Treating borehole water on a poultry farm

Back to Application case studies - 22/05/2018

A reverse osmosis kit to treat turbidity and high sodium levels on a free range egg farm in the UK


A free range egg producer approached J&F to examine the possibility of using water from an existing borehole for use as drinking water for their laying birds.

A recent water analysis showed:

Elevated turbidity

High concentration of organic compounds (water sample was clear)

High TVCs

High sodium levels

The above levels of contamination were unacceptable to the welfare of the birds and would also depress egg production.

Treating borehole water on a poultry farm


The requirement was to treat 17 m3 per day, the following equipment was specified and supplied by J&F:

1 x Chlorine dosing station for the disinfection to reduce the high TVCs

1 x Backwashing turbidity unit using Filter Ag+ filter media & WS1 control valve

1 x Carbon backwashing unit using Aquasorb CS activated coconut based carbon for de-chlorination & WS1 control valve

1 x 24 m3 per day Reverse Osmosis unit with automatic anti-scalent dosing

1 x 2 m3 per hour UV disinfection unit with 5 micron pre-filter

The above was installed with final commissioning taking only one day – the backwashing turbidity & carbon units linked to the RO unit using Clack microswitch assemblies.
A ROSA (reverse osmosis system analysis) had been produced during specification – the final water quality matched this giving low sodium, bicarbonates & TDS – finally the pH was also reduced benefitting the birds.

Treating borehole water on a poultry farm

Frequently Asked Questions

How safe is borehole water for drinking?

We usually recommend the installation of a UV disinfection system be installed to clean private water supplies, including boreholes.

A borehole draws water from an aquifer which is made up from rain water filtered through natural rock formations. A water analysis will show any contaminants that may need to be removed to provide a wholesome water supply.

How will water treatment help my livestock?

Whilst livestock may have a better tolerance for poorer quality water there are still many factors that can affect performance which in turn can cause a financial loss.

Poor quality drinking water may cause the livestock to drink less than they need, or even not drink at all, affecting their general health.

In the case of poultry, for example, by supplying water with a sodium content below 50 ppm gives the poultry better growth and improved egg laying quotas.

Water of consistent quality allows farmers to provide “feed” of a consistent nature.

Removing iron, manganese and hardness will also make heat exchangers more efficient and prolong the service life.

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