The Usage of Electromagnetic Waves as Water Sanitizers as Opposed to Traditional Methods of Water Sanitation

Kavindra Sahabir ‘21

Figure 1: Drinking water in farms risks contamination, which in turn risks contamination of livestock and the spread of disease.

One of the biggest challenges for animal breeding on farms is assuring the highest quality of the drinking water afforded to said animals. The goal is to prevent contamination from pathogens in order to ensure optimal animal health, and lower the risk disease. Currently, the system that most farms use is a physical method of filtration along with different chemical treatments. However, these methods have a very limited effect on the spread of pathogens through the water supply. According to previous research, the usage of low frequency electromagnetic fields (LF-EMF) has been shown to disrupt the formation of microorganisms in the water. In a study led by Rafael Mateus-Vargas, a commercially available LF-EMF was used on a model drinking system over a period of 28 days to determine whether a LF-EMF device truly is feasible in improving sanitation.

In this study, two models of drinking systems were made to study the effects of the different sanitation methods as well as the effect the LF-EMF device. One model served as the control while the other had a LF-EMF device attached. Both models were flushed with water, which sat for one hour in the pipes and drinking apparatuses before being flushed again. They were then tested with multiple points along the delivery system for bacterial levels as well as levels of biofilm, which is a key component in the delivery of pathogens in the water supply.

The results of this study showed that the LF-EMF device did indeed lead to a decrease in the count of the colonies of bacteria in all measuring points throughout the drinking system. 

However, it did not lead to a decrease in biofilmic microorganisms measured in the water. As a result, the team concluded that more research is needed to confirm or deny the effectiveness of the LF-EMF to be used for water sanitation. Overall though, the team determined that LF-EMF devices should be used with a combination of water treatment methods to ensure optimal water sanitation levels and therefore optimal animal health.



  1. R. Mateus-Vargas, et al., Low-frequency electromagnetic fields as an alternative to sanitize water of drinking systems in poultry production? Public Library of Science, (2019). doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0220302
  2. Image retrieved from:

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