Pilot site – Current situation
The quality of drinking water is of fundamental importance in livestock and plays an important role in the transmission of some bacterial, viral and protozoan diseases. The bad quality of water brings farmers to use huge quantities of antibiotics resulting in a worst quality of the product and stress for the animals. Zanca calf farm holds 600 animals (calf) and is using daily 20 cubic meters of borehole and aquifer water for drinking and site cleaning. That kind of water produces in all pipes a thick mass of BIOFILM which releases large amounts of bacteria and other harmful elements into the drinking system.
Farmer has used chemical solutions for removal of biofilm (peroxide or chlorine), which did not produce satisfactory results and had negative impact on animal health and wellbeing due to residuals in the water, too. In consequence, animals suffered of infections and elevated stress, which led to higher level of mortality, heavy antibiotic treatment and lower quality / quantity of production.
The problem to be solve
Chlorine used for water disinfection produces carcinogenic THMs which remains in animals’ kidneys. Instead, ozone can be used as a disinfectant, and it does not leave any residuals as it dissolves into oxygen. Most of common ozone treatment solutions on the market are very expensive as ozone injected in water in the form of normal bubbles is very volatile: large part of it return to atmosphere without any effect on the water to be treated. It has been proven that 10% of ozone provided by a conventional “blower” is useful (it is dissolved into the water) while the remaining 90% is lost.
For maximizing the amount of ozone dissolved into water and for increasing its resilience, the solution was the adoption of a NanoBubble Generator (NBG) with an Ozone generator. That device allowed to dissolve into the drinking water a larger quantity of Ozone (in comparison to normal bubbles) exploiting the unique characteristics of gas Nanobubbles into water: high resilience (Nanobubbles don’t blows and last for days, the efficiency of transferring gas NB into water is around 90%, only 10% is lost in the atmosphere) and high transfer rate (due to the high exchange surface of NBs for unit of gas in comparison with bigger bubbles). The objectives of the test have been to demonstrate the:
- Removal of the pathogens from the water and of the biofilm in the piping system
- Stop of chlorine use and the reduction of number of treatment steps and filters
- Increase the quality of the drinking water and decrease the stress and sickness for the animals
The test implementation
Our new NB-based water treatment solution was installed at the farm in November 2017. Installation time was less than one day including the power supply, piping and Ozone generator setup. The test duration was 12 months, which includes 2 production cycles (6 month each). The NBG installed is the WMAX-10+O3 with embedded O3 generator, suitable for treating / ozonizing max. 25 m3/day of water.
Results and benefits
The test has been running for 2 production cycles; the measures and results reported below are about each cycle and the repetition confirms the results of the first cycle.
The main benefit is the increase of production and the better health of the animals. The following table details economic and operational benefits resulting for each production cycle.
The water analysis have been done on samples collected at the drinking stations. It follows a comparative table related to the parameters measured during the test.
At the end of the test, the farmer certified the following results:
- Significant profit increase due to increased production and lower costs: up to 150 EUR per animal per cycle
- Improved health of animals: over 60% reduction of mortality
- Improved quality and wellbeing of animals: up to 30% less antibiotics needed
- Optimized productivity: up to 15% weight gain through improved animal metabolism
- Production optimization: 0% of production waste/discard
- Drastic reduction of costs for chemicals: no shock treatments needed anymore.