Drinking Water Quality in Poultry

Drinking Water Quality in Poultry. Dr. Susan Watkins (University of Arkansas)

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Leo Antony Leo Antony
Consultant in Poultry management and training
September 1, 2012

Dr.Susan,I watched the video about Water Quality in Poultry but was disappointed that it was only an introduction to the work you are doing.. All the same I was happy that I could contact you through this forum. Poultry farmers hers normally use bleaching powder containing around 35% Chlorine to sanitise drinking water. The source of water is mostly from drilled or Bore wells that have a depth of more than 500 feet. Levels of bleaching powder used varies from 10 to 40 grams in 1000 litres of water. Opinions also vary about the level of residual chlorine ( ranging from 1ppm to 5ppm ) that is permissible for poultry. Can you please throw some light on: 

1. What is the required dosage of bleaching powder required to treat drinking water?
2. What is the permissible level of Chlorine that can be present in drinking water or what levels would you consider as OVERDOSING?
3. What levels are dangerous and what could be the side effects of overdosing?
In case you need more inputs from me, please do tell me.. regards. Leo Antony

February 27, 2020
Leo Antony Good level of chlorine=1.5_2ppm
Over 3ppm will cause intestinal irritation.
Over 5 ppm will leads to diarrhea or loose dropping which is highly undesirable.
Always maintain PH between 6.6_6.8 to get best results.regards
Ing. Dragan Ionut Ing. Dragan Ionut
Agro Engineer Zootechnist
November 28, 2012
Hello Dr Susan.What is yours opinion about water chlorination and vaccinations in water .Can be a problem regarding the quality of vaccination ? And what is better: water clorination or water acidifier?
vijayaraghavan gonuguntla vijayaraghavan gonuguntla
November 28, 2012
Chlorine can be safely replaced with Nascent Oxygen liberators like Potassium Mono persulfate or with Nano Silver particles which are GRAS and biosafe

Tri Guntoro Tri Guntoro
November 28, 2012
Yes, I think quality water is very important...some slaughtered house using chlorine but you know some slaughtered house only use chlorine once time a day...its mean mayby in the last chicken can infect some microorganism like camphylobacter.......
vijayaraghavan gonuguntla vijayaraghavan gonuguntla
November 28, 2012

Hello Dr. Ing. Dragan Ionut

Chlorination is to be discontinued 2 days prior to any vaccination with live virus vaccines or bacterial vaccines via drinking water.
In my view acidification using Organic acids is preferable compared to Chlorination.
Sudheer Rukadikar Sudheer Rukadikar
MVSc (Vet Pathology)
November 28, 2012
Dear Mr. Vijayraghavan,
Any drinking water sanitizer, if comes in contact with live virus or bacteria, will kill them or render them ineffective. That is the reason water sanitizers are not added to drinking water if live vaccines are to be administered through drinking water. But to avoid contact between vaccine virus / bacteria and water sanitizer, it need not be withdrawn for two days.
Anil Shukla Anil Shukla
Chemical Engineer
November 29, 2012

Hello Dr.Susan,
I think this is the time to explore new generation drinking water sanitizer, although bleaching powder is cheap but not answer to Mr Leo Antony, we should go for such drinking water sanitizer which is having some property like-minded

1. It should be biodegradable so that this will not affect our environment ( Eco-friendly)

2. Its end-products must be food compatible so that bird will not affect in case of overdose

3. It must not be carcinogenic i.e like aldehyde

4. It should have efficient antimicrobial activity

5.It has high oxidation potential like ozone

6. It should be effective on spors and biofilm also

7. It has good penetration power to penetrate cell wall and cell membrane oxidizing the H-S & S-S bond in the cell enzyme so that microbs can not develop immunity or mutate to counteract such sanitizer

PERACETIC ACID (PAA) having such property

General Properties
PAA is amongst the most powerful biocide known to man. It is effective against all a wide spectrum of microbiological contaminations including aerobic and an anaerobic bacteria and their spores, yeasts, moulds, fungi and their spores, and viruses. It is extremely rapid in its action even at ambient temperature. It has a high oxidation potential. In most cases potable water rinsing is not required. It decomposes to oxygen, water and acetic acid.

