LITTLE FALLS -- We close out June Dairy Month with a look at how one farms change in water led to happier cows.

Bennie Holtz and his two brothers, John and Greg, knew something wasn't right on their dairy farm.

"For about seven or eight years we were lacking the production we really wanted," says Holtz.

They tried everything they could think of from nutrition to better qualities in the barn, but nothing seemed to be working.

"It was just frustrating, everything should have been quick and we have good cows just nothing seemed to be happening," says Holtz.

They were down to one last hope.

"Finally I said to the nutritionist let's take a water sample," says Holtz.

The test came back show high levels of iron (1 parts per million opposed to .3 ppm) and manganese( .32 parts per million opposed to .05 ppm) in the cows drinking water, which was affecting their 250 dairy cows and 200 beef cows.

"We decided to take a course of action by putting in a filtering system through Traut Wells along with a combination of injecting chlorine dioxide," says Holtz.

With the help of Traut Wells the farm installed a chlorine dioxide treatment system, which had them skeptical how it would work, but 16 months later you can't argue with the results.

"Our worse cow today actually looks better than our best cow did 16 months ago," says Holtz.

Holtz says he encourages every farmer to get their water tested because a small change can make a big difference.

"Basically I think it saved our operation or it would have eventually by doing what we are doing," says Holtz.

Bennie Holtz talks about the new water treatment system they put in to help their cows drinking water. (Photo: Alex Svejkovsky, WJON)