2010 - Volume #BFS, Issue #10, Page #89[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story ]
He Treats Well Water With Hydrogen PeroxideWater has often been described as the most neglected ingredient for proper livestock nutrition, but that's not true for pork producer Wayne Neuberger, Klemme, Iowa.
He installed a chlorinator on his well years ago that provides water for his hog buildings and home.
While the chlorine did the job on the water, Neuberger didn't like the idea that you could smell and taste it in the water. Then he heard about a system that injects hydrogen peroxide into the water line.
"Peroxide can do everything chlorine can do when it comes to taking contaminants out of water," he believes. "The big advantage we noticed right away is that it leaves no smell or taste in the water."
Then he found another advantage.
"It wasn't until after I'd switched to peroxide that I found what the chlorine had done to my well," he says. "We'd been using chlorine tablets, dropping them into the well casing. Chlorine is highly corrosive and it actually ate through the steel casing. We had to pull the pump, re-drill the well and replace the casing. When we pulled the pump, it was encrusted in undissolved chlorine from the tablets."
He says the cost was "significant." He had the well deepened, but the water from the lower aquifer had a high sulfur content.
That showed him another advantage of hydrogen peroxide. "Peroxide immediately oxidizes the sulfur, so we have water that's as clean, clear and odorless as fresh spring water. There's also iron oxide in the water and while the peroxide can't take it out by itself without extra filtration, it keeps it in suspension so it doesn't accumulate and plug waterers," he says.
Neuberger says he's run out of peroxide a couple of times. When that happens, the sulfur smell and taste show up in the water to remind him it's time to get a new supply.
He says you don't need to be a plumber or expert mechanic to install a hydrogen peroxide injection system. "All you need is a squeeze pump to inject it into the water and a wire from the well pump controller to the squeeze pump, so when the water pump comes on, the squeeze pump does, too."
After that, he says, the big thing is calibrating the squeeze pump so the right amount of peroxide is injected into the water. Hydrogen peroxide test strips tell you the level you're at. "Once you have it set, that's all there is to it," he says. "I haven't touched the pump since then."
Neuberger has found one more way to use peroxide for his hogs. "I add a little extra to the hog water through the medicator whenever I hear them coughing or suspect they might have a touch of a respiratory infection," he says. "That almost always knocks it out and I seldom use any other medication."
Compared to drugs, peroxide is considerably less expensive. And, while it costs less than a penny per pig more than chlorine for treating water, Neuberger says the fact that it's noncorrosive and not apparent in the water makes it more desirable and probably more economical in the long run.
He says he uses Oxy Blast, which is the brand of hydrogen peroxide that Essential Water Solutions., Inc., Story City, Iowa sells. The company claims it has over ten times the effectiveness of plain peroxide because of its proprietary formula. Neuberger uses a 15 gal. drum of Oxy Blast every couple of months, or about 90 gal. per year, for both his house and hog operation. Oxy Blast runs about $18 per gal. Neuberger uses the 34 percent Oxy Blast purchased from Randy Navratil, owner, Essential Water Solutions, Inc. Navratil says the Oxy Blast is available in 5, 15 and 55 gal. drums and 300 gal. totes. They also offer companion products to Oxy Blast for water high in pH, TDS and sodium.
Navratil reports that Oxy Blast is not only used for swine operations, but also benefits poultry, beef and dairy. There currently are hundreds of thousands of cows and feedlot cattle, and several million chickens on over 3,000 Oxy Blast systems throughout the U.S. and Canada. More often than not, Oxy Blast eliminates the need for antibiotics besides cleaning up the water and waterlines. The Oxy Blast syste
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