Bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV) has been found to survive longer in water and mucus, compared to other materials like soil and metal. If a persistently infected animal is present in your herd, mucus harboring the virus could transmit BVDV to other animals that share the same waterer.
“Cleaning water tanks is very important for many reasons including food safety, animal performance and general upkeep of facilities,” says Dan Thomson, veterinary researcher at Kansas State University.
An article in the May-June 2012 issue of Bovine Veterinarian looks at BVDV survival in water tanks in a feedlot setting. However, the information and advice on disinfecting water tanks is applicable to dairy operations as well.
Source: Bovine Veterinarian, May-June 2012