by Jeremy Sweeten
In October of 2017 I needed to put in cattle waterer to overwinter 20 bred beef heifers.
I purchased a Tru-Test Water Well2 drinker from CISCO. I installed it according to the directions. There were no major problems except for running short on concrete when pouring the pad.
Our farm is in the Eastern Upper Peninsula of Michigan. We are on the east end of Lake Superior and about eight miles south of the Canadian border. The 1” supply line is buried 5’ deep in the pasture and 8’ deep under the driveways (also covered with 2” thick foam board insulation).
The Water Well2 is sitting on a 6’x8’ concrete pad also insulated with 2” foam board. The foam board keeps the frost from moving through the concrete and freezing the ground underneath the Water Well2. The waterer is heated through ground heat from a 5’ deep insulated tube that goes into the ground.
There is no electricity involved. So far it has survived down to -27F. I currently have 23 animals on it and I don’t think I want any less than that. The waterer relies on incoming water and water turn over to help keep it warm - as well as the ground heat. The cattle learned very quickly to push the float balls out of the way to drink. Tru-Test also offers black floats that will help keep the floats from freezing because they absorb solar radiation. Check out the videos of the Water Well2 in use.
Characteristics of the Tru Test WaterWell™ Waterer
- lower profile than others in the market, to enable access for livestock of all sizes
- flotation balls act as a visual water level cue; if they can be seen from a distance, there is adequate water within
- the balls also help to seal the waterer in summer to reduce evaporation and keep the unit dark; this virtually eliminates algae growth
- livestock quickly learn to push the balls down to access the fresh water beneath
- the ball opening is purposely made larger to comfortably accommodate the muzzle of even the largest animals
- the flotation balls also help with water temperature control; select the white balls for the summer months to reflect the heat; select the black balls, which absorb sunlight, help to keep the water a little warmer in the winter - the black balls are also more visible in the snow.
Inside, the float is square. This provides a greater flat surface area to encourage full water shut off once the desired water level is reached.
The float arm allows you to easily adjust your water level. Keep the level high in summer to meet increased livestock demand. Then lower the level during winter, to prevent the flotation balls from freezing in the lid.