Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Can Birm Iron Filter Media Make My Water Black?

I've had constant problems with the Birm media, it seems that the manganese coating is stripping off and ending up in my household water.  Sometimes the water has a rotten-egg odor, but not all time.  I have an air-injector type system that is supposed to fix the odor problem.   My water is often black after the iron filter, even though  the water going into the iron filter has no black in it.  I assume it is the manganese coating coming off the Birm.  



This is a common problem with Birm.  Birm media works great under the right conditions but cannot take any hydrogen sulfide odor.  The hydrogen sulfide gas creates sulfuric acid in water, and will rapidly strip the thin manganese coating off the Birm media.  

Birm media is often used with air-injector type systems because Birm media requires some dissolved oxygen in the water to work properly.   Air injection theoretically will remove sulfur odors.  However, if the air injection venturi fails to suck in air, and stops working, then the sulfur odor (hydrogen sulfide gas) can then still be left in the water and will destroy the Birm media.

Birm is an efficient and economical media for the reduction of dissolved iron and manganese compounds from raw water supplies. It may be used in either gravity fed or pressurized water treatment systems. 

Birm also has several benefits. These includes having no chemicals needed for its maintenance. It does not require regeneration despite the fact that it's really efficient in removing iron. It also requires only periodic backwashing so you can save on labor costs. It's also durable and a lot smaller than other products. 

However, it is better not to use Birm media, for your application we would recommend aeration or chlorine injection, followed by Pro-OX iron filtration. 

Most products similar to the Pro-OX in the market are media coated with manganese dioxide but the Pro-OX is manganese dioxide in itself, hence, it's far more efficient. Although it is heavier than Birm, its efficiency makes up for it. 

Another reason why we discourage you from using Birm is because it is not legally sold in California due to its chromium components. As you probably know already, laws in California tend to be a lot stricter than in any other part of the country. 

Here's what you can use for aeration:
aeration diagram

You can also see how the Iron filter works with the diagram below:

how iron filter works

For the iron filter, we recommend the 

Pro-OX Iron Filter 7000-SXT 1.5 CF

Pro-OX Iron Filter 7000-SXT
Pro-OX Filters are the longest lasting and most powerful system for removing iron, rust and sediment from well water.

 System automatically backwashes based on gallons used and/or days of the week. Reliable heavy-duty NSF certified control valve is easier to program than other valves and features a built-in flow sensor that tracks water usage and backwashes iron filter based on gallons used, and/or by days of the week!

Backwash Flow Rate and Quantity: uses 50 - 100 gallons of backwash water 1 to 3 times a week depending on water use. Compared to other iron filters, the Pro-OX filter uses 50% less! Safe for septic tanks.

Pro-OX media utilizes an oxidation-reduction reaction and filtration process similar to Greensand, but at a much higher level of performance.

Pro-OX Manganese Dioxide contains greater than 80% manganese dioxide in an extremely unique cluster format for enhanced performance and maximized capacity

It's also made with a non-corrosive material.