Industry best practice manual for water quality management and sterilisation on-farm

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  4. Troubleshooting water quality problems
  5. Pre-treatment issues

Pre-treatment issues

The following tables detail pre-treatment issues, their probable causes and possible corrective action that could be undertaken to control issues. Please refer to Applicability of pre-treatments and disinfection techniques to different situations (Table 46) for a summary of water pre-treatment methods and their effectiveness against common water quality problems.

Table 30. Troubleshooting pre-treatment issues

Probable causesPreventive measuresChecking preventive measuresCorrective action
What to checkSigns that action is needed
Observation: No difference in suspended solids between source and filter water samples

Possible hazards: Reduced efficacy of pre-treatment
Suspended solids smaller than the cut-off size for pre-treatmentSeries of filters with lower micron cut-offColour
Colour and turbidity increaseReplace filter with a lower micron cut-off
Damaged pre-treatment systemRegular maintenanceColour
Colour and turbidity increaseMaintain the pre-treatment system
Hydraulic overloadingRegular cleaning and replacementCheck hydraulic loading ratesHead loss changing rapidly
Frequent backwashing or replacing filters
Clean or replace
Observation: Lack of flow

Possible hazards: No water for meat chickens
Suspended solids, scale or foreign objects in the systemPre-treatments
Scale control
Water flow
Water pressure
BlockagesUnblock system
Damaged systemMaintenance conducted as soon as issue identifiedWater flow
Water pressure
Equipment failureFix equipment
Observation: Effluent water quality changes

Possible hazards: Reduced efficacy of disinfection
Effluent water quality changes in turbidity and colourRegular monitoringColour
Source water quality changes
Turbidity increasing rapidly
Colour increasing
Increase the sampling frequency of raw water
Increase pre-treatment
Effluent changes in alkalinity, pH or temperatureRegular monitoringpH
Lower disinfectant effectiveness
Pre-treat to reduce alkalinity
Adjust pH
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