How does it work?
PAA works by penetrating the cell wall and cell membrane and oxidizing the H-S and S-S bonds in the cell’s enzymes. The microbes are then unable to function and die. Because the cells are destroyed from the inside-out via oxidation, they cannot develop immunity or mutate to counteract to this powerful product.
Why PAA is superior:
PAA has superior biocidal activity because it has higher oxidation potential JUST NEXT TO OZONE

Anil Shukla


February 27, 2020
Anil Shukla
I think you forget to mention about paa;
Very corrosively
Awful taste less water intake
Cleaning capacity of the biofilm very limited, contains only 22% hydrogen peroxide
Investigations in the us for example have evidence that it is carcinogenic
Last but not least
It is a high risk explosion hazard heavy chemical, which yiu advise to chicken
Its not a very good idea
June 10, 2020
Anil Shukla Paa is carcinogenic and very corrosive , highly explosive material with an irritating smell, dont think thats a good idea To give to the animals

Adetayo Adedayo Adetayo Adedayo
Veterinary Doctor
November 30, 2012
Thank you for the enlightenment sir. Please what about the use of Povidone Iodine 10% as a water sanitizer and acidifier for poultry drinking water. how safe is it and what at what dilution can it give best result? thank you.
Ayinla Semiu Ayinla Semiu
December 20, 2012

Thank you for the various good contributions. Some people advice that we should be adding skimmed milk into the water we want to use for vaccination, particularly because of the chlorine content of the public water. It is believed that this will prevent the vaccines from being damaged by the chlorine. Some also advice that, we should fetch our water down for about 24 hours before we use it for vaccination, so that the chlorine would have been removed from the water before use. Kindly advice on these two opinions. Thank you.

January 13, 2013

Thank you very much for this presentations and the time taking , it is an enlighten paper presented for some of us practicing or keeping a commercial birds for the purpose of egg production as a means of income. Please help me clarify what is the required quantity of bleaching powder to be used while treating the water for poultry. Secondly I want to know their respective ph value recommended safe for the poultry water I mean the gastro ph values..

Kapil Dodhi Kapil Dodhi
January 19, 2013

How do I prepare peracetic acid and use it on a broiler farm?

Milson San Gabriel Milson San Gabriel
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
January 30, 2013

Good Day. Are you recommending the use of ORP meter for determining poultry water supply sanitation?

Dermott Reilly Dermott Reilly
Economics & History
June 23, 2015
In Europe we are looking at different ways to protect and create healthy birds using only natural food safe ingredients. We are moving away from the use of aggressive chemicals such as PERACETIC ACID.
Whilst we still need to do more tests the findings from live trials are amazing with on average 4.5% additional unit weight gains, reduced use of antibiotics and much more cleaner safer environments for poultry stock. In addition we can show that using natural antimicrobial fluids, with organic status in Ireland, in the packaging process can extend food shelf-life by an additional 5 to 14 days, with no negative aroma and better taste.
Anyone interested in our presentation should contact info@ingeniatouch.com.

Rashid Mahmood Rashid Mahmood
MSc Agriculture Entomology ,MBA Marketing
June 24, 2015
Dear brother I have good experience with ozone treated water for both layer and Brioler and found it really cost effective and easy in use , have you also got some experience in it
Because in under developed countries like ours the person managing the farm is not always very technical so adding something needs precise calculation that is difficult,
If you need some information about ozone addition I can give you data and client where we have personally made the trial in a successful manner
Munawar Ali Munawar Ali
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
June 24, 2015

Dear readers.

Ozone treatment of water for Poultry is cost effective, easy and environment friendly, but the major draw back is that it does not have residual disinfection quality. On spot it will disinfect water very fast, but after that when water goes through pipes in sheds it is recontaminated again by bio-film and other factors. This can be tested very easily by taking samples at Ozone treatment point and samples from last drinkers in the shed.

