Optimizing water quality on poultry, pig and dairy farms


In practice, it is common for drinking water quality not to be optimal on farms. Water quality can be affected by temperature fluctuations, damage to pipe work, dead-end pipes, bends, pipe diameter and nipple connections.

It is good practice to have the water pipes checked regularly (i.e. swabbed and microbiologically tested) and to clean them thoroughly. Biofilms – the protective environment on surfaces that bacteria can live in that allows them to survive longer and resist routine cleaning – must be removed or not allowed to build up. Therefore, in addition to a cleaning agent, a disinfectant should be used to tackle the biofilm. At least once a week, perform a visual check of taps and pipework using a white bucket or transparent measuring cup. During cleaning, have the water supply checked by a specialist using an endoscope. In this way, a deterioration of the water quality can be observed over time. Check which products are effective against biofilms.

The water quality should be so good that you dare to drink it yourself! Good quality water saves you money by avoiding persistent infections that can lower an animal’s immune system and lead to unnecessary or excessive antibiotic use. Clean water = less need for antibiotics.