems
- Salt water treatment for agriculture
- Agriculture water filter system
- Solar desalination system
- Ultrafiltration（UF） system
- Nanofiltration（NF） system
Next, we will focus on how reverse osmosis systems are used in agriculture, aquaculture, and livestock drinking water.
3.0 Principles and Advantages of Reverse Osmosis Technology
3.1 Principle of Reverse Osmosis Technology
Reverse osmosis technology uses a reverse osmosis membrane to separate solvents from solutes. It works by applying certain pressure to the water so that the water molecules and free mineral elements pass through the membrane, while most of the inorganic salts (including heavy metals), organic matter, and bacteria and viruses dissolved in the water cannot pass through the membrane, thus effectively separating the permeated pure water from the impermeable concentrated water and thus completing the purification of the water.
3.2 Advantages of Reverse Osmosis Technology
Compared to traditional methods, reverse osmosis technology does not require an intensive exchange of energy, reducing energy consumption in the treatment process; the application process needless adsorbents and precipitants, it can reduce agricultural production costs; the separation process is relatively simple and does not require long engineering design, shortening the treatment cycle; the purification of water is more efficient and has a good operating environment.
4. What Can be Removed by an Industrial/Commercial RO System？
(1) Salts that damage the soil and product growth
(2) Toxic heavy metals
(3) Bacteria and viruses that endanger the health of livestock and aquatic products
(4) Mineral elements
(5) Odor and color
It should be noted that the hardness of the water body is very important in some aquaculture and vegetation planting. If it is completely removed, it will cause poor growth and development of animals and plants and limit the reproduction of algae. Therefore, it is necessary to control the proportion of trace elements such as calcium, magnesium and phosphorus in the water to avoid loss.
5.0 Reverse Osmosis Applied to Agriculture
5.1 For Agricultural Irrigation
The plant requires water for irrigation and nourishment. The quality of the water is key when irrigation. Healthy quality water can better provide plants with the substances they need to grow, yet some arid and semi-arid areas face problems such as salinization of the soil, water stress for irrigation, and improvement of the soil and water environment.
Using untreated water such as wastewater, seawater, and brackish water for the irrigation of crops can cause an increase in mineralization in the root zone of crops and affect the transport of soil water and salts. Crop yield and deteriorating quality will reduce once the salt is above a limit, which can affect sales and reputation. And the current measures of irrigation salt washing in order to solve this problem, result in a lot of water waste and land deterioration abandonment.
NEWater company provides a method and equipment for the desalination of agricultural irrigation, applying RO membrane technology to agricultural water-saving irrigation projects from the perspective of agricultural irrigation, providing a new water source for agricultural irrigation, and solving problems with existing technology.
Using reverse osmosis technology to make wastewater, seawater, and brackish water and through a series of the processes such as filtration, adsorption, disinfection, and so on for water treatment, softening the hardness of the water, remove substances harmful to irrigated crops, etc. To ensure that crops are green and pollution-free, thereby ensuring human health.
5.1.1 NEWater Technology Steps for Agricultural Irrigation
Step 1: Pump water from the source water to the filter through the high-pressure pump to obtain filtered water.
Step 2: A portion of the filtered water enters the water mixer directly. and another is passed through reverse osmosis equipment to obtain desalinated atmospheric water, which then enters a water mixer.
Step 3: The mixer mixes the filtered water with the demineralized atmospheric water in a set ratio to obtain irrigation water.
5.1.2 The Main Features of the Reverse Osmosis Desalination Equipment are:
- Reverse Osmosis Membrane
Adopting imported high-quality reverse osmosis membranes can effectively remove dissolved salts, colloids, microorganisms, and organic matter from the water, resulting in high-efficiency and good-quality water. The service life can reach 3 years, reducing maintenance cost investment.
- Reverse Osmosis Desalination Ancillary Systems
The system mainly includes high-pressure pumps, inlet flow conductivity meters, flow meters, automatic control systems, automatic alarm circuits, etc.
- The high-pressure pump provides flow and pressure for further processing in the main reverse osmosis system;
- An Inlet water flow conductivity meter is used to evaluate the water quality and to understand the condition and the treatment capacity of the reverse osmosis system;
- Flowmeters, the system includes two flow meters, which control the flow rate of concentrated and freshwater respectively, and control the ratio of concentrated and freshwater by adjusting the concentrated water regulating valve, thus controlling the recovery rate;
- An automatic control system is the control part of the whole system. It is used to control the inlet and outlet pressure of the components and has the advantage of making the whole process easy to operate without manual control.
