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 probably 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 because they will combine with iron (or manganese) and oxygen to form a slimy material. This slimy material 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. The 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 have iron bacteria get your water tested by a certified lab.

How do you treat Iron Bacteria?

Elimination of Iron Bacteria once a well is heavily infected can be difficult. 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.

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