Drinking water should be clean and safe. Regardless of who drinks it, it is necessary the water is safe and clean. Among livestock, cows, the source of milk and milk products in the U.S. also needs to drink clean and safe water.
The quality of water is crucial to the production of milk among cows. It is noted that a cow can consume up to 25 gallons of drinking water everyday, however the amount can get lesser if the quality of water it drinks is poor, meaning it is being contaminated which affect the odor and taste.
Drinking water contaminated with harmful microorganisms can likewise affect the milk production of dairy cows. It is of paramount importance that the drinking water for cows is free from water-borne microorganisms that can pose danger to cows’ health. With this concern the need for an effective livestock drinking water treatment because urgent.
In dairy farms, where all microorganisms can harbor anytime which makes the cow’s prone to diseases should be prevented. Drinking water troughs must be kept clean because these water receptacles are the breeding grounds of some coliform bacteria which do not only infect cows but humans too. Livestock drinking water treatment should include this concern.
According to Ray Hozalski of the Department of Civil Engineering, University of Minnesota, livestock drinking water treatment might be costly depending on the contaminants that is targeted to eliminate. If the target of the livestock drinking water treatment is to kill the harmful microorganisms, what might be needed is just disinfection. What will be needed is desirable amount of chlorine to disinfect the water; this could be a little affordable compared with other water treatment methods.
Ultraviolet light, which no longer need chemical in treating drinking water, is another option. Ultraviolet light has its own limitation however on turbid water, water residue is not included in the disinfection process. Distillation like reverse osmosis is used in the removal of nitrate and sulfate content in water, however the former is not well patronized because it is costly.
There other factors that need to be considered in treating drinking water for livestock. Salinity and toxicity of the water must be tested. Too much salinity in drinking water can disrupt the water balance in cows, which might possibly lead to death. Toxic ions can also be detrimental to the health of cows.
Dairy farm owners should make sure that the drinking water treatment procedure for livestock, specifically for cows, should be on top of the priority list. It is important that livestock like cows drink only clean and safe water. This is to ensure that dairy farm owners and the public can both enjoy quality dairy products.