In horticultural operations such as outdoor nurseries, common fertilizer injection actually serves as an accelerant to biofilm growth. Most growers are quite familiar with such presence of biofilm in their fertilizer lines. The layer of slimy growth is seen whenever a line is cut into for repair. Biofilm growth is not restricted to fertilizer lines, however, and is also common in clear water lines, although usually by a slightly less dramatic presence.
An outdoor nursery in California recently switched to chlorine dioxide injection with a main objective of improving drip emitter performance. With year-round production and an irrigation system that captures runoff in a surface pond for reuse, clogging of drip emitters due to biofilm accumulation was a major problem. Constant inspection of drip lines and replacement of clogged emitters had grown into a full-time responsibility for one employee of this nursery. Chlorine dioxide treatment has eliminated the problem with minimal attention now being required to maintain the drip lines.
Be aware of the different chlorine dioxide products: Field examples in Mexico have shown the extra benefits of Dutrion containing active chlorine dioxide molecules. Dutrion Powder or Dutrion Tablet are at first sight similar chlorine dioxide products compare to generators using a liquid sodium chlorites with activator. Such acidified sodium chlorite (ASC) or stabilized chlorine dioxide are sold as pure chlorine dioxide but indeed need another concentration to clean lines and prevent biofilm.