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Livestock Water Quality Test


Providing adequate water to livestock is critical for animal health and production. Many county NDSU Extension offices can provide detailed information on testing your livestock water quality.

Regular screening of livestock water sources is recommended, particularly: 1) if using shallow water sources (ponds, sloughs and shallow wells), 2) during drought and 3) if you suspect a problem with water quality. We recommend the use of an electrical conductivity (EC) or TDS meter and sulfate test strips to screen TDS and sulfate levels.

If concerned about livestock diseases caused by contaminated drinking water, contact your local veterinarian, the NDSU Extension veterinarian, or the NDSU Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory at 701-231-8307 or

The cost of a basic water quality test is approximately $25. Contact your NDSU Extension county office for a list of guidelines and commercial laboratories in the state.More information on livestock water quality is available in the following Extension publications: