Which System Do I Need to Remove Iron?

Which System Do I Need to Remove Iron?
By Mark Timmons
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Which System Do I Need to Remove Iron?

That's a question we get a lot, and the question is not easily answered because it depends upon a number of issues, including the following:
  • iron levels of your water;
  • the pH of the water;
  • the levels of manganese and/or sulfur in the water;
  • whether the water has any iron-reducing bacteria (IRB) or sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB);
  • how much water is needed a day;
  • is it for just household use or is it being used for irrigation, and if so, how much water is needed a day; and
  • how effective do you want it to be?
Iron stains at levels above 0.3 ppm (parts per million), so for a system to be effective, it needs to remove the iron to below 0.3 ppm.  Every application is different, but I will give you a few guidelines as to what might be best for you. The pH needs to be above 6.6 and there should be NO IRB or SRB in the water supply.  Manganese dioxide media is often used for this purpose.  First of all, if you are using a media that is composed primarily of manganese dioxide and not using some type of oxidizer, then the pH needs to be above 6.6 and there should be NO IRB or SRB in the water supply.  Manganese dioxide media is typically called Pyrolox, Adox, Filox, Catalox and other names. Iron filters that used manganese greensand regenerated by potassium permanganate used to be very popular, but were in fact, very troublesome and unpredictable.  Forget iron filters.  PERIOD!  My advice is to also forget Birm, which is a media coated with a very small amount of manganese dioxide. [caption id="attachment_1255" align="alignright" width="201"] Hydrogen Peroxide System - Fusion OXi[/caption] The manganese dioxide medias can work very well, but many water supplies contain organics and IRB and SRB that impeed it's ability to work properly.  At US Water, we prefer to use technology that is scientifically sound and sustainable.  The technology that we trust the most is our OXi system which utilizes hydrogen peroxide for the eradication of iron or rust, sulfur, which is hydrogen sulfide odor, and manganese. It can truly be called an Eradicator because it TOTALLY removes iron, sulfur and manganese. Properly sized, an OXi-Gen Hydrogen Peroxide System from US WATER is THE MOST EFFECTIVE METHOD for removing iron, rust, sulfur, hydrogen sulfide and manganese and the rotten-egg odor from your water supply. Hydrogen Peroxide is not a hazardous chemical - to the contrary, hydrogen peroxide or H2O2, is composed of the elements of water: Hydrogen and Oxygen.  If you have extremely high levels of iron, hydrogen peroxide is very effective.  The drawback to it is the annual peroxide cost which can run from $200 to several hundred dollars a year, depending upon how much water you use. There is nothing foreign or chemical added to the water supply. Unlike chlorine, hydrogen peroxide requires no contact time and the reaction or oxidation of iron, rust, sulfur, manganese and hydrogen sulfide is immediate. The Oxi-Gen Hydrogen Peroxide System is the answer to practically any iron, rust, sulfur, hydrogen sulfide and manganese problem. With hydrogen peroxide or H2O2 as it is called, you can always predict for a certainty that it will always work, even with iron bacteria.  There really is no limit as to how much can be removed, but if the iron is over 20 ppm, you need to realize that there will be a lot of iron sludge precipitate left behind to deal with.  Generally, we would recommend the use of H2O2 in residential applications, not high usage irrigation applications. [caption id="attachment_1258" align="alignleft" width="45"] infusion Air Oxidation System[/caption] A new development in iron/sulfur and manganese removal is a system that uses the oxygen in the air as the oxidizer.  This is called the infusion chemical-free iron-filter system, which needs to backwash everyday to replenish the air in the media tank.  This is also a system that would be for low-volume residential applications (maybe 500-600 GPD maximum).  While the infusion system can handle high amounts of iron and sulfur, it is best applied to water that is not higher than 8.0 to 10.0 ppm of iron or sulfur.  I know one company that says their air system will remove up to 66 ppm of sulfur, but that is really pushing the envelope.  Where you get into trouble in water treatment is when you over-apply whatever technology you are using.  I believe is systems that are on the larger size, so that you have more contract time.  Proper filtration is a product of adequate contact time.  I also believe that for a technology to be sustainable and practical, you need to be conservative in your estimates. If irrigation is at issue, we sometimes use ADOX which is a manganese dioxide-based media, or Greensand Plus.  I prefer the Greensand Plus as it is more predictable.  We usually feed a small concentration of chlorine ahead of the Greensand Plus or inject it during backwash to keep the media activated and in tip-top operating condition.  There are lots of options and ways of treating iron and many applications are different.  If you are unsure what method is best for you, feel free to contact one of our Certified Water Specialists at US Water Systems.  
