Chlorine use in dairies raising concerns

Many dairy farmers testing their water are finding they are not meeting the standards of water quality necessary for compliance for milk collection, says David Law of Forward Farming.

“In a quest to improve hygiene, not only in water, but also in dairy shed plants and vat cleaning systems, chlorine has been the go-to product of choice. Recent farmer meetings have reported a massive encouragement towards its increased use.”

David says there are many farmers on water exclusion, which means that chlorine treatment of any water touching the inside of the milklines for cleaning purposes is enforced. Plant washing proceedures also enforce that any detergent or alkali used for cleaning purposes require rinsing with compliant quality water.

“In effect these farmers are rinsing their milklines with chlorinated water. Reports suggest that every other country in the world rinses chlorine out from the food areas and in contrast we are rinsing with chlorine.

“This high chlorine system is creating problems which until recently have not been reported. Effluent ponds are showing increased dark green slime on the surface which is only apparent when chlorine is used.

“When chlorine is taken away, the green slime does not occur and testing has shown that beneficial biology is being anihilated with this chemical.

“There is a movement, particularly in Europe, away from this high use of chlorine, primarily in food and drinking water, after scientists are proclaiming an overwhelming link with cancer with its use.”

David says chlorine is increasingly being replaced by chorine dioxide. “This is a product which ticks all the boxes for sanitising without any residuals, resulting in only benefits to the end user.”


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