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Health issues and clogging are now a thing of the past

Watter customer Simon Ruiter

"I can now say with certainty that the drinking water of our cows is of top quality. But we have come a long way as a company before that. Tap water is not an option here, and ground or surface water is inconsistent in quality. Despite the presence of de-icer and a softener, there were still many problems with the water, resulting in blockages and health problems. With the help of the Watter system this is a thing of the past: thanks to the continuous disinfection the pipes stay clean without the need for much labour or dangerous chemicals."

Simon Ruiter is in charge of a dairy farm in Grootschermer, North Holland. The farm has been at this location since 1970, and daughter Sofie and her boyfriend will soon take over the business from her parents. The farm consists of 180 hectares of land with a lot of landscape management and has grown over the years to approximately 200 lactating cows and 150 young cattle.

Smelly water

Simon enjoys working on the farm and, as an entrepreneur, he has an eye for improvement. This also applies to the water: "For years, I had been working on the drinking water for the cows. There were regular blockages and persistent growth of algae and mould in the tanks. The water stank and a lot of sludge came out of the pipes when they were flushed. Because the cows also had health problems, we commissioned an investigation by the Animal Health Service (GD) and it turned out that the water was seriously polluted."

"We replaced the communicating vessels for a high-pressure piping system and at the same time addressed the hardness of the incoming water, but to no avail. The cause was not in the supply but in the growth of biofilm in the pipes: even though the water comes in perfectly clean, a slime coat of bacteria and mould grows there."

Bad experiences with chemicals

After contacting a representative of Watter, Ruiter first started with a trial period with the Watter system: "I have very bad experiences with adding chemicals to the water. Overdosing, mix-ups and other human errors lead to dangerous situations for the animals and the staff. The Watter system is a solution to this problem, because it makes disinfectant out of salt and water and continuously adds a little bit to the drinking water of the animals. It is automated so it works automatically and is very safe: the less work you have to do, the less can go wrong."

Blockages and health problems now a thing of the past

Since the introduction of the Watter system, two and a half years ago now, the dairy farmer sees big differences: "First of all, the piping has never been blocked again. A world of difference compared to the past, when we had to flush with high pressure every two to three months. I also notice that the water is visibly clean and the pressure has improved; the troughs are no longer empty. I also notice it in the behaviour of the cows: they used to prefer the ditch when they could go outside, but now they come inside to drink.

Fertility and health significantly improved

It was therefore a logical choice to purchase the system after a six-month trial period: "The investment pays off for us mainly because of the improved health of the cows. The polluted water used to cost the cows too much energy. Now we are seeing a huge improvement in fertility, health and getting the most out of the feed. We now notice that when conditions are right, production has increased by 1 to 2 litres per cow per day compared to three years ago."

  Total germ count E. coli
4-10-2018 (voor Watter) >300.000 kve/ml >300 kve/ml
6-11-2018 (na 1 maand) 29.000 kve/ml 10 kve/ml
23-6-2021 (na 2,5 jaar) 200 kve/ml 0 kve/ml

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