Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Just Bought a House with Very High Iron Levels


My water analysis results are as follows:

pH: 5.5

Iron: 4.2 ppm
Manganese: 0 ppm
Hardness: 3 grains per gallon
TDS: 230 ppm
Tannin: 0 ppm

I just bought this house and the iron level is very high, I think the well has iron bacteria in it. There is orange goo inside the pipe and toilet tank, and the holding tank and hot water tank are very rusty for their ages. The sediment may come from them. My goal is to remove or reduce the iron level in the water to reduce staining and improve drinkability of that water. The well was made in 1994 and has an inside subpump, and I have very little room for a treatment system (9" x 16" x 72").  


Jason D.

Hi Jason,
Pro-OX Iron Filter

For iron and iron bacteria we often recommend an iron filter and continuous chlorinator; these systems in conjunction will disinfect your plumbing, oxidize the iron and bacteria in your water, and then remove it via the iron filter.  Since you don't have room for a continuous chlorinator, we recommend a Pro-OX iron filter with side chlorine tank combined with periodic shock chlorination of your plumbing.  

The Pro-OX iron filter will have no problem handling your iron problem, and with a side chlorine tank it will also kill any iron bacteria that make their way into the filter.  However, without a continuous chlorine injector, bacteria in your plumbing will continue to grow and reproduce and foul your water.  This is why we recommend that you shock-chlorinate your plumbing periodically, to kill any bacteria that may still reside in your pipes even after you install an iron filter. Shock chlorination can be accomplished fairly easily with some household bleach or even with dry chlorine pellets.  For full instructions on shock-chlorinating your well, see our guide here.

Calcite Blend Neutralizer
Since your water is also a bit acidic (with a pH of 5.5) we recommend a calcite blend neutralizer as well.  If you have copper pipes, neutralizing your water will help curb the staining you're experiencing, as acidic water tends to corrode copper piping and cause blue-green staining of appliances and fixtures over time.  If you do choose to install a neutralizer, you might consider installing a sediment filter such as a Lakos Twist II Clean before the neutralizer to act as a pre-filter.  This will preserve the calcite blend media inside the neutralizer, allowing it to function more effectively for a longer period of time.

To browse these and other systems, check out our online store.  For more information about well and plumbing sanitation, read through our how-to guides.  We hope this information helps you solve your iron and acid water problems.  If you have any further questions, or would like to update us on the progress of your water treatment systems - we love pictures and testimonials! - you can reach us at or on Facebook.  Thanks for the letter!