Thursday, August 6, 2015

How to Eliminate Iron Bacteria and Rotten-Egg Smells from Well Water

Gerry -  We have 4 bathrooms, 5 people, 32 gal per min well with holding tanks at the well. We have "slimy" water with an awful smell from iron bacteria.  The water in our toilet flush tank has hairy things growing from the sides, and my well guy said its iron bacteria.

I take it I should get my water tested first, which kit would you recommend?   Some years back we had it tested and they said our water had iron in it,  but the pH was good and its not considered hard water. We don’t use a water softener.

John S.

Hello John,

Do you happen to have a well water report that you could email me?     Ideally, it would be nice to have the water analysis on hand in order to know what to recommend to you. If you’re interested, here is a link to a test kit that we offer, that you can use to cover the basic mineral content of your water.

Basically, it’s a two-part test kit.  It includes testing at home, on-site, that you would perform yourself for iron, pH, manganese, hydrogen sulfide, etc… and it also includes two sample bottles in a mailer that goes back to use for testing at our lab.  The lab test is quite accurate and gives results for hardness, manganese, iron, TDS, and pH.  Between the home testing and lab results, we should have everything we need to make a great recommendation for you on how to remove that iron and prevent odor and staining problems.   

In the meantime, we can recommend using a Precision-24 chlorine injection metering pump, which provides extra strength oxidation for killing bacteria and oxidizing high levels of iron and manganese (which can be linked with sulfur odors).  

Following the point of injection, the chlorine would then feed into a 40-gallon contact tank to provide enough contact time for the solution to react with the iron, manganese and especially the coliform or e coli bacteria in the water.  Much of the iron and manganese will precipitate out and settle to the bottom of the tank at this point.

Following the large contact tank, the water should pass through a backwashing manganese dioxide media iron filter, which will collect all of the iron and manganese and flush it out automatically to drain.  Finally, you could use an efficient salt-based water softener to eliminate any hardness present in the water.

Chlorinator Package Precision-24 + 15 Gal Solution TankPrecision-24 Chlorinator Package with Solution Tank:  


Can be either 110 volt or 220 volt plug; can be hardwired to a pressure switch to come on with a well pump.  Works with well water flow rates from 1 – 50 Gallons per Minute (GPM)

Output rating:  0.1 – 24 Gallons per Day (GPD).  Pressure rating:  Will inject into lines with up to 110 PSI. 

Additional features:  Degassing Valve is built in which makes this great for chlorination use.  System includes Chlorination Pump, 10 Gallon Solution Tank, Injection Check Valve, tubing and installation fittings.  25 & 35 Gallon tanks also available for additional cost. 

Click here for additional product information.

40 Gallon Contact Tank 
40 Gallon Contact Tank 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.  Comes with  1-1/4 inch inlet.

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

Excellent Warranty:  5 Years from date of installation.
Click here for additional product information,

Vacuum Breaker, ½” mpt.

Vacuum Breaker
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.

Click here for additional product information,

Pro-OX Iron Filter
 5900e 1.5 CF  
Pro-OX Iron Filter 5900e 1.5 CF
Pro-OX 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 Pro-Ox 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

Excellent warranty: 10 years on the Pro-OX media tank; 5 years on the control valve.
Click here for additional product information,

OPTIONAL - Carbon Filter 5700-E 1.5 CF 
Carbon Filter 5700e 1.5 CF
Includes 1.5 cubic feet of carbon filter media; and Digital 5700-E control valve.

All the filter media you need for the system is included. Excellent for use in de-chlorinating water, taking out hydrogen peroxide and removing many tastes and odors.
Much longer life and higher flow rates than carbon filter cartridges.

Excellent Warranty:  5 Years on Control Valve & 10 years on the media tank.

Click here for additional product information,