Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Well Water Problems: Treating for Bacteria and Iron

Question – I have a new well that does 15 gallons per minute.  I have 2.4 PPM of iron, no manganese, pH is 7.4. I suspect the water has iron bacteria as my neighbors have that problem, and there is a ‘well water smell’. I suspect hydrogen sulfide ‘rotten-egg odor” in the water.  What you would you recommend?

Gaithersburg, MD

Hi John,

There are different ways to treat this water, but the most cost effective and perhaps best approach is to chlorinate the water and then filter with a MangOX iron filter and optional carbon filter.

Since there is a concern about iron bacteria being in the well, a chlorinator system using a metering pump with a small contact tank works well.  Inside the contact tank, the water will be disinfected and all bacteria will be killed.

The benefit of adding chlorine is that it will also help with the iron filtration as well as extend the life of the filtration media.  To remove the iron, I would recommend a heavy-duty MangOx filter which would be able to oxidize any dissolved iron as well as filter out iron that has been oxidized by chlorine.   The optional carbon backwash filter removes any trace of chlorine tastes and odors and polishes the water.

The result will be fresh clean odor-free water throughout the house.

Note this exact same system below can also be used with hydrogen peroxide, in place of chlorine. When peroxide is added to water a large amount of dissolved oxygen is released and a powerful oxidizing effect occurs. Coliform and iron bacteria are killed, and iron is oxidized.  The peroxide breaks down into oxygen and water.


45MHP10 Stenner Metering Pump & Tank: 45MHP-10 Stenner Pump with 15 gallon heavy-duty polyethylene solution tank; 

Pump output 0.5 to 10.0 gallons per day (1.9 to 37.9 liters per day); voltage 115 or 220V; 60 Hz. (NOTE: Voltage should match that of well pump so that it can be wired to switch on only when pumping water) This is a complete system that comes with everything you need: solution tank; metering pump; tubing; fittings; and injection check valve.


Tank Contact Mixing 40 GallonTank Contact Mixing 40 Gallon 1-1/4 inch inlet. 

The CT-40 tank is a durable easy-to-install retention tank designed to provide optimum contact time during chemical treatment. These lightweight seamless totally non-corrosive retention tanks are ideal for new and replacement installation where durability is at a premium. 100% non-metallic polymer materials. Impervious to chemical attack. 

2 sizes to choose from, same price  Either 16”Diameter  x 58”Tall or 21” Diameter x 36” Tall

Vacuum Breaker Relief Valve 1/2Vacuum Breaker, ½” mpt.  

Vacuum breaker relief valve Watts 1/2" male 200 PSI maximum.

Required for contact and retention tanks to prevent vacuum in system and avoid imploding vessel.


MangOX Iron Filter 7000-SXT 1.5 CFMangOX Iron Filter 7000 1.5 CF

MangOX is a media that utilizes an oxidation-reduction reaction and filtration process similar to Greensand, but at a much higher level of performance.  Uses the Enpress tank with Vortech distributor which allows the MangOx media to be backwashed at lower flow rates with less water, saving water and energy.

Dimensions: 10" diameter x 61" height   1” or ¾" pipe size

Centaur Carbon 7000-SXT 2.5 CFCentaur Carbon 7000 Backwashing System

Includes ¾ or 1 inch pipe connectors and by-pass valve; 2.5 cubic feet of Centaur carbon filter media; and Fleck 7000 115v control valve. All the filter media you need for the system is included. Excellent for use in taking out hydrogen peroxide from your water and removing many tastes and odors. Much longer life and higher flow rates than carbon filter cartridges. Unlike carbon cartridges which can trap sediment and dirt causing pressure drop these systems automatically backwash out trapped sediment alleviating pressure drop.


Here is a diagram showing the equipment installed: 

Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns and I will be happy to help.