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Field Notes: Water – Is having sufficient volume for your animals good enough?

By Mike Banks

For a very long time, those involved in livestock production accepted the fact that as long as there was adequate quantities of feed and water, everything would be okay. 


That premise has changed significantly over the last decade in livestock production. Today’s top producers understand there are things that can be done to improve the quality of life for their animals. One of those is validating the quality of their drinking water and if volumes available are optimal.

MWI and I were asked to investigate what possibly could be done to enhance the water quality for a large farrow-to-finish swine operation in my territory. Water samples were taken and analyzed by a certified lab, recommendations were made by our technical services team and intervention solutions were put in place. I just spoke with the owner of this operation and he said, “I just sent two loads from one of those finishing sites and those pigs are kicking butt! They averaged 316 pounds. They are drinking more and are really doing great!”


  • Know what you have for water quality by submitting samples to a certified laboratory
  • Request recommended parameters be tested, for example: minerals, pathogens, TDD, TDS
  • Contact your MWI representative to have our Technical Services team assist in recommendations upon analysis of your sample results
  • Request follow-up if equipment and chemistry are recommended and installed

And, don’t be afraid to ask questions. We want you to be as successful as possible.