Disinfection of water by chlorine dioxide is very effective and does not pH dependent but unfortunately it is expensive solution.
Use of combination of Hydrogen per oxide and organic acids is good solution but it is also expensive and sometimes give bitter taste (in case of overdosing) and ultimately reduced the water consumption which can affect negatively in bird performance.

Chlorination with chlorine is still most cheapest and widely used method of treating water in the world accept those countries where use of chlorine is prohibited. Chlorine is good disinfectant but it has limitations. It is highly pH dependent. When chlorine is mixed in water it is divided into two major components as "Hypochlorus Acid" and "Hypochlorite Ion" .The first one is very strong disinfectant and later one is poor disinfectant. For example if water pH is 8 and we mix chlorine , it will generate 25% Hypochlorus acid and 75% Hypochlorite ion. If the pH of water is 7 the case will be reverse. It is important that before chlorination we should lower down the pH of water to get maximum benefits. Try to make the pH near 6 where you can get maximum Hypochlorus acid. The other point is that when chlorine is mixed in water it will react with organic material and other chemicals present in water and will make some compounds and this chlorine will not remain effective. We require "FREE CHLORINE" in water to make sure that it has residual disinfectant quality. In market kits are easily available to measure "Fee chlorine". After chlorination always test how much free chlorine is present in water taken from last drinker in the shed. 1-3 ppm free chlorine is always required for best results. We can take help from Oxidation Reduction Potential (ORP) meter to see how much chlorine is required.


June 24, 2015
In Europe , The european government made The new biocide regulation, meaning products have to do all The tests to prove to be safe effective and healthy. A product need to have PT05 if you like to use it with birds for drinking and PT03 if you like to use it in a farm. Products like peracetic are carcenogenic and already forbidden to use. The good thing every farmer or anybody can check it by themselves on The website of The european governement for example dutch governement www.ctgb.nl
Products based on For example acids, chlorine Will also destroy the drinknipples compagnies like ziggity have done many in investigations . Ozon is nice to desinfect water but cant remove biofilm.
Investigations have proved that a drinkline without biofilm can reduce antibiotic uses up till18% and improve production results. Even a biofilm can decrease The effectivity of antibiotic with 25%.
For more information jvgeest@intracare.nl
Rashid Mahmood Rashid Mahmood
MSc Agriculture Entomology ,MBA Marketing
June 24, 2015

Ozone for the Purification of Poultry Drinking Water
Report 1009527
Date Published Apr 2004
Details: 1009527 Final Report - Available On-line


As in any livestock industry, chickens require a clean and uncontaminated source of drinking water to make maximum daily gains and maintain flock health. This study demonstrated the feasibility of using ozone and filtration to treat well water for a typical broiler unit in Neshoba County, Mississippi.


Broiler production in Mississippi began in the late 1940s and early 1950s. Today Mississippi is the fourth largest broiler producing state in the United States. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture - National Agricultural Statistics Service, Mississippi production in 2002 was 769,500,000 birds producing over four billion pounds of products valued at slightly over 1.2 billion dollars. Poultry is the largest agricultural commodity in the state. Once a farmer contracts with a processor and builds his buildings, he can expect to be paid 18-24 cents for each bird that is accepted and processed. From this payment the farmer must pay all fixed and variable production costs while the broilers are on his farm. All of the farmer's costs should be minimized while a high quality product is produced. Minimizing water costs is one mechanism that can save a considerable dollar amount per year without impacting product quality. The amount of water utilized by a flock of broilers is dependent on bird size and the evaporative cooling needs to keep the house at a temperature for optimum growth and production. Most poultry integrators require a dependable and clean water supply that provides at least 15 gallons of water per minute for a 25,000-bird broiler house. Many growers have six broiler houses on their farm. The needed water for a six-house production unit is a minimum of 130,000 gallons per day. Utilizing municipal water supplies to satisfy these water needs costs approximately $1,800/month. Drilling and maintaining a 90-gallon per minute well and providing water treatment is much less


To demonstrate the feasibility of using ozone and filtration to treat well water for a six-house broiler unit in Neshoba County, Mississippi; to determine the feasibility of installing additional wells and water treatment for broiler production.


