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Poultry Farm sanitation and alternative water disinfection methods

Whist chlorine is widely used in the sanitation of water, it is not always the best choice. This article discusses alternative water disinfection methods. 

Rearing poultry can be a taxing , meticulous and time consuming profession, but the outcome can be quite rewarding. So, what goes into producing  good output?

A sterile environment is the first and most basic measure to be taken in order to avoid the spread of diseases, infections and to ensure that a healthy, robust batch of chickens are produced with high quality performance. Infact, every element in the environment is capable of having an impact on product growth and performance, which is why Biosecurity measures and water disinfection practices are at the top of Aviagen’s priority list. Water is often a common source for vector borne diseases and carries a lot of contaminants. It is vital to assess the best practices for using Alternative Water Disinfection Methods during Production.

Sanitizers like chlorine dioxide, hydrogen peroxide, peracetic acid, ultraviolet light and ozone are all effective methods Aviagen takes for the purpose of water sanitization. The factors that determine the alternative treatment methods are,

  • Find out what works best for the stock.
  • Whether it compliments the water quality
  • If it is compliant with legislation.

What to use to avoid taste and odor issues  when organic matter is present in the water supply- Chlorine Dioxide (ClO2)

Chlorine dioxide is a better sanitizer and has a significant edge over chlorine, offering stronger oxidation  and better protection against bacteria, viruses

and protozoal pathogens. An  acid-chlorite generator is commonly used at the farm to give a maximum 80% efficiency yield of chlorine dioxide. While it can have a slow reaction time and pH it is still a better option, given that the pH is not < 3 in the reaction chamber, since there will be an excess of chlorate ions formed which are not beneficial for disinfection.

What to use to avoid production of harmful byproducts- Hydrogen Peroxide (H2O2)

Although chlorine is more effective in oxidizing iron and manganese, using hydrogen peroxide is more optimum for oxidizing sulfides and sulfites prior to filtration. Since it is also a strong oxidizer, breaking down into oxygen and water readily, harmful byproducts can be avoided. pH catalyzers, temperature, peroxide concentration and reaction time are all factors that drive the effectiveness of hydrogen peroxide. A powerful oxidizing agent can be created by combining hydrogen peroxide with ozone or UV lights, known as the Advanced Oxidation Processes (AOP).

Which alternative is a strong oxidizer and less affected  by the presence of organic matter – Peracetic Acid (CH3H4O3)

Peracetic acid is a good oxidizer and is more effective than chlorine or chlorine dioxide, colourless with a pungent odor it easily breaks down and dissolves in water and is effective against a wide range of bacteria, viruses and spore forms or organisms.

What to use to ensure no chemicals are introduced into the water- Ultraviolet light(UV)

This alternative practice uses electromagnetic waves to kill microorganisms with light energy with the help of UV lamps. Exposure time and light intensity are two factors that can impact the effectiveness of the doze. Although this method is effective, it comes with certain downfalls, organic matter, scale build-up or chemical films can easily limit its effectiveness. And since UV lamps age, to avoid output from diminishing, it is important to replace tubes regularly.

What to use to inactivate microorganisms rapidly and oxidize iron, manganese, sulfites and nitrites- Ozone

Ozone is a preferred form of treatment if you want a strong oxidizer that is more reactive than chlorine and produces no harmful disinfectant byproducts. Water however needs to be  filtered post-treatment as ozone does not maintain a disinfectant residual in the water.

The above methods are sincerely practiced by Aviagen based on the best suited alternative decided, and ensures that the product production and performance is at its maximum and optimal best by putting in place necessary water sanitization practices and quality control measures.

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