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Shortage of water for cleaning

August 15, 2008
Water drop

Normally I run around 750 to 900 litres of water through the milking plant in the evenings to ensure it is cleaned well - half of that as a pure cold water wash and the other half mixed with Quantum Blue acid. Water is also used to hose out the platform and aisle. Even more water is used in the mornings as the yard also needs hosing out.

Add to that another 700 to 800 litres to wash out the milkvat after each tanker collection (currently every second day but fairly soon the tanker will start coming every day), and an extra 800 litres twice per week when an alkaline wash is added to the mix.

All that water is just for cleaning the cowshed. But of course water is used for other things as well, such as for cooling milk before it enters the vat, cleaning the calf shed, and of course drinking water for all of the stock.

Either we've been using too much water recently or else we have a major leak somewhere since I could only muster around 400 litres when cleaning the plant this evening before the pipe ran dry.

Luckily we have two different water sources feeding two different storage tanks and only one of them had run out so I was still able to obtain enough water to finish off the cleaning process. But that slows everything down and sets us up for a bigger risk - what if the cows' drinking water runs out...?

At this stage the consensus is that we're probably using too much water to hose out the calf pens - lets hope that's true because then the problem will pretty much go away by itself since we only need to do this from August through to October. In the meantime we're going to quicken up the cleaning of the calf pens, switch off the cooling water when milking the colostrum cows and check for any obvious leaks just in case.

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