Quality Standards For Livestock Drinking Water On Farms

An ample supply of fresh clean water is essential for the health of livestock total daily water consumption is dependent on several factors, including:
  • The type, age, and size of livestock – older animals and larger species have greater average water consumption needs.

  • The number of animals in your herd.

  • Pregnant or lactating animals – these animals will need additional water.

  • Prevailing weather conditions – more water is required in hot weather to avoid dehydration.

  • Environmental factors, such as dry or mature grass – dry fodder and grass make animals more thirsty

Enduramaxx - Long CTA (735 x 100 px) (735 x 70 px)

Choose A Livestock Water Tank: The Key Considerations

With the required volume of drinking water likely to fluctuate throughout the season and during an animal’s life, it’s important that you can store sufficient water and prevent a shortage that could cause immediate and serious effects on the welfare of your animals. A depleted water intake causes several serious consequences, including:

Providing a ready supply of clean potable water, through suitable storage and distribution, will prevent water quality from becoming compromised and help to safeguard your livestock. At Enduramaxx, we stock an extensive variety of polyethylene water tanks, from 50 to 100,000 litres capacity, and towable livestock water bowsers from 300 to 750 litres.  We also sell a range of transport tanks designed to mount to your own chassis up to 10,000L capacity. to facilitate the movement of water across agricultural land where no main water supply is available.

What are the key considerations when choosing water storage tanks?

1) Tank Volume

Clearly, the capacity of the water tank must be sufficient to meet the demands of livestock units in the area. Therefore, the tank volume is the primary consideration: the tank should hold a minimum of 25 percent of the livestock’s regular requirement at any one time.

2)Tank Height

A tank that is too high will prove impossible for animals to access. The height of the tank should be matched to the height of the animals so that they can drink freely and without difficulty. This will vary according to the type and size of the livestock for whom water is being provided. 

3) Tank Site

On extensive farms with a large land area, livestock will be spread widely so it is important to consider the time they will need to travel to reach the water tank. At a distance of 600 to 900 feet, animals tend to move individually to water; at greater distances, they travel en masse.

4) Algae in Tank Water

Algae control measures should be considered at the point of choosing a water tank for your livestock. Regular cleaning can prevent the growth of algae, while the use of copper sulphate crystals can also be beneficial, inhibiting algal growth without posing a health risk to your animals. The size of the tank that you choose will determine the extent of the control measures that you need to take on a regular basis, particularly in warmer weather. The larger the holding volume of your tank, the greater the risk of contamination. The risk of contamination is also higher for sitting water, which risks becoming stagnant and depleted of oxygen in warm weather. To avoid this, aerate your water regularly by using aeration equipment and pumps, and drain and replenish your water bowsers at regular intervals.

5) Insulation

In cold weather, drinking water for livestock may freeze, and consuming water at low temperatures can lower the animal’s core body temperature, placing them at higher risk of illness. In snowy weather and on remote farms, it may be difficult for you to reach water tanks to defrost them, so choosing insulated tanks will ensure a constant supply of safe and accessible drinking water however severe the weather becomes.

Our insulated water tanks are manufactured from mid-density UV-stabilised polyethylene and wrapped in a jacket featuring a closed-cell structure. Available in a 13mm or 25mm thickness, the insulating jacket offers a low thermal conductivity value of 0.042W/mK, delivering superb protection against sub-zero temperatures.

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Enduramaxx drinking water guide get your copy

Preventing Pollution Of Service And Groundwater

As livestock farms are classed as at high risk for potential contamination of surface and groundwater, it is vital that farmers adhere to regulations to protect water quality. Since 2018, farmers in England must abide by the ‘Farming Rules for Water’ which stipulate specific actions that must be taken to prevent water pollution.

The rules are organised into eight sections: five about the management of fertiliser and manure, and three about the management of soil. Where livestock are concerned, they should be prevented from poaching soil within five metres of water, while the use of fertilisers and animal waste must be controlled to prevent contamination of water sources.

Restricting Nitrate Levels In Surface And Groundwater

Agricultural activity can drive up nitrate levels, which must be restricted to below 50mg per litre: regular monitoring should be undertaken and, where nitrate levels are found to be above the acceptable limit, action must be taken to reduce them. An action plan for nitrate control should be established for you farm and revised every four years, and close attention paid to water quality regulations, which are liable to change frequently.

livestock drinking


When large capacity storage tanks are used within an environmentally friendly treatment system, water can be kept fresh for up to six months, providing a near-constant supply of drinking water for livestock. As water can be harvested as soon as the system is set-up, replacing the reliance on mains water, savings are virtually instant. On average, an ROI can be achieved between one and six years, making rainwater harvesting a viable and realistic prospect for most agricultural and livestock businesses.

With rainwater harvesting you can:

Reduce your water bills.

Achieve a rapid ROI.

Qualify for lower tax liabilities through Enhanced Capital Allowances.

Rainwater harvesting is also highly sustainable, reducing strain on the water table, slashing water treatment and chemical use, and promoting increased awareness of the sustainability agenda.

Enduramaxx - Long CTA (735 x 100 px) (735 x 70 px)

Contact Us To Find Out More

Enduramaxx is a leading manufacturer and supplier of polyethylene water storage tanks, bowsers, and rainwater harvesting tanks for the agricultural sector. Our products are manufactured to recognised international standards, including ISO 9001, giving our customers confidence that our livestock drinking water products meet demanding regulations for animal safety and welfare drinking water products meet demanding regulations for animal safety and welfare. 

Our accreditations & certificates
  • Drinking Water Inspectorate (DWI) Regulation 31 approved
  • WRAS approved for products and materials
  • ISO 9001 accredited
  • UKAS accredited
Contact us

To discuss your needs in person with one of our team, please call 01778 562 810 today.

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Tel: 01778 562810

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