JOURNAL OF ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT, vol.98, pp.37-42, 2012 (SCI-Expanded)
CaCO3 is one of the most common emitter clogging factors among chemical precipitates in drip irrigation systems. Continuous acid application as a classical approach to prevent CaCO3 clogging can be tricky, expensive and hazardous for soil. In order to develop an environmentally friendly method to address the problem, two bacterial strains, one renowned as a PGPR and the other having extensive CaCO3 dissolving capacity, were used in treatments of artificially clogged drip irrigation emitters. Results showed the flow rates of clogged emitters significantly increased in drip lines which were treated with bacterial suspensions but no increase was observed in control drip lines which were treated with sterile nutrient broth. Furthermore, scanning electron and florescence microscopies were used to examine residual CaCO3 precipitates. Thus, in consideration of its extensively studied PGPR characteristics, microbial treatment with Bacillus subtilis OSU-142 was shown to be promising for field applications as a novel and environmentally friendly treatment for clogged emitters of drip irrigation systems. (C) 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.