If your water bottle can make you sick, what do you think your waterlines are doing to your livestock?

Are you guilty of not washing your water bottle or reusable straw after every use? I know I am. If I am the only one using it and it just contained water, I surely don’t need to wash it too often.

However, over the past several years there have been a number of news articles reporting on studies suggesting your reusable water bottle could be making you sick. Did you know that some water bottles contain more bacteria than an average home toilet seat? Water collects on the lip or spout of the bottle (or the straw) and creates the perfect warm, moist breeding ground for bacteria. In fact, a Brazilian study found E. coli, Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa among other organisms in a study of 60 shaker bottles.

What is biofilm? 
This warm, moist breeding ground creates an ideal environment for the formation of biofilm. Biofilms are the natural home of bacteria and other microbes. Once you know to look for biofilm, it is easy to recognize, just look for a slimy substance that coats the lip, spout or straw of your water bottle. Biofilm can form anywhere bacteria can adhere to the surface in a moist environment. Common examples of naturally occurring biofilm include the plaque on your teeth, the “gunk” that plugs your drains, and even the rocks you slip on in a creek.

What does cleaning your water bottle have to do with your operation? Animal drinking lines also represent a warm, moist environment ideal for the formation of biofilms. A recent study published in BMC Microbiology suggested that close to two-thirds of animal drinking lines in broiler facilities could be contaminated with biofilm. The presence of biofilm in waterlines could pose a potential health risk for your livestock.

Waterline disinfection: removing biofilm
Once established, biofilm is difficult to remove. Bacteria, fungi, algae, yeasts, protozoa, and other microorganisms are protected in a self-produced matrix of extracellular polymetric substance composed of proteins, polysaccharides and other materials. This “shell” makes the microorganisms in biofilm extremely resistant and hard to kill. Conventional disinfectants have limited effectiveness against biofilm. If you only kill some of the surface organisms and do not remove the entire reservoir, bacteria can repopulate in the biofilm as little as 48 hours.

A best-in-class waterline disinfection program not only improves water quality and drinkability, but also removes scale, biofilm, and other dangerous pathogens. Sterilex Ultra Disinfectant Cleaner Solution 1 & Ultra Activator Solution is specifically designed to:

  • Remove slime and kill bacteria found in water lines
  • Penetrate and remove biofilm
  • Prevents plugging of lines and nipple drinkers
  • Remove scale minerals that may be harbored within biofilms
  • Enhance health and livability
  • Kill pathogens such as Avian Influenza, Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus (PEDv), Rotavirus, Escherichia coli, Salmonella enterica, Pseudomonas and others*

For more information about biofilm and how Sterilex’s products can help protect your operation, visit www.sterilex.com/animal-health.

*Specific organism claims may vary by product. See product label for full label claims and usage instructions.

About Megan Macy

*Biofilm label claims approved for specific applications only. See product label for full label claims and usage instructions.
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