Page 6 - National Poultry Newspaper
P. 6

On-farm water sanitation
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SANITISATION of drinking water supplies is one of the corner- stones of biosecurity and health management of your flock.
The use of untreated or poorly treated drinking water has been implicated in a number of exotic dis- ease outbreaks in com- mercial poultry in Aus- tralia, and no doubt is the cause of many instances of disease outbreaks and inferior performance in flocks on a regular basis. Principles of water sani- tation
Effective water sanita- tion needs, first, a rela- tively clean source of wa- ter with no detrimental qualities such as extreme pH or elevated levels of minerals, which can dena- ture many chemical sani- tisers.
Water should also be
pre-filtered to remove any extraneous organic load, which can tie up chemi- cals before they have any opportunity to be bioc- idal.
Water storage is an im- portant component of san- itation, as chemicals need a minimum contact time in order to denature bacte- ria and viruses effectively.
So, in essence, sanitation is a process that involves
much more than simply adding a chemical.
What are the properties of a good water sanitiser? • Kills bacteria and vi-
ruses in a contaminated environment;
• Persists long enough in the water to kill patho- gens;
• Is not denatured by or- ganic load or water qual- ity issues (pH, hardness, etc);
• Does not damage or corrode water lines;
• Is safe for birds to drink (if used in the pres- ence of birds); and
• Is cost-effective.
It is important to under- stand that sanitisers that work well in a laboratory environment may not be as effective in a commer- cial setting – there are other challenges such as organic load, pH, tem- perature, contact time constraints and residual activity.
It is important to actively monitor the effectiveness of any sanitation system to ensure it is achieving its purpose.
A biofilm is a thin, sticky, nutrient-rich film of organic and inorganic matter that builds up and provides a nutrient source for bacteria inside drinker lines.
It is a source of ongoing bacterial recontamination of water, so must be elimi- nated from drinker lines.
Biofilms will continue to regenerate if sanitation is not continuous, caus- ing ongoing challenges for maintaining good water quality.
Biofilms can also cause drinkers to leak and cre- ate wet litter conditions, resulting in ammonia release and encouraging pathogen growth in the litter, which culminates in
health threats to the birds and can restrict water dis- charge from the drinkers, causing loss in perform- ance.
Many water additives such as vitamins and milk powder used for vaccina- tions provide additional nutrients for biofilm bac- teria, so an additional sanitisation after addition of these types of additives is important to maintain clean drinker lines.
One way to overcome biofilms is to add an ad- ditional sanitiser and do a high-pressure flush of the drinker lines on a regular basis.
In broiler sheds, this should be done prior to re-entry of day-old chicks.
This can also be done while birds are present, but the sanitiser used must be registered and safe for use as a drinking water sanitiser in the presence of livestock.
It is important that sanitisers are working all the way to the end of the drinker line.
Unfortunately, this is often not the case, as the sanitiser’s activity be- comes exhausted prior to reaching the end of the line.
In situations such as this, it is seriously worth considering a two-step ap- proach, by using a product, such as a chlorine-based chemical, as a first step in the bulk water storage, followed by a complemen- tary second step at the entry to the shed, using a product registered for use in drinking water.
This will be highly ef- fective in preventing the establishment of a biofilm in the drinking line. Monitoring
No matter what method of sanitising is being used, it is important to be able to monitor its effective- ness in order to get reas- surance sanitation is be- ing achieved.
Some chemicals can be measured for residual ac- tivity at the end of the drinker lines, but a far more decisive method is to have your water as- sessed microbiologically on a regular basis to en- sure the biofilm is being eliminated.
Providing professional engineering services for the poultry industry
46 Anna St, Beaudesert QLD 07 5541 3500
Page 6 – National Poultry Newspaper, March 2019

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