Water quality is an important contributor to cattle well-being and the quality of beef from market dairy cattle. Follow these water-quality practices outlined by the Dairy Animal Care & Quality Assurance (DACQA) program:

  • Allow cattle access to clean, fresh, uncontaminated drinking water in water tanks or other watering devices.
  • Clean water tanks and other watering devices routinely.
  • Do not allow cattle to drink from ponds and streams as these water sources can become contaminated with manure and other potential run-off contaminants.
  • Restrict access to water sources such as streams and ponds, which can serve as potential sources of disease, pathogenic bacteria or chemical contamination.
  • Cattle will commonly consume contaminated water, even when fresh water is available. To prevent intake of contaminated water, minimize pools of standing water in cattle facilities and outdoor lots. Standing water can become contaminated with manure and pose a threat to cattle health.
  • Take steps to improve drainage in areas where standing water tends to pool.

DACQA is a voluntary, national certification program intended to enhance and demonstrate quality animal care practices, which assure food safety, quality and value as well as enhance consumer confidence in the milk and beef products that are harvested from cattle on America’s dairy farms.