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3 Bacteria which can invade your farm through untreated water

When we talk about untreated water, we are really talking about water from a large number of possible sources, including:

  • Bore Water
  • Channel/River Water
  • Rain Water
  • Dam Water

Bacteria are everywhere. They live in the environment, inside us and inside our stock. Some are good and some are bad. Three of the nastiest pathogenic bacteria are commonly found in untreated water. I’m talking about E. Coli, Salmonella and Leptospira.

E Coli

E. Coli can cause severe diarrhea (scours) in young livestock (including Pigs, Ruminants, etc.), which can in turn lead to reduced growth and increased mortalities.


Salmonella can affect most species of livestock and poultry. Again, the most profound effects are seen in young animals with weaker immune systems. The issues caused by Salmonella can be a lot broader than those seen with E. Coli. Possible complications from Salmonella infections include: Diarrhea, joint infections, pneumonia, and sometimes death.


Leptospira are another very potent bacteria, capable of causing a range of debilitating (and often fatal) issues in Livestock. They are best known as the cause of the disease Leptospirosis, which can be found Pigs, Cattle, Humans, and others. Leptospirosis can also be easily transmitted from livestock (especially Cattle) to Humans.

These bacteria are just one type of contaminant that can get into your herd or flock through untreated drinking water. We’ll talk about some of the others in future articles, as well as some simple techniques and products that you can employ on farm to fight against them.