In practice it is difficult to determine the characteristics required drinking water because the animals are used over time to certain water quality. In the case of a new piercing or after a dry season should analyze water quality for being part of the diet in animal production.
The chemical quality refers to the beneficial salt content and salt damage. Among the beneficial include sodium chloride, carbonates and bicarbonates of calcium, magnesium and sodium and sulphates damaging are calcium, sodium and magnesium. When performing a chemical analysis should take into account certain components:
Total solids content (TS) : is the sum of the concentrations of solids in water. Most are inorganic salts such as sulfates, chlorides, carbonates, bicarbonates of calcium, magnesium and sodium. In general, when the level exceeds the ST 7 g / l restriction is serious and undesirable for use due to lower water consumption and, therefore, the dry matter intake of foods of high quality. Moreover, less water containing 1.5 g of ST / l may require supplementation with mineral mixtures and is to be defined as common waters “bit fattening” while those having between 2 and 4 g / l is the generally consider water quality and “fattening”. Overall adult animals and beef breeds are more resistant to excess salts that young animals and milk producing breeds.
pH: defines the alkalinity or acidity of the water. The water slightly alkaline (pH 7-7.5) are best for cattle. The basic pH (greater than 9.0) may indicate poor bacteriological quality of the water and, on the other hand, cause fouling of pipes.
Chlorides: the most abundant form in which it is associated with sodium, giving salty water. The shapes combined with calcium and magnesium give bitter taste and, if in excess, can cause diarrhea. Cattle drinking water with high concentrations of chlorides may have chronic intoxication. Animals exhibit anorexia, weakness, weight loss, dehydration, hypothermia. Dairy cows are more susceptible to water salinity.
Sulfates: is the salt that has the most adverse effect. The tolerance limit for livestock is considered of 1500 mg / l. Values from 1500 to 2500 mg / l produce temporary diarrhea. Above them, is probably not naturally animals drink the water. It is shown that low levels (500 mg / l) in the presence of molybdenum, form an insoluble compound preventing copper absorption in the intestine. In cases where sulphates levels exceeding 1000 mg / l reduce the availability of copper at hypocuprosis causing ruminal secondary or conditioned.
Nitrates and nitrites: its presence indicates contamination with organic matter or nitrogen fertilizers, maximum accepted levels are 100 and 10 mg / l, respectively. Nitrates found in the water, when ingested by ruminants, are reduced to nitrites which are highly toxic. Assimilated nitrites combine with hemoglobin to methemoglobin, producing blood incapable of acting as oxygen carrier which results in anemia anoxic.Intoxicated animals have diarrhea, salivation, abdominal cramps, dyspnea, tremors, unsteady gait and subsequent lying, pale mucous membranes. The blood is dark red due to anoxia. Pregnant cows ingesting remaining water with nitrates may have abortions, even in epizootic form. The problem of nitrate or nitrite in water is compounded if there are toxic plants in pastures that contain them. If it is determined in the presence of any of these ions must be made bacteriological analysis for the possibility of the existence of pathogens.
Magnesium is necessary in the diet of cattle and many wells is in excess, combined with sulfate water gives the bitter taste. Ceilings are considered: for dairy cows than 250 mg / l, for weaned calves 400 mg / l and adult cattle 500 mg / l.
Arsenic: the high toxicity of arsenic and its compounds requires a strict control of suspected waters because low doses can accumulate and cause chronic poisoning. In these animal poisoning is depressed, no appetite, weak and move with difficulty. Diarrhea often exhibit dark blood and fragments produced by the intestinal mucosa. At necropsy there is fragile and dried skin, intestinal tract lesions with ruptured blood vessels, hepatitis, nephritis, pulmonary congestion, endocarditis. Although other processes may have similar signs hemorrhagic gastroenteritis finding requires careful analysis for the presence of arsenic. For cattle is estimated that the maximum concentration in drinking water is 0.2 mg / l.
Fluoride: in adequate amounts necessary to maintain the hardness of teeth and bones. In excessive doses works by slowing the growth of chronic intoxication, but still rare cases death. Fluoride does not cross the placental barrier and is found in trace amounts in milk and colostrum, so the calf is exposed to risk only when water begins to eat. Young animals subjected to excessive intakes of fluoride before the onset of permanent teeth undergo changes in size, shape, color, orientation and structure. Appears mottled teeth hindering wear mastication, causing the fall of the same, which results in the lack of growth of the animal and loss of status.In bone can be found osteomalacia, osteoporosis and exostosis, due to the extreme three mobilization of calcium and phosphorus to compensate for the excess loss of urine fluorine these elements together.According to the fluoride content of foods vary toxic levels of this element in the drinking water. Normal levels in drinking water to maintain the hardness of the teeth give concentrations between 0.8 and 1.5 mg / l.
Lic Susana Cseh.2003.Dpto. Animal Production INTA Balcarce.
Dr. Ricardo Sager.2001. EEA San Luis.
Waters and watery. Bavera, Rodriguez, Bocco, Beguet, Sanchez. 1979. Ed Southern Hemisphere SA
Instructions for submission of samples
Forward 1 liter of water from the site to assess in a plastic bottle previously rinsed with water to subside. BacteriologyFlame the mouth of the water outlet to discuss with cotton swab dipped in alcohol. Then run water for a few minutes and immediately fill a sterile container with at least 100 ml of water. Identify samples with all available information, attaching sheet. Keep sample containers in the refrigerator until shipment to the laboratory. Forward samples to the laboratory using styrofoam boxes and refrigerated within 24 hours.
Author: Lab. 9 de Julio.
Lic. Susana Cseh.2003.Dpto. Producción Animal INTA Balcarce.
Dr. Ricardo Sager.2001. EEA San Luis.
Aguas y aguadas. Bavera, Rodríguez, Bocco, Beguet, Sanchez. 1979. Ed. Hemisferio Sur S.A.