The fastest way a pathogen can spread disease in a farm and affect the majority of your stock is through the drinking water. Contaminated drinking water can weigh heavily on the immune system of the pigs and will cause distress and disease due to the constant exposure to this high infection rate. Salmonella, E coli bacteria, Streptococcus, oocysts (coccidiosis) etc. can be carried easily to each pen and each drinking nipple or bowl where they eventually are consumed by a thirsty animal.
Implementing a solid hygiene plan on a pig farm through management, cleaning and disinfection could well be all in vain when drinking water was forgotten or not even included in your hygiene plan. The biggest problems occur when the drinking line canalization contains a biofilm. Within this biofilm harmful pathogens are protected and can multiply. How more mineral deposit such as iron, manganese, calcium etc. is present -due to hard water for example- how easier it is for organic matter including bacteria to attach themselves to the inside edge of the drinking line.