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"Biofilm in drinking water lines is a thing of the past"

Published in Pluimveekrant / no. 3 / July 2020

Text: Martin de Vries

“As a poultry farmer, you know how essential clean drinking water is for the chicks. You think you are doing the right thing, yet you are shocked that biofilm in the pipes swallows everything. Broiler farmer Eddy Janssen from Odiliapeel in Brabant opted for the Watter system, which has developed a patented method of disinfecting water based on electrolysis and salt. "I'm a naturally suspicious person, but it turns out that the lines are cleaner than new."

The Watter System produces a disinfectant on the spot.

Eddy Janssen tested the Watter system and compared it with a different method of treatment in an identical barn. “I even exchanged the samples on purpose during the first water measurement to test whether the results of Watter correspond to reality. As a down to earth farmer, you want an image that is as objective as possible. Watter simply came out well” says the poultry farmer. After four weeks, the samples showed that the values of pathogenic bacteria, biofilm, fungi, yeast and viruses were zero. "In the other reference barn, the figures were significantly higher."


The good results of the water that comes out of the round nipple pipes justify the investment in the Watter system, according to Janssen. Also in view of the savings in resources, antibiotics and the costs for the vet. "While at first you already think that you are doing well." Janssen keeps eighty thousand broilers one star according to Beter Leven. “You are constantly busy flushing the pipes, but there was always something at the drinking line. Biofilm appears to keep growing. Everything is going well, but sometimes you think that the entire water system is broken. In the barn, it got wet because the nipples gave more water than I was used to. You let the water dosage change with the age of the chicks, which turned out to be wrong.”

“At a certain point, you add resources to keep the drinking water clean. I am always on the lookout, but I also cannot constantly look into the pipes. In the stable, you start with a temperature of 35 or 36 degrees. We let the hatching eggs hatch in the stable. Then you have a flow of zero. After all, eggs don't drink.”


Watter BV has been working on the technology to disinfect the water throughout the whole system for more than ten years. The patented process is based on electrolysis and salt. In the reactor, the biodegradable agent "Nontox" is created, which leaves no residues in the water. It is a disinfectant with more than twenty active ingredients. Due to this diversity, the concentration can be kept very low without losing effectiveness. Better results, with less disinfectant, is Watter's credo. Watter is an EU patented technique that is permitted as a preventive measure against bacteria, fungi and viruses.

With salt blocks, a chemical process that improves the water quality is set in motion.

The system, which is placed in the Eddy Janssen's feed room between the water mains, regulates the processes. "Under the hood" you can read how efficiently the drug is administered and how much has been produced. “Everything is based on technology and science. Measure and record”, explains microbiologist Reinoud Homan from Watter.

The device has sufficient capacity for almost all operating sizes and is placed as close to the source as possible. “It is important that germs are completely removed, otherwise they will grow back. The Watter system is, therefore, not only a constant solution in the short term, but also in the long term. ”

Nontox, which is produced by the device, appears to be very effective. “Safe to dose continuously in the water pipes. Sustainable disinfection makes pathogenic bacteria, fungi, yeasts and viruses harmless. We guarantee a hundred percent results. After four weeks, we check whether the water quality has improved.” Homan indicates that disinfection of water should not take place at the source but from the source. "Because germs do not grow at the source, but from the source."


“Actually, I only have to throw in some salt every now and then. That's it. I don't really have to worry about it” says Eddy Janssen about the Watter system. “I notice that the watering of the drinking lines is higher and I don't add anything more. You also see that the effect of the acids for the chicken is no longer cancelled out by the biofilm. And that is, of course, positive for intestinal health. So I think that clean drinking water can make a difference in the field of animal health.”

Janssen also expects to have an answer to future developments with the system in advance. “Since the Fipronil crisis, it has become even more important that we are critical of the resources we deploy. Since we have been working with the Watter system, we do not need to add anything anymore.” The poultry farmer from Odiliapeel is also considering connecting a Watter system to the drinking water supply at a second location. “We want to look at it a little longer to see what the calculation is in the long term. Of course, the system requires a considerable investment, but in our view, it is justified. A purely economic consideration when you look at what is saved in water peroxide, acids and costs for the vet.” The system also provides healthy broilers and saves time for the poultry farmer.

“If you don't monitor the pipes consistently enough on a daily basis, you will be shocked to see how much biofilm is created in the pipes. With low flow and high temperatures, the pipes simply get dirty quickly. Especially in the first three weeks around the vaccinations, when you just had a period of low flow. Then, the Watter system is definitely a trade-off. In any case, we are satisfied with the choice.”


Company profile

Pluimveebedrijf Janssen - Wijnen C.V.

Odiliapeel (B.) 80.000 broilers (Better Life one star)

With salt blocks, a chemical process that improves the water quality is set in motion.

The Watter System produces a disinfectant on the spot.

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