Part three of our series on treating swine drinking water.
Jesse McCoy, CWS, Business Unit Specialist, Water Treatment, Neogen Corp.
Following proper terminal line disinfection and water disinfection, the next step in a creating a beneficial water program is modifying the pH. For any animal to reach its full genetic potential, we must manage the water to achieve the correct pH level in its gut. The pH is a measure of acidity and alkalinity. A pH of 7 is neutral; less than 7 is considered acidic and over 7 alkaline. Water pH is a major factor in determining the effectiveness of various water treatments. Adjusting the pH into the acidic range benefits the animal's GI tract by creating a detrimental environment for pathogenic biology. Other research points to improvements in nutritional impacts of feed at lower pH levels with organic (chemically organic – so containing carbon) acids. There may even be benefits we still don’t understand yet with pH reduction in livestock while realizing the benefits. The available data reflect these benefits, regardless of their mode of action.
Terminal line disinfection in this research trial was achieved with a 3% solution of Peraside (peracetic acid disinfectant) administered into the lines with a sump pump upon depopulation. The solution sat in the lines overnight and was flushed the next morning with fresh water. All drinkers were triggered to ensure proper function before placing the pigs. Disinfection was achieved with 5ppm of MaxKlor (stabilized chlorine dioxide), and the pH was set to a pH of 6.5 to 6.8 using Dyne-O-Might (blended organic/mineral stabilized with iodine)
Water meters measured flow rates and triggered electric pumps for a precise chemical injection. This equipment ensured every gallon received the targeted treatment even with the small dosing requirements needed. Simple tests with a pH meter, at the drinkers, were used to show the pH level was maintained in the proper range.
By adding pH adjustment to a water treatment program, the animals can finally move from survival in the barns to thriving and reaching their genetic potential.