University of Florida and Holly Factory

September 28, 2018



Join us for an educational field day at the University of Florida and the Holly Factory Nursery (Alachua, FL) where the largest denitrification bioreactor in the world was recently built. UF/IFAS Extension and collaborators from the Desert Research Institute (DRI) will discuss and demonstrate the use of bioreactors as a low-cost, effective approach to remove nitrogen from agriculture and urban stormwater. 

diagram1What are Denitrification Bioreactors?
Denitrification bioreactors are constructed by stimulating a bacterial process which remove nitrogen from agricultural and urban land-uses. Using readily available equipment and waste sawdust, a bioreactor was installed at the Holly Factory in 2009. Almost a decade later it is still removing 93% percent of nitrogen.

How are they used?
Bioreactors are increasingly being installed in stormwater ponds, exfiltration trenches, in tile drainage, and even to pump and treat portions of the aquifer. The denitrification bioreactor installed in 2009 was recently expanded at the Holly Factory to evaluate the potential to capture nitrogen discharges at a meaningful scale and reduce nitrogen loads to the Santa Fe River. The results of a GIS analysis indicate the potential to expand this treatment approach throughout the Santa Fe watershed.

An educational video describing bioreactors and showing the construction of the Holly Factory bioreactor can be found here:

Construction all 1

Event details:

In this field day, we will discuss the installation, challenges, results, and opportunities of this approach and you will learn how bioreactors can be used to treat water in a variety of situations.

The field day will begin at the University of Florida (conference room number coming soon) from 9 – 11:15 AM. We will then proceed to the field site located at the Holly Factory nursery ( The event is free to attend, but you must RSVP. The campus event is limited to the first 20 people, and the field visit is limited to the first 30 people. If you are only planning to attend the field event, please let us know. Please RSVP to either here.This is a brown-bag field day, lunch will not be provided, so please bring your own. 

For questions contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


9:00 a.m. – Check In
9:15 a.m. – Overview and results of local denitrification bioreactor projects
11:15 a.m. – Leave for Field Sites
12:30 – 2:00 p.m. – Tour of field site and discussion


logo drilogo fdeplogo UFlogo epalogo BC


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