You might want to re-think that.
Maybe you have heard good things about Filox or Pyrolox or for that matter, Oxylox, Adox, Catalox, Birm or Greensand Plus, and you are thinking about using one of these systems for your water problems. I would strongly advise you to think again. The side effects are bad and the systems don’t work that well. There are simply better ways to remove iron and sulfur from your water.
Look, we can (and do) sell these products, but they are old technology. As I mentioned, there are much better ways to remove Iron, Sulfur and Manganese than Filox, Pyrolox or any of these manganese dioxide-based medias. They have different names and different amounts of manganese dioxide, but they are essentially the same. You probably wouldn’t be happy if a horse and buggy were your chief mode of transportation and you won’t be happy with Pyrolox or Filox in all likelihood.
If you want to remove iron, manganese or sulfur from the water, in most cases, it must be oxidized. Oxidation can be accomplished by several methods, including oxidation with a manganese dioxide based media, if (BIG IF) the ORP (Oxidation Reduction Potential) and pH of the water falls in the appropriate range. Watts, who sells a manganese dioxide based media under the name of Filox, says that their manganese dioxide media works from a pH of 5 to a pH of 9. That is simply untrue. There’s no need to elaborate.
Not only are Filox or Pyrolox or any of these manganese dioxide medias sensitive to pH and ORP, but they require massive amounts of water to backwash. There are occasions when you may want to use a manganese dioxide based media, let’s say if you have an application for a large amount of irrigation water. However, it works best if you use Greensand Plus, instead of Pyrolox or Filox. Greensand Plus weighs 87 pounds a cubic foot, while Filox and Pyrolox weigh in at 114 pounds a cubic foot and require a lot more water to backwash (about 25% more). Greensand Plus weighs less because it does not contain 75 to 80% manganese dioxide, therefore it needs to have an oxidizer (preferably chlorine) fed ahead of it.
The other problem is that Filox and Pyrolox don’t work well with iron-reducing or sulfur-reducing bacteria and when they is iron or sulfur in water, it is frequently accompanied by the iron or sulfur bacterias. I suppose that there are a few applications where Filox and Pyrolox may work, but there are too many factors that limit and impair it’s function. In most home applications, I recommend one of three methods to remove iron: (1) Air Injection; Hydrogen Peroxide; or (3) Ozone. I will summarize the advantages of each:
This is a method that we started using nearly 20 years ago, but finally perfected recently. The system that we sell is called the infusion. During the backwashing process, the infusion introduces a pocket of fresh air (which is enriched with oxygen) into the top of the tank. As the water passes through pocket, it is infused with the oxygen in the fresh air, and the special catalytic media is a catalyst between the iron and sulfur and the air. The oxidation process is almost instantaneous – the iron and sulfur precipitate out and are trapped by the media bed. Some dissolved oxygen is added to the water supply in the process. The electronic control valve of the infusion filter automatically backwashes the system to clean the media and flush the precipitated iron and sulfur down the drain.
Adavantages: Air Injection handles up to 8 PPM of Iron or Sulfur, does not require and chemicals and does not need as much backwashing (less water) than Filox or Pyrolox. The cost of the system is low.
Disadvantages: If iron or sulfur bacteria is present, the Air Injection system will need and additional oxidizer. We use hydrogen peroxide, and call it the infusion OXi. Not only does it double the ability to remove iron and sulfur (16 PPM of Iron and Sulfur), but it keeps the bacteria from becoming a problem. It only uses hydrogen peroxide during the regeneration cycle, so the cost of the peroxide is low – typically $100 a year.
We were one of the pioneers in the introduction of hydrogen peroxide as a viable technology in water treatment. It successfully treats practically ANY level of iron or sulfur, but it is fed on a continual basis. Hydrogen Peroxide (H2O2) is composed of the elements of water. We call our H2O2 system the OXi-GEN system.
Advantages: Complete elimination of iron and sulfur, regardless of the levels, without the use of dangerous chemicals. You can always predict for a certainty that it will eliminate iron and sulfur and the rotten-egg odor, even if the water contains iron and sulfur reducing bacteria. It also has a relatively low cost – approximately double the cost of the Air Injection.
Disadvantages: The annual cost of hydrogen peroxide can be $300 to $600 per year (but you will have exceptionally good water). That’s the only disadvantage.
Ozone is unquestionably the best oxidizer for iron and sulfur and practically any level of the contaminants can be eliminated. Ozone Systems require custom-engineering for each application and must be properly sized to be effective.
Advantages: No chemicals and total iron and sulfur reduction. Low maintenance. No annual chemical cost. This is simply the best-available-technology for iron and sulfur reduction.
Disadvantages: A considerable amount of space is required for the system and the cost is 3 to 4 times the cost of a hydrogen peroxide system.