Treatment for Irrigation Water

Trial Reservoir Supports Magnetic Particle Treatment for Irrigation Water

New energy-efficient treatment for irrigation water effectively removes contaminants

Central California’s wells are the main source of irrigation for agriculture in the region. However, their brackish water contains high concentrations of total dissolved solids (TDS) in general, and elements like boron in particular. Though not a health hazard, boron can have unwanted consequences for tree health and yields. Existing methods such as reverse osmosis (RO) and ion exchange tend to be inefficient at removing boron and other trace minerals.

Advantageous Systems LLC (ADS) developed a magnetic particle treatment (MPT) technology to selectively remove contaminants from water with minimal energy consumption. This first-of-its-kind technology uses magnetic particles with receptors to bind and remove the target contaminants.

ADS and Linneman Ranches initiated a trial with Trial Reservoir loan funding, treating well water for irrigation. Linneman Ranches produces tree nuts, mainly almonds; the orchards are irrigated during the dry season using borehole/well water. The trial used the MPT system to selectively remove boron upstream of a RO system. Goals included significantly cutting down energy use associated with water treatment while maintaining water quality. 

Overall the trial was a success, meeting all its targets and farm needs for water quality and volume. The treated water met targets for TDS, boron, chlorides and sodium. The system treated a feed flow of untreated well water at a blended rate of 2,000 gallons/minute (7.47 m3/minute). Over 90% of feed water is treated water, and less than 10% is rejected wastewater.

Finally, the trial saved an average of 510 kWh p/m at the site, equivalent to averting 0.23 tonnes CO2e emissions p/m. The MPT system has reduced energy use by 35-50% by replacing the old two-stage RO system with MPT and single pass RO.

Benefits of Approach/Innovation

Greener: Energy savings of 35-50% mean fossil fuel use for purchased power is slashed by up to 50%.

Better: Greater trace elements and toxic metal removal compared to other well water treatment systems. 

Cheaper: Without the use of heavy equipment, and lower purchased power demand, this technology is cheaper than conventional treatment. 

Faster: The MPT technology has an almost immediate residence time and no pre or post treatment requirements. This represents the quickest selective water treatment technology worldwide.

Specialist Services Involved:

Trial Design support: We evaluate technology trial plans based on users’ innovation frames.  The Trial Reservoir specifically addresses key questions that the trial must answer.

Trial validation: We receive and assess the trial end report from the technology vendor. The Trial Reservoir specifically addresses key questions that the trial must answer.

Due Diligence: Isle has a robust process for helping stakeholders adopt innovative technologies and ensuring they are fit for purpose.

Loan funding: Isle facilitates negotiation with technology developers and end users to agree upon the trials’ critical success factors and key performance indicators (KPIs). Loans are then released to the technology developers.

Zero Risk Trial: Should a trial not meet its KPIs, there is no obligation for the tech company to pay back the loan. Similarly, there is no obligation for the end user to make a purchase order; the Trial Reservoir assumes the risk.

Investor Introductions: Isle uses its extensive worldwide network to provide introductions to potential investors.


Effective water treatment: The MPT was a quick and effective treatment for irrigation water.

Water treatment credits: Linneman Ranches can now treat their water to a suitable standard and exchange it for water credits. They can use these for other properties in the same district, or sell them on to other farms.

Wider agricultural interest: Local neighbors of Linneman Ranches have shown interest in installing their own MPT system after visiting the new one.

Key Contacts:

For inquiries and further information, please contact Dr. Jo Burgess, Head of Trial Reservoir at Isle.


Photo credit:Advantageous Systems LLC


Service Spotlight
ADS’s trial involved a low-energy magnetic particle treatment for irrigation water that quickly and efficiently removed well water contaminants.
MPT was a quick and effective treatment for irrigation water
The technology significant cut down energy use from water treatment
Fossil fuel use and associated greenhouse gas emissions slashed by up to 50%
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