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Sulphate Water Treatment Beneficial Management Practice

By Shiela Miller, AAg, Agriculture Program Specialist, Weyburn

April 2024

Sulphates affect many water sources in the province. Elevated sulphate levels have been shown to detrimentally impact growth and performance of cattle through decreased weight gain and reproduction. This has led to many livestock producers having to limit or eliminate the use of these water sources due to high sulphate levels.  

Student holding water jug over livestock water source
Ministry summer student taking water sample
from livestock water source.

The Sulphate Water Treatment Beneficial Management Practice (BMP) under the Resilient Agricultural Landscapes Program supports producers dealing with elevated sulphate levels in surface and/or groundwater sources to bring water quality up to an acceptable standard for livestock consumption. Eligible producers can receive up to 50 per cent funding for water treatment technology and up to 75 per cent of the eligible costs for a discharge water evaporation or holding pond, if required. Total rebates paid to an applicant cannot exceed a combined maximum of $20,000. As this program requires pre-approval, producers must work with their regional livestock and feed extension specialist before beginning their project.

Producers who want to test their ground or surface water sources can use the ministry’s free livestock water testing services to determine sulphate levels and other minerals or elements that may affect the health of their livestock. A one litre water sample can be brought to your nearest regional office where a livestock and feed extension specialist can work with you to analyze the sample.

For the most up to date information on the Sulphate Water Treatment BMP or any other programs under the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership, please connect with an agriculture program specialist today by calling the Agriculture Knowledge Centre at 1-866-457-2377.

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