There is nothing more frustrating than persistent high bacteria counts. The CIP detectives were recently called to a 249-cow dairy in Wisconsin facing just this problem.

This challenging system had baffled every technician and serviceman up to this point, and the producer was told there was no hope to get his system clean without drastically remodeling. He was simply out of options and frustrated with the attempts at resolving his high bacteria counts.

On the scene

Just in the nick of time, we detectives arrived on the scene. What we found was a CIP system improperly set up and definitely not cleaning to its full potential.

Our first concern was the sheer amount of build-up in the pipeline and on the top of the milk receiver.


A breeding ground for high bacteria counts, it was mandatory that we find the root of this problem first.

Performing a thorough wash analysis, we quickly discovered that the quality of the slug was the underlying problem.

Not only was the slug not reaching the top of the pipeline, but the amount of slugs being generated was less than sufficient to properly clean the pipeline.

A similar story presented itself with the receiver. Due to the dimensions of the receiver and the level of the liquid, it was difficult for a slug to traverse thoroughly all surfaces of the milk receiver, causing an optimal environment for continuous bacteria growth.

Making adjustments
Since proper slugging is the key for continual cleaning, it was very important to adjust the timing correctly. By monitoring ongoing cycles, we were able to vastly improve slug quality.

After a few more visits to this farm, the end result was a system properly cleaning every CIP cycle. Although this was a challenging system, containing over 1,300 feet or pipeline, it is now another success story.

Monitoring ongoing bacteria counts, we quickly realized that there was more to the case than just an improperly cleaned pipeline. We directed our focus to the bulk tank and found inadequate cleaning of the agitator paddles.

Upon performing a detailed analysis, the problems quickly presented themselves. All three chemical hoses had been improperly installed on a previous service call. Instead of pumping chemical into the tank during a wash cycle, air was simply circulated through the pump – and no chemical was dispensing.

The detailed analysis also found a damaged acid line, which would prevent the transfer of chemical even if the hoses had been connected properly. We easily repaired the broken hose and re-installed the chemical hoses the correct way.

In addition to correcting the chemical hoses, the CIP detectives made the proper programming adjustments to accomplish optimal cleaning results. In our next wash cycle, the tank was effectively cleaned.

Finally, at the request of the producer, a single-cycle CIP acid detergent replaced his existing detergent and acid phases of the wash cycle. Instead of ineffective detergent and acid phases, the producer is now happy with one efficient cleaning cycle and saving water, energy and time.

Case closed
While bacteria counts can be a tricky problem to deal with, the producer is now happy to report a spotless system.

Even though the producer thought he was out of options and looking at a major remodel, the CIP detectives were able to set up the system to clean properly and fixed his bacteria counts for good, without the expense of remodeling.

For inefficiencies in your CIP cleaning process, don’t hesitate to call your equipment dealer and bring in the CIP detectives. The best CIP detectives are always in pursuit of the healthiest, safest milk environment. Excellent milk quality is no accident. PD


Ron Robinson

VP Business Development
A&L Laboratories Inc.