June 14, 2012
Comments
Mark Nagel
June 18, 2014 at 10:26 PM
"The Oxi-Gen Hydrogen Peroxide System is the answer to practically any iron, rust, sulfur, hydrogen sulfide and manganese problem." In what cases would this system NOT work on manganese? My raw/untreated water lab tests with iron at 2.03ppm and manganese at 0.183ppm along with iron reducing bacteria (low side); pH is around 6.8 - 7.0. Both iron and manganese are suspended (over time the color of the water will change to a yellow-ish tint). Regards, Mark Nagel
Mark Timmons
June 26, 2014 at 6:11 PM
That is definitely within the range where it will work. At lower pH it could be a problem, but you should be fine.
Sam
April 28, 2017 at 12:20 PM
I have 2 ppm iron in my well water and a PH of 5.5. Would Hydrogen Peroxide system works effectively to remove iron and would i need a retention tank?
Mark Timmons
April 29, 2017 at 11:34 PM
Well, you have two issues: Iron and low pH. A hydrogen peroxide system would absolutely remove all the iron, but the pH needs to be raised also. This is the system: https://www.uswatersystems.com/infusion-backwashing-filter-for-iron-sulfur-and-manganese-removal.html. You may want to use the dual injection option and feed soda ask to raise the pH. Is your water hard? Do you have/need a softener?
Phil
December 6, 2017 at 6:19 PM
A water test was done and the results were Hardness 18 Iron 5 Iron Bacteria yes Nitrates 2 Tannins 1 Sulphur 2 Ph 7 Their proposal is to purchase a Sentry 1 open air w/revolution system for 8,000. Is there a cheaper way to fix the water that is just as effective?
Mark Timmons
December 6, 2017 at 8:58 PM
STEP 1: Eradicates Iron, Iron Bacteria and Sulfur - https://www.uswatersystems.com/infusion-backwashing-filter-for-iron-sulfur-and-manganese-removal.html STEP 2: Removes Hardness - https://www.uswatersystems.com/fusion-nlt-professional-grade-metered-water-softener.html STEP 3: Removes Tannin and Bacteria - https://www.uswatersystems.com/us-water-1-charged-membrane-filter-system-10-to-20-gpm.html STEP 4: Removes Nitrate (which is not that high anyway) for Drinking Water: https://www.uswatersystems.com/us-water-aquapurion-5-stage-permeate-pump-ro-system.html We sell Factory-Direct and have 40% off every day and usually have other discounts on top pf that. That should give your fabulous water at less than half the price of the other guys.
Val Rabung
July 16, 2018 at 6:20 PM
I had my water tested and the results are 9 hardness 8.0 iron Ph7,0 Total dissolved solids 195 I spoke with a couple companys for quotes. I was recommended to purchase Synergy twin Fleck 9100 .. Read up on it and not sure if this will help my hard water and high iron issue. Help ..
Mark Timmons
July 27, 2018 at 5:49 PM
That is a pretty simplistic (not very through) test, but I would NEVER put a Synergy on that much iron. Before you go any further, you need to do this: https://www.uswatersystems.com/us-water-lab-water-test.html
Jeff Scullion
July 25, 2018 at 12:10 PM
Mark, I have extemely high iron (50ppm) for which I have 2 13x54 2.5 Cubic foot Fleck with Nelson 2510AIO Tanks Oxidizing tanks filled with Katalox light. I have been told that these filters can individually filter out up to 30 ppm iron but I have had to rebed at least one of these tanks (usually first in line) at least once a year for the past 3 years. Even after rebed in January, we still have iron coming thru, as high as 3-4 ppm. I have each tank backwashing nightly and even then, the filters get all "gummed" up with iron. I'm trying to decide if I have any other options. Raw water test results: > Hardness: 22.51gpg > pH: 4.49 > TDS: 1030 > Iron: 50ppm > Iron acteria: Yes Thoughts?
