Ask H&H: slimy water troughs

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    Advice on safe drinking water for horses

    Q: My field water troughs, which are topped up from hose water from the yard, frequently look grubby and slimy. What causes this and can I prevent it?
    SM, Perthshire

    Without stringent, regular cleaning, it is easy for outdoor water containers to be compromised by bacteria, organic matter, chemicals and minerals, and to build up a film.

    This is sometimes called “biofilm” and is a build-up of greases, bacteria and organic matter.

    Placing the container in a clear spot — for example, not underneath a tree, which will drop organic matter — and cleaning it regularly will help maintain cleanliness and prevent disease organisms from proliferating.

    Wet, dirty areas harbour bacteria for longer periods, so management of your troughs is key.

    You could try using a Fresha-Tank disc from Ruggles and Stopitall in your trough, when filling with clean water.

    The discs help destroy fungal, viral and bacterial micro-organisms, as well as parasites in the reproductive stages.

    The discs also help keep water fresher, and can minimise the slime found on the water’s surface. They may also encourage regular drinking, as some horses will not drink if their water supply is tainted.

    Made with real microbial silver, the tank discs are everlasting, environmentally friendly and do not leach metals into the water.


    Price: £9.99 each — one disc per 200 litres capacity.

    Tel: 01823 259952 www.karenruggles.co.uk

    This article was first published in Horse & Hound (7 January, ’10)

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