Before COVID struck, researchers from Virginia State University took water samples and bacterial cultures from aquaponic and hydroponic systems in the Virginia region, including at IDEA Public Charter School. The tests will check for water quality parameters (pH, hardness, total ammonia) and for food safety considerations.
The results will be used to promote sustainable aquaponic production in Virginia.
Water quality and food safety tests are important for the IDEA PCS aquaponic and hydroponic systems because the produce is served in the school salad bar.
These tests also introduce students to the food safety profession, which will be increasingly important as the population grows and the climate changes.