Iron Bacteria – The other red stain…

Agricultural Agribusiness Water Treatment

Iron Bacteria can be difficult to treat. We can help!

Red stains may not be your average iron:

Do you have red stains in your sink or maybe some red growth in your toilet tank?  Does your water have a swampy or oily smell and what about the taste, pretty bad? If any or all of these symptoms describe your water, you may have an Iron Bacteria problem.

What is it?

Iron Bacteria are small living organisms which naturally occur in soil, shallow ground water, and surface water. The bacteria can be quite a nuisance. They will combine with iron (or manganese) and oxygen to form a slimy material that sticks to wells, pipes, pumps, and plumbing fixtures. The bacteria is not known to cause health issues but can be a huge inconvenience and cause staining, taste, and odor issues. Iron bacteria can also affect the amount of water a well can produce and create conditions for other “things” to grow. Due to the bacteria’s ability to “stick” it can negatively impact water treatment as well. Typical treatment system can include the media getting coated and/or the filter plugging

How does it get in?

Iron Bacteria are typically found in the ground soil. They can contaminate a well during drilling, repair, and service. Taking precaution during these times is key to keeping your well safe. If you suspect that you may have iron bacteria contact your local health department to get the name of the water test labs in your area that can perform a test for you.

How do you treat Iron Bacteria?

Elimination of Iron Bacteria once a well is heavily infected can be difficult. If you have Iron Bacteria, there are a few treatment options to consider:

Chlorine – Chlorine is pretty inexpensive and easy to use but may have limited effectiveness and require multiple treatments. In order for the treatment to be effective it requires chlorine with sufficient strength, as well as ample contact time with the bacteria. You can do continuous chlorine but keep in mind that it may conceal other bacterial contamination not to mention cause corrosion and maintenance issues.

Shock Chlorination – This is a process of introducing a strong chlorine solution into the well usually at a concentration of 1000 parts per million or more. Approximately 2 gallons of bleach are mixed with 10 gallons of water and poured into the well. If possible, the chlorinated water should be circulated through the well and household and remain overnight or if possible 24 hours. Again, extreme contamination may require repeated disinfection.

There is a better more effective option!

Another easy option to treating Iron Bacteria is by using the Cascadian ICS (Integrated Cartridge System) Solutions. The ICS-IB is simple to install and maintain, easy to afford and requires no power or drains. For more details on the ICS-IB or to or to see our complete ICS product line visit us at


Jodi Larsen
Jodi Larsen joined the Cascadian team in 2017. Jodi is new to the water treatment industry but is eager to learn and assist our customers in any way possible. Jodi grew up on the westside of the state and graduated from Puyallup high school. She moved to the Cle Elum area in 1998 where she has worked in a variety of jobs. She has an extensive background in customer service and feels that people truly are her strong suit. She enjoys working with customers, helping to define a problem, and collectively finding the best solution. When she’s not at work Jodi is very active in our local Rotary Club where she advises our Interact club. Interact is a youth-based community service club comprised of students from 6th to 12th grade. She has taken kids on several international trips to developing countries where they focus on clean water, sustainability, and educational opportunities. She is also a long-time board member for ARRF Animal rescue, was recently elected to The Kittitas County Chamber of Commerce board and has served on our local City Council. She truly enjoys being part of the solution both professionally and personally. We are happy to have her on our team and know that you will be well cared for should you need anything.