14 July 1995

Recycling can cut wastage

MILK producers who recycle parlour circulation water can save 45% of water and 58% of chemical requirements. For a 60-cow herd that is a saving of 150,000 litres (333,000gal) of water a year.

This is the claim of Jan Vis, general manager of the Waiboerhoeve research station, Holland.

He cites trials on one of the research dairy units, where pre-wash rinse water is offered to cows as drinking water.

Water with chemicals for circulation cleaning is used for one week. Each time it is reused it is reheated to 60C, and additional chemical is added to maintain the concentration. Once a week an acid cleaner is used.

"The hygiene quality of the milk is as good as before the trials," he claims.

The automatic control unit installed to manage the system cost £4560. "But some of the savings can be made with little extra cost," he says. He recommends saving circulation water to wash down parlours and using the last rinse water of one milking for pre-rinsing after the next.