Intracare has completed a study that shows drinking water to be one of the major sources of common bacteria like E. coli and salmonella.

The company tested 237 water samples between August 2009 and June 2010. Of those, 47% contained pathogenic microorganisms that could have a major impact on animal health. In fact, according to Dutch Animal Health, 22% of all the water samples they analyze are unfit for drinking. "These figures stand in sharp contrast to the attention that livestock farmers pay to the quality of their drinking water," said Intracare Marketing and Sales Manager Arjan van de Vondervoort. "This should not be the case, given that drinking water is one of the main sources of infectious diseases in animals."

Problems with contamination arise when the concentration of added chlorine or acids drops, such as when medicines, vaccines or liquid food supplements that do not tolerate being mixed with chlorine or acids are provided via the drinking water. "In addition, we have observed that the dead matter arising from the use of acid and chlorine attaches itself to the inside surfaces of the drinking system," said Vondervoort. "It is not removed, so it forms a biofilm."

This biofilm is the perfect breeding ground for bacteria and molds. The key, says the company, is to remove the biofilm and kill off any microorganisms present.