Tool of the Month: Water Iron Meter

Name: Water Iron meter

Cost: $66 

Intended use

The Water Iron meter is used to check the Iron level in water.  Iron occurs naturally in water, usually at less than 1 mg/L, but up to 100 mg/L in groundwater. Iron-oxidizing bacteria can cause blockages and corrosion issues in water with high iron concentrations. Birds are tolerant to the metallic taste of iron but high iron causes scaling and leaking drinkers. Both Iron and Manganese are red flags in poultry drinking water as these minerals feed some pathogens such as Pseudomonas and E-coli.

How does it work?

This device uses a fixed wavelength LED and silicon photodetector to provide the accuracy of professional instrumentation at the affordable price of a chemical test kit. The method is based on a colorimetric method where a reagent is added to the water sample to react with iron and make a specific color that will then be detected and quantified by the device.

Standard Iron level in poultry drinking water

  • Less than 0.2 mg/l (best practice level)
  • Between 0.2 and 0.3 mg/l (acceptable)
  • Above 0.3 mg/l (above the acceptable level)
    • Treatment of high Iron in water includes oxidation with chlorine, chlorine dioxide or ozone and then filtration removal with proper sized mechanical filtration.
    • Well shock chlorination can help eliminate Iron and sulfate-reducing bacteria.

Using the device

  1. Turn the meter on by pressing the button. After all the segments are displayed, “C.1”, “Add” appears with “Press” blinking and the meter is ready.
  2. Fill the cuvette (sample container) with 10 mL of water sample and replace the cap. Place the cuvette into the meter and close the meter’s cap.
    1. It is important that the sample does not contain any debris.
    2. Given that the device works based on a colorimetric method, whenever the cuvette is placed into the measurement cell, it must be dry outside, and completely free of fingerprints, oil or dirt. Wipe it thoroughly with the provided liquid or a lint-free cloth prior to insertion.
  3. Press the button. When the display shows “Add”, “C.2” with “Press” blinking the meter is zeroed.
  4. Remove the cuvette, open it and add the content of one packet of the reagent. Replace the cap and shake gently for 20 seconds. Replace the cuvette into the meter.
    1. Shaking the cuvette can generate bubbles, causing higher readings. To obtain accurate measurements, remove such bubbles by swirling or by gently tapping the cuvette.
    2. Do not let the reacted sample stand for too long after reagent is added, or accuracy will be lost.
  5. Wait for 3 minutes and then press the button or press and hold the button until the timer is displayed on the LCD.
  6. The instrument directly displays the concentration of iron in ppm. The meter automatically turns off after 10 seconds. After the reading it is important to immediately discard the sample, otherwise the glass might become permanently stained.

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Research Associate at Poultry Innovation Partnership | + posts

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