Thursday, May 17, 2012

Testing Water

I've been thinking about testing our water that the livestock has been drinking.  I guess not knowing is easier than knowing.  The neighbor stopped over today and had two water samples to test.  He had one sample that tested 13500 and another tested at over 17000.  Our heifers are drinking out of the same creek only several miles below his.  This creek hasn't had running water since last June.

We went out this evening and pulled two samples from spots that looked like the heifers were drinking there.  The spots were about half a mile apart.  With this meter you multiply the number by 1000, so this spot has a Total Dissolvable Solids number of 3940.  Kind of high.

The next sample was not quite to good.  A 4.93 which multipies to 4930.

Here is a table that kind of explains TDS.  We lived with this water meter back in the early 2000's before we drilled our well.  These numbers will get progressivly worse through the summer.

    Table 8. Recommendations for livestock water use based on Total Dissolved Solids (TDS).
TDS              Comments 
(ppm or mg/L) 
Less than 3,000  Usually satisfactory for most livestock. 
3,000-5,000      May not cause adverse effects to adult livestock. 
                 Growing/young livestock could be effected by looseness 
                 or poor feed conversion. At levels near 5,000 ppm the 
                 water is unacceptable for poultry. 
5,000-7,000      Should not be used for pregnant or lactating females. 
                 Usually laxative and may result in reduced water intake. 
7,000-10,000     Do not use for swine. Do not use for pregnant or 
                 lactating ruminants or horses. 
10,000 or more   May cause brain damage or death. 

Two days ago we leased a backhoe to dig up our water line that goes north so we can repair the leak.

We will be setting tanks and getting water to the pastures to the north.  The sheep in the pastures have piped well water and the cows with calves have a creek that has been running most of the spring so their water is pretty good for a while.

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