Strategy 1- Scale
The first strategy is to use economies of scale- larger systems are less expensive/1000 gallons treasted to purchase and installl than multiple smaller systems. For example, in a typical row crop field that has been "tiled", will have numerous tile drains that collect drainage water from pipes laid beneath the growing area. The water is collected into sumps and then pumped into a open ditch, culvert, or drain that connects to a local stream or river.
So how do we apply a "Scale" strategy? One strategy already in use is to create a small holding pond that can collect about 3-5 days of runoff. Next, you would pump from the pond to our system. This could allow our system to operate at duty cycle in excess of 90% or 22 hours per day if needed. This higher rate of operation provides more stability to the biological process. A single, larger bioreactor could easily keep up with the daily irrigation flows. In addition, 1 larger system requires less maintenance that multiple smaller systems.
In the photo above you can see the wide cropped area and some of the tile drains. You could install small bioreactors at each tile drain. Our systems would remove the nitrate just fine. The problem is that the system would only work when their is an irrigation set running in that particular block of the field- perhaps only 5-7 hours per day and not every day. This means that most of the day, the system is not operating.