- An automatic alarm device circuit is used to protect the operation of the system by returning the incoming water to the intermediate pool when the high-pressure pump suddenly stops, and the water level in the raw water tank is insufficient.
5.2 RO System for Livestock and Aquaculture
High-quality water is the medium of survival for livestock farming and other aquatic organisms. It is basic and important to change the water regularly and clean the farm, enclosures, equipment, roads, and disinfection when carrying out animal breeding.
The accumulation of animal excrement and food residues can lead to environmental pollution if not cleaned up in time, may exacerbate the pollution, and easily induce disease, leaving farmed animals in a poor state of stress, with the consequence of reduced fitness, weakened resistance to stress and consequently a serious drop in production, ultimately resulting in bad losses for farmers.
It is important for farmers to ensure that the animal environment is clean and free of debris at all times to improve product quality and economic efficiency.
NEWater reverse osmosis water equipment can be used to treat the water, remove impurities and harmful substances, filter and purify the water, reuse the water, and save the cost for farmers.
RO Technology in Livestock Farming Process:
- One-stage, Paragraph Treatment Process
This process means that after the slurry enters the membrane module, the water and concentrate are continuously drawn out and then recirculated, with the concentration of the concentrate increasing and the purity of the water becoming higher. This process is a very simple operation, consumes fewer resources and manpower, while it is very cost-effective, does not require overly complex equipment, only lowly technicians, and can be used for agricultural production in areas where labor and technicians are scarce in backward development.
- One-stage, Multi-Paragraph Treatment Process
Based on One-stage, one paragraph, the water source is concentrated in multiple steps, which is relatively complex and technically difficult to operate, but can further improve water quality and meet higher water requirements and is still widely used. Therefore, in agricultural production, the importance of the One-stage, multi-paragraph treatment process can be increased to give full play to its water purification role and promote the progress and development of water treatment work.
- Two-Stage, One Paragraph Treatment Process
When the One-stage, multi-paragraph treatment does not meet the requirements, the treatment of the raw liquid can be completed in stages. Not only the quality of the water will be further improved, and the pressure on the membrane module can be reduced to extend its service life and reduce working costs after this treatment but also this treatment does not require multiple manual operations, which reduces the workload of staff and increases the efficiency of the entire water treatment process.
6.0 Advantages of NEWater’s Reverse 0smosis Equipment for Agricultural
- Easy maintenance and installation, low costs.
- Imported high-quality reverse osmosis membrane, stable and high-quality water output.
- Water production meets both the quality requirements for agricultural irrigation and the safety of drinking water for livestock breeding.
- The long use time of the reverse osmosis membrane element greatly improved the water treatment flow of the equipment.
- Effective reuse of farm drainage and brackish water.
- Effective in relieving water shortage tensions and greatly improving salinity in saline soils, increasing crop yields.
- No chemicals are used, no pollution to the environment.
7.0 Future Trends of Reverse Osmosis Technology in Agricultural
The demand for agriculture will gradually rise in the future, coupled with the fact that consumers also prefer green and healthy food, the requirements for all aspects of agricultural production will tend to be stricter, the most important of which is the requirement for water quality, based on this, water purification as the basic content of reverse osmosis water treatment technology may usher in new development opportunities.
In the long run, the development of a reverse osmosis water desalination process to obtain freshwater is an important way to solve the shortage of water resources for agricultural production. Not only can solve the problem of water scarcity for agriculture but also a lot of expenditure water can be saved. It has the qualities of low energy consumption, high-efficiency water filtration, and resistance to pollution, and is suitable for a wider range of water quality directions.
Reverse osmosis water treatment technology is widely used in agricultural production and is the result of modern society the water environment, and the ecological environment, with the development of the times, it will accelerate agricultural production reverse osmosis water treatment innovation.
NEWater reverse osmosis membrane separation technology, a new type of purification technology that is environmentally friendly, free of secondary pollution, with high treatment efficiency and good water output, is increasingly being used in agricultural production.
NEWater is a professional water treatment system solution provider in China and is widely used in the agricultural sector. If you have a need or a technical inquiry in this area, please contact our engineers quickly. We can provide you with professional and competent technical and equipment support.