Vivarium Washing and Watering Systems
animal watering. Flushing systems use more water than recirculating systems because
water is discharged to the drain after the flushing cycle is complete.
Automatic water systems require regular observation of the systems and the animals.
If not maintained properly, they pose the risk of flooding cages or clogging valves.
They do not allow for monitoring of animal water intake. Before choosing an auto-
matic watering system, these issues should be taken into account.
Operation, Maintenance, and User Education
To ensure that cage, rack, bottle, tunnel washers, and animal watering systems are
using water most efficiently, consider the following operation, maintenance, and user
education tips for each.
Cage, Rack, Bottle, and Tunnel Washers
Only run cage, rack, and bottle washers when they are full. For tunnel washers,
schedule wash runs to maximize the equipment washed during each run, there-
by reducing the amount of tunnel wash runs required per day.
Operate the cage, rack, bottle, and tunnel washers near or at the minimum flow
rate recommended by the manufacturer.
If the number of rinse cycles can be chosen, use the fewest number of rinse
cycles necessary to effectively clean equipment.
Fix and repair any leaks. Inspect valves and rinse nozzles for proper operation,
and repair worn nozzles.
Animal Watering Systems
For animal watering systems that use flushing, minimize the number of flushing
cycles while ensuring sufficient control of bacterial growth.
Consider collecting and reusing wastewater from animal watering systems for
other purposes within the facility, matching the end use with the level of water
quality that exists or that can be achieved through water treatment.
For animal watering systems, consider adding a recirculation system; however, it
should be noted that for this purpose, piping and a water purification system will be
required to treat and return the unused water.
Schultz, Carl C. March 1, 2006. “Re-circulating vs. Flushing: Animal Watering System Alternatives.”
Cosgrove, Chris, et al. July 1, 2003. “Vivarium Automation Part 1.”