Water is a critical nutrient for livestock and poultry. Safe drinking water is essential to the health and efficient production of animals, aiding in the digestion process, transport of nutrients, regulation of body temperature and elimination of waste. The quality of drinking water is defined by microbiological, chemical and physical factors.
Water can serve as a reservoir for many different microorganisms such as coliforms, Salmonella spp., and protozoa, contributing to the microbial burden and eventually causing diseases. High level of microbial counts in water can be a sign of contamination. For instance, the presence of faecal coliforms in water is a sign of contamination with manure.
As a guideline, drinking water for animals should contain fewer than 100 total bacteria, fewer than 50 coliforms and zero Salmonella counts per millilitre of water. Moreover, pathogen growth might be stimulated by hard water which predisposes an accumulation of scale in the water delivery system and encourages the growth of a variety of microorganisms.
One of the most important chemical properties of drinking water is its pH value, which varies from 7.4 to 8.8 for ground water. Excessive alkalinity of water can cause physiological and digestive upsets in livestock. In addition, pH levels can affect certain water treatments, such as water chlorination, which is impaired at high pH values. Chlorination becomes more effective when water pH is below 6.8 due to the higher dissociation of chlorine and higher amounts of hypochlorous acid.
Modern production commonly employs the use of water acidification as a preventive tool for disease management and improvement of animal performance.
Liquid products of BIOMIN’s Biotronic® acidifier line work to improve water hygiene, through the reduction of pH and control of gram negative bacteria such as Salmonella spp. and E. coli. This halts water degradation and microbial transfer into the animal’s gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Additionally, active ingredients of Biotronic® reduce the pH level in the upper GI tract, increase digestibility of nutrients and minerals, stimulate beneficial microflora and prevent diarrhoea.
Water acidification optimizes the efficiency of water sanitation, such as chlorination or treatment with hydrogen peroxide. Combining water sanitation with acidification using liquid Biotronic® products enhances the antimicrobial effectivity against a wide spectrum of pathogens and prevents minerals from accumulating in the water pipes. This extends the usage life of the drinking system and controls microorganism populations especially E. coli and Salmonella spp. in both water and the animal’s GI tract.