Removal of Sulfur From the WaterQUESTION: We talked some time ago about sulfur removal via your system with US Water. I have some questions for you. I do not recall we ever finished these conversations so if this is review, I apologize. When we talked, you indicated that Fusion OxiGen Iron and Sulfur Eradication System was guaranteed to work. I ordered a sulfur test kit from US Water and it tested to 15 PPM. Can your system handle this sulfur concentration? Our pH is very high. When tested by our local water company it is normally around 8.8. We run a bleach injection system now and the byproduct of the system is turbidity. In researching this issue I have discovered that hydrogen sulfide oxidation at a high pH yields elemental sulfur. This precipitate has clogged our carbon filter even while backwashing every other day. The 20”x 30 micron whole house filter has to be exchanged every few weeks at a high cost. The piping after the whole house filter is blocked up and we have very low pressure and flow to the point that one cannot safely take a shower and at the same time flush a toilet, run a sink, or start the washing machine. I have replaced piping only to find the ¾” copper to be 50% blocked, and we are likely blocked again. We have to replace the mix valve on our washing machine every 6 months because the sulfur eventually “freezes” the cold water side open. BTW – Our hot water pipes are clean, likely because the sulfur is still in solution at this temperature. Your OxiGen system mentioned above will oxidize the H2S to the same state and create a precipitate. What does your system do differently that prevents this junk from getting into the house and plugging everything up? Nirvana for our family would be taking a shower and washing clothes at the same time without the water flow rate coming to a halt or getting scalded. It would be grand to be able to see clear water and not a cloudy brew. Our well can handle the flow and pressure for sure as I have bypassed everything at the well tank and had exceptional pressure and flow for well over an hour without the well pump running dry. The well pump is only 4 years old and when replaced we upgraded it. Last question – Where do you recommend that we take the back flush water to? I would think that adding it to our septic system would be bad because it would eventually plug things up there. Permit me to be skeptical on the guarantees, but you are the only company I have found that has made that statement so I am very interested in your products and services….. -J.K. The Water Doctor responded: The short answer is that our OxiGen System can handle 15 PPM of hydrogen sulfide. In fact, we have installations where we have have successfully handled hydrogen sulfide of over 50 PPM that have been in operation for over ten years! Hydrogen peroxide reacts with iron, sulfur and manganese in the water and creates heat while releasing oxygen. While we generally use 7% hydrogen peroxide, in cases over 30 PPM we sometimes use 17 percent or 35 percent because the greater the concentration of peroxide, the more the reaction creates heat and oxygen. If you are using 35%, you need to be extremely careful with the handling of the hydrogen peroxide. Hydrogen peroxide has several major advantages over other methods such as chlorine or potassium permanganate. Hydrogen peroxide is a dramatically better oxidizer than either chlorine or potassium permanganate, so if you have used chlorine, you are using a chemical that is not nearly as good at oxidizing the sulfur and if it is not as good of an oxidizer, it will leave massive amounts of precipitate behind. Free oxygen is what makes the peroxide work dramatically better than chlorine. In fact, it has an oxidizing potential twenty times that of chlorine. Not double, not triple, but 10 TIMES! That is dramatic and that is why comparing chlorine to hydrogen peroxide is like comparing a match to a raging fire in the fireplace.
The following reaction shows the oxidation and precipitation of iron and hydrogen sulfide with hydrogen peroxide: H2S +H2O2 → Hydrogen sulfide dissolved in water is oxidized. 2H2O + S 2 3 2Fe + H2O2 + 2H+ → 2Fe + H2O H2O2.→ 1/202 + H2O 2 3 2Fe + 1/202 + H2O → 2Fe + OH Precipitated iron and hydrogen sulfide can be easily removed with a back washing, catalytic carbon filter.(Thanks to Mike Urbans of Res-Chem for the above chemistry lesson.) We have been using H2O2 for nearly 20 years in the treatment of bad water... mostly sulfur removal. It has never failed to perform as advertised, provided that it is sized properly and set up the way we recommend. People are always trying to re-invent the wheel and the only failures we have ever had were by people who thought they were smarter than us (almost always it is an engineer), and they may be, but we have the experience and body of work for the past 20 years and we confidently can guarantee the results. In your case, I would advise using the Fusion OxiGen System with two Fusion Backwashing Catalytic Carbon Filters followed by a 5 micron post-filter (4.5" x 20"). Insofar as backwash water, I think you can put it wherever you want, even the septic tank. There is a lot less sulfur after it is precipitated and the H2O2 is gone by the time it gets to the septic tank. Again, we have installations that have been installed for 20 years with no septic problems.