Hi, I have a hung (heated) watering device. Even though it is above the sand run (head height), is till gets a lot of sand in the water. Should I be concerned that this is “run” sand (contamination) ?
Water stations will get a bit of dirt in them from the chickens scratching around and drinking the water with dirt/sand on their beak, etc.
I don't think it will be a problem if you rinse your station(s) everyday and wash station(s) once a week.
It is sometimes amazing how much of a mess they can make even with it at head height. I've had some success building a platform they have to get up n tp get to the water. Instead of taking it up one level take the water up two levels.
The risk of them getting trash in the water is that they poop a lot wherever they happen to be. So if they are getting sand in the waterer some poop can get in too. There are bugs that can live and multiply in that water from that poop. Due to their life cycle that's not that big of a deal the fist day they are in there, It starts to get risky after a couple of days. If it gets much poop in it then it can get pretty disgusting pretty quickly but even if it is not bad dump it every couple of days to keep that bug population under control.
Another advantage of dumping the water every two days is that it disrupts the life cycle of mosquitoes. It takes mosquito larva more than two days to grow into mosquitoes so dumping any water mosquitoes can get to or trash can get in at least every two days should keep you out of trouble.
I wouldn’t worry too much about sand in the water. As long as you clean it regularly they’ll be fine. Sometimes chickens seem to like nasty water, mine will drink out of puddles in the driveway or a dirty pond when they have lots of options for clean water.