Mark Timmons
July 27, 2018 at 6:03 PM
Yes, we have treated many like this, but it involves a lot more information. Please call us at 800-608-8792.
mark fields
November 13, 2018 at 12:42 AM
Hey mark i have read A lot of your post on here and believe in the peroxide way to treat iron instead of a oxidizing iron filter with air. My problem with the h2o2 is does it need to be food grade peroxide since it will end up in every fixture in the house. Only a few company's sell 35% food grade peroxide and pretty much all the others are lying about what is in it. I have read less then 35% peroxide is home made and full of chemicals that can end up in drinking water. I have a well with clear iron, no smell just in ice cubs and black slime in toilet tanks . I have an iron filter and am going to inject the peroxide through a feeder. what are your thoughts on peroxide in general and where would i buy it . I don't want peroxide that is diluted in someones kitchen. I also have a activated carbon filter kdf safe for wells and reverse osmosis. Help me.
Mark Timmons
November 14, 2018 at 8:48 AM
Mark, Our Oxi-Pro & Hydrogen Peroxide is NSF Certified for Drinking Water and also has a stabilizer to keep it stable for a year. <strong>FIRST OF ALL: I WOULD NEVER, EVER RECOMMEND THE USE OF 35% H2O2! </strong> It is way too dangerous. Splash a drop and your eye and see how it feels to be blind, or worse... a child's eye. If you buy 35% without a stabilizer, it will likely be a few percent within a few months. H2O2 decomposes rapidly. "Home made" peroxide can contain chemicals if untreated water is used. The company that manufactures ours uses high-purity lab-grade water, so it is pure and NSF Approved. After it goes through the catalytic carbon filter, very little H2O2 is detected. There are several important things that go into a successful H2O2 system: 1. We use a Vortech Backwashing Tank to prevent channeling and better backwashing. 2. You must use Catalytic Carbon - It won't work with GAC and we do not recommend KDF media in the tank. 3. You must use a proportional injection system and the right pump. There are other caveats, but a peroxide system always works when applied properly. Here is ours: https://www.uswatersystems.com/infusion-backwashing-filter-for-iron-sulfur-and-manganese-removal.html Here is our H2O2: https://www.uswatersystems.com/neutra-sul-hydrogen-peroxide-2-2-5-gallon-bottles.html Let us know if you have further questions.
Scott Tomkins
May 17, 2019 at 9:41 PM
Many studies out there now. Latest is penn state that H2O2 is NOT effective for removing manganeese. I have tried and it DOES NOT remove manganeese.
Mark Timmons
May 20, 2019 at 7:55 PM
Scott, First of all, a properly engineered H2O2 system will remove manganese - the question is how much? The other questions are "What other competing contaminants are there and what is the pH?" I do not believe researchers at Penn State would ever reach such an ignorant conclusion. Of course, it removes manganese - the question is how much and that is determined by your water analysis.
Charles Palmer
August 28, 2019 at 9:13 PM
Hi Mark, I'm struggling with current Terminox system, it has never worked for us. We have Iron Bacteria , I have a chlorine injector , also put a PH booster in the 15 Gallon Injector tank ... so PH is around 7.4 -7.6. What you recommend ? Thanks Charlie
Mark Timmons
September 2, 2019 at 5:57 PM
Charlie, We are not surprised that the Terminox system did not work. In fact, there are many systems that end in “OX” that have a high failure rate. They all use a media made of manganese dioxide that is very heavy in most cases (Pyrolox and Filox) or ones that may be a little lighter, like Katalox Light. We have tried them all and they may work under “perfect” circumstances, but with problem water, you seldom have circumstances that are perfect. With that said, we take a comprehensive, scientific approach to fixing your water and look at the chemistry of your water and the circumstances in their totality before we recommend anything. There are several steps to this: #1: The first step is a good, detailed Laboratory Analysis like this: https://www.uswatersystems.com/us-water-systems-professional-lab-water-test.html #2: We would also like to see photos of your existing system, including your pressure tank and plumbing. #3: We need to know how many in your family. #4: Are you on city or well water? #5: What size plumbing do you have? #6: What size water heater do you have? #7: Does your water stain and if so, what color are the stains? #8: Does your water smell, and if so, what does it smell like? #9: Do you see any stringy, gel-like gunk in your toilet tank? #10:What do you dislike about your water? #11: Do you have any unusual water usage or needs? #12: Do you have an icemaker? Once we have all that information, we can use sound scientific chemistry principles to design a system for you and guarantee the results. Let me know how we can help. Any of our Customer Service Reps are able to help you.