Providing practical information to help you protect your farm from biosecurity risks

Think about water biosecurity this summer

November 6, 2014

Water image_smallWith summer just around the corner, plant and animal producers are being encouraged to create a biosecurity plan for water on the property.

Duncan Rowland, Animal Health Australia’s Executive Manager Biosecurity Services said many pests and diseases can survive for a long time in water until they find another host, so it is important to ensure water remains uncontaminated.

“There are a number of actions producers can take to reduce the potential biosecurity risks in all water sources on the property. Producers should regularly clean water troughs to avoid contaminant build up and cover water sources to protect them from disease carrying insects like mosquitoes and don’t allow water to stagnate,” he said.

“Water being supplied to the property, either through natural water courses or being trucked in, also poses a potential biosecurity risk.

“Effluent and run-off should be contained to avoid them entering natural water courses and inspections for weeds and weed seeds should be undertaken after flooding. If you need to bring water onto the property, ensure the water carrier provides you with their pertinent details and also has their own biosecurity measures in place and make sure you know where they have been and where they are going,” he said.

Mr Rowland said recycled water such as roof run-off, stormwater, agricultural effluent (e.g. dairy sheds or piggeries), irrigation run-off, or wastewater from food processing and wineries can also carry significant potential biosecurity risks.

“Care should be taken when using recycled water and producers should use the A to D classification system in determining what applications are suitable for various types of recycled water.

“Use clear and distinct signage when using recycled water and use purple piping and tape as this is the universal standard colour to indicate recycled water is in use. Use filtration, UV radiation or chlorination to treat water, prevent algal blooms by aerating or treating water that is high in nutrients and use drip irrigation for recycled water where possible to avoid aerosol formation,” he said.

For more information about managing the potential biosecurity risks associated with water, visit the Farm Inputs page on the Farm Biosecurity website.