Sunbreak Nursery had a problem: a shallow well that had been used for more than 100 years was running dry. Owner and operator Rick Wright had to abandon the old well and begin digging a new one, but soon after he began using the new well, the water started to deposit a layer of iron and mineral complexes on his polycarbonate and poly-film greenhouse roofs. Many crops also suffered cosmetic damage from the high iron content of the new well water.
Despite all his years in the growing industry, he was not prepared for the extent of damage brought on by something as simple as water. Research from South Carolina’s Clemson University states that for every 1 percent of dropped light transmission, there is an equal drop in plant productivity. Wright’s coverings were so heavily coated that his greenhouses were experiencing a 20-30 percent loss of light. “It was really affecting the quality of my overall crop,” he says. “The plants were stretching to the point where they were not good landscape plants anymore.” He knew it was time to take action.
At first, he found no products on the market that were not abrasive to poly-based films. But after reading about CH2O, Inc. in a trade magazine, Wright called on Carl Iverson to see if there was any help to be found for his problem. CH2O, Inc., based in Olympia, Wash., has 30 years of experience in water- treatment technologies and has been awarded more than 10 international patents for water treatment products. Iverson recommended the newly developed IVR-CLEAR, a safe and effective window-cleaning formula. IVR-CLEAR was specifically designed to remove iron buildup and mineral deposits on windows. In addition to its cleaning ability and simple application, it left Sunbreak’s poly-film and polycarbonate coverings in great shape. After applying IVR-CLEAR to his greenhouse films, Wright happily reported that the dull-brown, reddish stain was gone, his structure “almost as clear as when it was new,” and that IVR-CLEAR also removed algae and rust stains.
Wright also found CH2O’s customer service and technical staff to be exceptional. “Small nurseries are generally ignored by service providers,” he says. “But every time we called on CH2O, someone seemed to know what he or she was doing.” He recommends IVR-CLEAR to all his industry peers and is currently looking into other areas that IVR-CLEAR can help his nursery operations.