bacteria in my bucket water system what do I do to stop it

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Oneofthempeople, Nov 20, 2016.

  1. Oneofthempeople

    Oneofthempeople Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 20, 2016
    I am new to to chickens and just looking to see what people do to stop bacteria build up in there water system. I have 4 chickens and smaller 4x4x4ish coop with a 2'x8' run under it. I made a 4 gallon bucket water system inside the coop that feeds pvc pipes that feeds nipples, 2 inside the coop and 2 outside in the run with a valve shut off to the outside so I can shut the outside down now that winter has set in. The pvc pipe has a temp controlled heat tape on it so it does not freeze and to help keep the coop warm. I have already ran into a problem with bacteria building up in the buckets and I have to take the coop roof off to clean the buckets. I use apple cider vinegar in the water because I was told it would slow the bacteria build up. (not sure how much it has helped). Looking for Ideas of what I can do to stop the problem. Thanks for any Ideas
  2. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Flockless Premium Member

    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
    If your water is not chlorinated, you could add a small quantity of bleach to the buckets
  3. Oneofthempeople

    Oneofthempeople Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 20, 2016
    My city water is lightly Chlorinated I have a food safe sanitizer I use in wine making I thought about using just wanted to see if there are any other Ideas before I go with something along those lines
  4. azygous

    azygous Flock Master

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    The ACV you're adding to the water may be giving the appearance of bacteria when it's just the ACV making the water appear brackish. I've seen that happen in my plastic water tanks, and it was enough to make me quit adding ACV to the water even though it's probably harmless.

    If you actually do have bacteria growing in your water, it's probably due to the chlorine added at the treatment plant disappearing over time. This happens with chlorine. You need to add a few drops of bleach in your water tank from time to time to keep the chlorine content active against bacteria.

    If you're concerned with amounts, chlorine test kits are cheap and will let you know when the chlorine content drops below desirable levels or when it's too high.

    When you do drain and clean the system, use diluted bleach to make sure all bacteria has been removed.
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas

    Bingo. Azygous knows a thing or two. I studied water treatment when getting my engineering degree and for those municipal systems that use chlorine to treat the water, they should aerate it so the chlorine can evaporate before it enters the actual pipe system. That keeps the water from the tap having a strong small plus the chlorine is acidic and can lead to pipes rusting. If you are getting much of a bleach smell from your tap water that means the water treatment plant isn’t working quite right and is worth a complaint.

    If your Apple Cider Vinegar has mother in it, it does have bacteria in it. That’s what causes the mother and the benefits, a certain bacteria. It will change the pH of the water and help reduce the growth of algae and some other bacteria, but the sediment from the mother can eventually clog the nipples. A way to help yourself with that is to have the outlet from that bucket up on the side high enough so the sediment falls to the bottom. That’s something else they do in the water treatment plants, have the outlets higher up on their settling tanks.

    Another potential problem in summer is that your bucket might become a breeding ground for mosquitoes. I don’t use a nipple system, just open bowls to water. I dump those bowls every two days to keep the mosquito wigglers from developing into adult mosquitoes. You might want to consider that this summer if you bucket is open so mosquitoes can get in and lay eggs. I regularly have to clean out my watering bowls (chickens and dogs) with a bleach solution to stop the algae, but that’s weeks not every few days.

    I think CT and Azygous are on the right path. A standard way to sanitize water is to add some bleach to it. You want enough to do the job but not enough to cause a problem, a test kit is probably a good thing.
  6. Folly's place

    Folly's place True BYC Addict

    Sep 13, 2011
    southern Michigan
    That's why I dump the water in the waterers at least every other day, to keep it clean enough, and in summer, the mosquitoes out. Four birds won't use four gallons of water in any reasonable time, and freshening it up is a very good idea. It's not necessary to have human grade clean water out there, but fresher is best. The critters in active cider vinegar will be killed by the bleach, and I really see no actual benefits anyway, except by hearsay. Mary

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