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Self-Cleaning Animal Watering Device

Reference Number: 07-14

Inventor: Jim Drouillard


There is a large correlation between the quality of water that an animal drinks and the overall health of the animal. Traditional watering systems allow the water to grow bacteria until the system is manually cleaned out at the end of the day. The Self-Cleaning Animal Watering Device was designed to significantly reduce the amount of bacteria that lives in the water provided to livestock. The device uses a flushing system to dispose of excess water before bacteria begins to grow. The rush of water that occurs during the flushing action also eliminates bacteria from the inside of the water tank. The flushing system can be initiated either manually or automatically using an electronic system.

Additionally, the system constantly monitors the water level and adjusts the water supply appropriately. This ensures that the livestock will always have an adequate volume of water. The system is ideal for use in any confined animal feeding operation application.


The system was tested at a cattle feedlot. The system’s performance was compared to a traditional water tank. Each watering device was tested in a separate pen with approximately 30 head/pen. The results of these tests are illustrated below:

 Self Cleaning SystemTraditional
Water Drained/Day for Cleaning Purposes15 Gallons (3 cleanings/day)25 Gallons (1 cleaning/day)
Coliform Bacteria13 colony forming Units/mL of water2,884 colony forming units/mL of water
Generic E. Coli0 colony forming Units/mL of water127 colony forming Units/mL of water
  • Significant reduction in the bacteria found in water supply
  • Increased water consumption by animals due to better water quality
  • Easy access to system components
  • Water tank system automatically tracks water level and ensures that there is an appropriate amount of water available to livestock at all times
  • Reduces the amount of water wasted as well as time needed for tank cleaning process
Patent Status
  • U.S. patent #7,762,212 issued on July 27, 2010

System testing has been completed using a feedlot application. There are currently several orders outstanding for the system. The inventor is actively seeking a licensing opportunity with an existing animal waterer manufacturer.

Kansas State University Research Foundation seeks to have discussions with companies that are interested in licensing and/or research collaborations.

Interested parties should contact:

Kansas State University Institute for Commercialization (KSU-IC)
2005 Research Park Circle Manhattan, KS 66502
Tel: 785-532-3900 Fax: 785-532-3909
E-Mail: ic@k-state.edu