Got Milk? We’ve all seen the commercials and bumper stickers. The dairy industry wants to remind us that if we don’t have milk, we should probably go out and get some! Well, I have a question for the dairy industry… Got Ozone?
Ozone is fast becoming the sanitizer of choice for dairies and fresh food processing of all types for a number of very important reasons that should be of interest to water industry professionals. The typical dairy operation is made up of a number of smaller components, all of which can benefit from ozone.
Ozone starts its work in the dairy long before the cows are old enough to produce milk. Ozone-enriched water (OEW) is used in the calving operation to sanitize the bottles and nipples used to feed the young animals. OEW is also used to sanitize the equipment that prepares and transports the specialized formulas used to produce high yield heifers. Because ozone kills the broadest spectrum of microorganisms (including the growing number that have built up a resistance to chlorine), OEW can produce significant gains. Healthier calves grow to be healthier cows, which in turn produce more milk.
The next role that ozone plays in the overall process of producing wholesome milk is the sanitation of bovine drinking water. Low levels of ozone sanitize the drinking water, making it taste better. The better the water tastes, the more the cows drink, and drinking more water increases daily milk production.
The unique properties of ozone allow it to be used as a sanitizer of water, and as the levels of ozone in the water increase, the water itself becomes a sanitizer. OEW is used to clean and sanitize the milking equipment in preparation for the daily milking operations. Using OEW in place of hot water and harsh chemicals produces sizeable savings and achieves a higher microbial kill.
After the cows have been milked, ozone is often used in the holding lagoons to help break down volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the water used for clean up, which is considered toxic after it has done its job. Bacteria are the enemy of milk production, and sanitation of the requisite holding tanks and piping is of critical importance. When cleaning out the holding vats, harsh acids are sometimes required to properly clean fatty buildup; ozonated water is applied as a final rinse to neutralize the chemical residue. Because ozone leaves behind no residual or odor, OEW is an excellent sanitation solution for beverages of all kinds.
If OEW is used to sanitize the equipment before and after the milking operations, the wastewater produced is already pretreated, and in most cases, wouldn’t need any special treatment before it is discharged into the surrounding fields. For this reason alone, ozone is fast becoming the sanitizer of choice for a growing number of dairy operations.