Pilots on water management

Pilots on water management

Demonstration Site description

PCS Ornamental Plant Research has different pilots for water management

  • Constructed wetland

The constructed wetland is part of the PCS-infrastructure which is necessary to comply with legislation on nutrient-leaching to surface water. It is also a demonstration set-up as this technique is not yet often implemented in practice. Since 2001 data on denitrification is collected.

PCS has a two-fase constructed wetland with fase 1 ‚percolation’ and fase 2 ‚root zone’. In the percolation fase, ammonium is converted into nitrate, in the second fase, nitrate is reduced till nitrogen gas.
Brochure on construction, working principle and efficiency of constructed wetland at PCS: (Aanleg en werking van een rietveld’ in Dutch);


Although denitrification is sufficient when using a constructed wetland, the P-content of our waste water (of ornamental crops) is still above the EU-limit for discharge in surface water. Therefore we included a P-filter after the constructed wetland. The pilot-installation (2013) performed very well and from 2014 on we will test a larger scale P-filter to dephosphatate all our waste-water. Since 2013 data on dephosphatation are collected.


A closed biobed system in which soil organisms enable biodegradation of crop protection products (pesticides) in waste water. The cleaning water of the spraying tank and the rests of spraying solutions are purified by the biobed system. Since 2001, PCS has a biobed system for their waste water. In 2014, a new biobed system was constructed at PCS.


On PCS Plant Oramental Research, there are lot of other techniques/installations to visit: quicktest for Pythium and Phytophthora in recirculation- or irrigationwater / disinfection of irrigation water: UV, slow sand filter, alternative methods / closed growing systems and recirculation / storage capacity of rainwater / irrigation on plant demand based on sensortechnology / bioremediation, avoiding contamination with crop protection products / waste water: reduction and processing / reducing nutrient leaching in closed growing system, enhancing nutrient use efficiency / constructed wetland/ Prevention and decontamination of bacteria films and algae in irrigation systems.....

Similar demonstration sites are available through Sister Institutes PCA Potato Research and PCG Vegetable Research for vegetable horticulture and agriculture. 

Results obtained so far

The pilots are demonstrated during several dissemination activities and guided visits,... The annual number of visitors of the pilot (research, practitioners, education, farmers, ..) is 500 visitors for guided tour/year; including participants to information sessions: 1000 visitors/year

Success factors

The pilots will demonstrate and stimulate growers to invest in more sustainable production. Nutrient leaching to surface water and discharge of waste water will reduce.

Performance indicators

Due to a more sustainable production in agriculture and horticulture, the quality of the surface water in Flanders improves every year.

Repeatability & Applicability

PCS has expertise in building Low entry demonstration sites that ensure implementation of innovative technology on the farm. Sufficient attention is given to technological efficacy vs economic feasibility, i.e. is the investment cost justified for the intended goal.
PCS has year-long technical expertise to find solutions to grower challenges in water management.

Further references

www.pcsierteelt.be > adviesdienst water

Publications in grower magazines (in Dutch) e.g., Sierteelt & Groenvoorziening Presentations at grower-info-sessions
Brochure: Recirculation in greenhouse horticulture (in Dutch)

Contact: Marijke.dierickx@pcsierteelt.be 

Projects Information
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