Steve Cumberland operates six broiler houses at his farm in Neshoba County, Mississippi, using water from a well outfitted with a two-horsepower pump capable of providing 30 gallons of water per minute. Before this study, the well water contained iron, manganese, and sulfides at levels higher than those recommended for safe drinking water. The research team installed a 32-gram per hour ozone generator with three filtration tanks at the farm with filtration tanks timed to expel precipated iron, manganese, and sulfate compounds at night. The team compared the performance of the Cumberland system before and after ozonation, including data on mortality percentages, average weight of finished broilers, pounds of feed per pound of gain, average daily gain, and total condemned birds at processing. Results were also compared with average data from other local farms working with the same integrator, Peco Farms, LLC.


Key results of this study include the following: • The ozonation of the well water did not greatly change the production data for the Cumberland Farms operation. • Feed conversion was constant over the study and consistent with the feed conversion for all farmers producing for Peco Farms, LLC. • Total condemned birds dropped slightly. • Emitter fouling due to precipitants decreased. • Variable costs for water decreased by nearly $20,000 for the six houses. Based on this study, Steve Cumberland indicated he would drill an additional well or wells and use ozonation to treat the water for the poultry houses.

EPRI Perspective

EPRI Global is a leader in the application of ozone in agriculture and food processing. The treatment of well water for use as drinking water for livestock and poultry is one of many ozone demonstration programs conducted by the EPRI Global Team in conjunction with their utility partners. Other demonstrations include using ozone in flour milling, ozone treatments in aquaculture tanks, ozone treatment of poultry chiller water, ozone in drip irrigation systems, and ozone applications in catfish processing.


2004 Program 014.0 Municipal Water and Industrial Wastewater


Ozone Wells Livestock Water Treatment Agriculture Filtration

Other KeyWords

Broiler Production Iron Removal Manganese Removal Poultry Feed Conversion Poultry Mortality Poultry Production Sulfide Removal Well Water Mississippi Water Sources

Sataluri Satagopa Raja Ayyangar Sataluri Satagopa Raja Ayyangar
B .Sc ( Mathematics , Physics and Chemistry ) ; P G Diploma in Environmental Studies ; P G Diploma in Industrial Pollution Management ; Industrial Chemistry ( B I E T )
June 26, 2015
In olden days in India people used water for drinking purpose by keeping the fresh water in pure Copper vessel for some hours to decontaminate the water .Instead of adding chemicals and poisoning the water it
is better to think of echo free ideas .
Rashid Mahmood Rashid Mahmood
MSc Agriculture Entomology ,MBA Marketing
June 26, 2015
True , but the problem is we are not sincere with the one from where we generate a lot of money that is the end user , i believe if we give the end user better and cheaper ways to generate money by increasing its productivity, our business will grow with them its just a matter of thinking that way not saying them as business partners but proving them and helping them if we call ourselves as technical experts........!!!
Veterinary Doctor
June 26, 2015
Ozonization of Water to Poultry is Best

But Should have regular Flushing of Pipelines with Water Dis Infectatnts Aquamax
at Prescribed Dose-to Avoid Bioflim Formation.

Dr K SenthilKumar
Manager Technical Service
Venkys India Ltd - VBD.
Alovsat Alovsat
Project Manager
November 10, 2019
Hello Dr K SenthilKumar.I want to apply ozonated water in poultry farming.How to contact you.There are many questions.Thanks.
August 4, 2020


We are in the business of Manufacturing Ozone generators and are very successfully implementing the Ozonation concept in Poultry drinking water as Sanitizer.

Due to increase of Oxygen in water we have seen substantial improvement in the health of the Birds

What Ozone does

1. It eliminates(Oxidises) the bacteria present in water and gives the Birds Bacteria free water.

2. During the Ozonation process Ozone is consumed completely and converts into Oxygen O2, forming Oxygen Rich water, significantly increasing the Dissolved Oxygen upto 10 ppm

3.The Half shelf life of Ozone is around 17 to 40 minutes based on the temperature of water.

4. Improves the quality of water (colour, taste, odour)

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