Step-Down Filtration in Water Sources for Livestock and Poultry Farms

Product & Design
 Min read
June 2, 2021

There are many benefits to using a Vu-Flow spin-down filter to keep your water clean. On poultry and livestock farms, we see the step-down filtration methodology having a primary application. 

Depending on the different types of sediment you need to remove from your watering system, you may need more than one filter to capture particles that have a wide variety of micron sizes. Step-down filtration may be what you need to implement to get the most bang for your buck as well as keep the water sources that feed your livestock and poultry farms as clean and sanitary as possible.

The problem with just using a single filter is that, in the case of a Vu-Flow filter, for example, you are limiting yourself to a single mesh size at a time as far as the screen or element is concerned. This would be fine if all of the sediment you were filtering was the same size, but in hardly any situation is this the case.

If you have a single filter setup with a larger opening mesh size, you’re going to end up having a lot of the finer sediment make its way through your system. If you go with a finer mesh, then you may very well run into a situation where your filter clogs regularly from the larger sediment getting stuck.  In either case, you’ll end up frustrated because either dirty water will still be the result or you’ll constantly have to take the time to clean and unclog your filter.

One of the best ways to avoid having either of these problems pop up is to implement what is known as the step-down method. In an article posted on National Hog Farmer, it’s pointed out that unless a water source is mostly sediment-free, a majority of farms would benefit from installing a step-down system, which consists of two filters.

With the first filter in the line, you’ll want to pick a screen or element that has a lower mesh number. In most cases, you’ll be looking for a filter between 60 and 140 mesh to remove fine sand and grit that ranges between 100 and 250 microns. The point in picking one of these options, which have larger openings, is that you filter out all of the bigger sediment before it has a chance to reach a second filter that will have a finer mesh element. 

Step-Down Filtration System

One of the advantages to picking a Vu-Flow filter here too is the clear cover it comes with. This allows for you to more easily tell when the filter is full and when you need to open the ball valve to release the trapped sediment and ultimately avoid any clogging from happening.

Once you have that first filter integrated into your system, you’ll naturally want to install a second filter with at least a slightly finer mesh. This will allow you to filter out a lot of the tinier and much less visible particles that made their way through the first filter, but since you already filtered out all of the bigger particles with that first filter you don’t have to worry about it clogging up your second one. If your water source is feeding a poultry drinker, you’ll want to find a mesh size around 20 microns, which the closest option with a Vu-Flow filter would be 500 mesh. If you are feeding medicators with your water source, you’ll want to consider using a 200 mesh element with your second filter. Once again, if you choose a Vu-Flow filter, the clear cover will make it much easier to know when exactly you need to flush out the unit to prevent any clogging.

You may be asking yourself if the cost of installing a second filter to achieve step-down filtration is worth it. Well, we already went over how installing a second filter can save you time and frustration from having to unclog your original filter if the mesh is too fine. Another reason you’d want to get your water as clean as possible is simply for health reasons. If your water source provides your poultry or livestock with drinking water, the last thing you’d want to risk is allowing them access to dirty water. Having sick animals is a quick way to massively slow down and possibly shut down an entire farming operation. Regardless of what your water source is feeding on your farm, you’ll want to get your water as clean as possible for the simple concept of maintenance. Having any type of sediment running through your system will cause unnecessary and avoidable wear and tear over time, which will lead to you not only spending money to replace parts of your system but also take time away from both you and your operation while the problems are getting fixed.

Be sure to visit our website at or give us a call directly at 1-800-833-5171 if you’d like to learn more about how step-down filtration can benefit your livestock or poultry farm. A live customer service representative is available to help get you the answers that you need Monday through Friday.

Source Notes: All information in this article regarding step-down filtration came from National Hog Farmer.

Next articles