Automatic watering systems | Lab Animal Buyers' Guide
Whether its automated animal watering systems, environmental monitoring, light and access control or animal management ...
The advent of genetically engineered mice has led to an exponential growth in mouse populations used in biomedical research and to fundamental changes to their health management and physical environment. Animal facilities have become efficient, large-scale operations and have adapted innovative ways to control environmental conditions and increase protection against adventitious pathogens. As such, the majority of genetically engineered mice are now housed in ventilated, filter-topped, microisolation cages in high-density rack systems, which have extended the cage-changing interval from twice a week to as long as once every 2 wk. Automated watering systems have simplified operations greatly by removing time-consuming and labor-intensive handling of water bottles; in addition, we have seen a considerable decrease in ergonomic musculoskeletal injuries at our facility. Genetically engineered mice, which often express unsuspected phenotypes, can be difficult and expensive to create and maintain. Modern mouse husbandry and management must find the right compromise between operational efficiency and individual care of these precious models.
Our barrier facility has microisolation cages on individually ventilated cage racks which are equipped with an automated watering system with removable water valves on the animal rack. The watering system manifold delivers reverse-osmosis–purified water from a central filtration system to each cage port. Since the commissioning of our facility in 2002, the valve failure rate at our facility remained close to the 0.1% manufacturer standard based on the comparison of valves returned for assessment per valves manufactured per year. However, the incidence of valve failure dramatically increased in 2007 with no clear, identifiable pattern, causing animal losses due to both dehydration and cage floods. Here we present the investigation, etiologies, and changes to system management to ensure correct function of and restore confidence in our water delivery system.
Volume based automatic animal watering system - Edstrom, Inc.
automated drinking water systems for animals
To determine the components that you will need to install an automated watering system in your animal facility, you should first review the installation and methods below. After deciding which basic installation method will work in your facility, you must select and determine the quantity of all components required.The reliable provision of high-quality drinking water is essential for both the welfare of laboratory rodents and the scientific integrity of the studies for which they are used. The Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals indicates that “watering devices, such as drinking tubes and automated water delivery systems, should be checked frequently to ensure appropriate maintenance, cleanliness, and operation,” yet no specific recommendations are provided on how to perform such maintenance; how frequently devices should be checked; or what criteria institutions should aim to meet. Veterinarians and animal facilities staff members at the University of Washington deemed that they needed to develop a single plan for maintenance of all animal-watering systems across campus. The University of Washington's Department of Comparative Medicine cares for approximately 780,000 animals across approximately 45,000 ft2 of space. The program encompasses 6 main centralized animal vivaria; the water-delivery system is slightly different in each. This report focuses on a single vivarium located on the medical center campus. The vivarium is 5362 ft2 and houses mice and rats in 49 racks of individually ventilated caging that are connected to an automated watering system. Baseline testing of this watering system and investigation into past maintenance revealed its upkeep to be insufficient, resulting in substantial bacterial contamination and biofilm development within the production and distribution components of the system. Bacterial counts were high, and shortly after discovery of the sizable biofilm, a clinical case believed to be directly associated with the biofilm's existence was noted. The current report discusses our findings, the clinical case associated with the watering system biofilm, and the steps taken to sanitize and update the automatic rodent-watering system.