The quality of water on your dairy directly influences the performance of the hygiene chemicals used to clean and sanitize your milking system and bulk tank. As a result, if the cleaning process is not performing, bacteria can thrive within the system and the quality of milk that flows through the pipeline is negatively affected, says Rick Watters, milk quality and udder health specialist with GEA Farm Technologies.

The grains per gallon (gpg) of hardness in your water supply and the parts per million (ppm) of iron should be tested every six months. Water conditions can vary monthly due to changing well levels and other factors. And, water quality has the biggest influence over which chemical products should be recommended and the dilution rates for those products.

At the same time your water is evaluated, your dealer should also evaluate the six requirements for proper clean-in-place or CIP cleaning to be sure chemical contact time, water temperature, water volume, chemical balance are performing optimally.

With any one of these elements missing, the entire cleaning system may fail, resulting in higher bacteria counts.