Ways to Oxidize Iron
- A Basement Water Storage Tank (200 gallons approx.) is a very effective means of oxidizing iron as the water is exposed to atmospheric pressure and oxygen and may even have an aerator constantly bubbling and aerating the water inside the storage tank causing all iron and other sediments to settle to bottom and H2S gas or methane to vent to atmosphere.
- Hydro-Charger (Air Injector) – this small simple device can be located on the pipe coming in from your water well. It causes the water to be restricted through a venturi nozzle which causes air to be drawn in through a small check-valve. This small amount of air mixes with the water allowing the oxygen in that air to react and oxidize sulfur gas and iron. A larger than normal pump is usually required to overcome the restrictive effects of this device. Most ½ hp pumps will not run a hydro charger properly. A ¾ hp 7 or 10 gpm pump works best.
Catalytic Iron Filters
Catalytic Iron Filters work on the principal of a catalyst reaction utilizing pyrolucite – a mineral that remains relatively unchanged over time – which means less maintenance.
How It Works
The most popular catalytic iron filter media uses a mineral called pyrolucite. It works on the principal of a catalyst reaction, but itself remains relatively unchanged over time. It works to remove iron, manganese and hydrogen sulfide gas which are the three most common consumer complaints in rural Alberta. Only periodic backwashing is necessary to purge the mineral bed of accumulated material; no chemical regeneration is required and nothing is imparted in to the water. Unfortunately, the mineral bed does require replacement every 3 to 5 years on average due to a slight loss
of catalytic reaction ability, but mostly due to eventual overloading of sediments and possible solidification of the mineral bed.
Oxidizing Iron Filters (Manganese Greensand Filters)
Oxidizing Iron Filters are an alternative to Catalytic Iron Filters that require more frequent maintenance and measures to ensure proper operating condition.
How It Works
Oxidizing Filters also remove iron, H2S gas and sediments affectively from the water. Oxidizing Filters require backwashing and regenerating with a chemical called Potassium Permanganate (that purple stuff). This type of Filter is generally less desirable due to its harmful effects on septic systems and the environment in general. It is highly recommended that Owners of these types of Filters insure that the backwash effluent is not directed in to their septic tanks.
The chemicals contained in a typical backflush of approximately 200 gallons, may destroy the bacterial action in the septic tank. It’s also extremely important to make sure the filter is maintained yearly by a professional. Carry-over of chemical residue from a plugged mineral bed can impart minute amounts in to your water stream. Sometimes chemical may not get completely rinsed after the regeneration cycle is complete due to weak pressure from pump, well running low on water, or interruption of rinse cycle due to other treatment equipment backflushing or general low pressure.
Inline Cartridge Filters
The most popular cartridge filters earned the nickname ‘Big Blue.’ Click here to view more information on Inline Water Filters.
How It Works
The most popular Cartridge Filters have gained the nickname “Big Blues” due to their blue colour and large capacity sump housing which is about 4.5 inches diameter and 20 inches long. This brand is popular due to the large surface area of the filter element which can be either made of a pleated cellulose material or a spun wound polypropylene material. The pleated design has considerably more surface area and is the better choice in most cases. These Filters can be put in series and used to remove sediments down to the 1 micron range (human hair is 75 microns). A typical set up would use 3 of them to remove up to 2 parts per million of oxidized iron the first element being a 5 micron size the second being a 1 micron size and the last and final being a 0.35 micron size. These Filters are great as long as the mineral to be removed is in an oxidized state. Un-oxidized iron will travel right through these types of filters.
Element replacement frequency is around the 6 month range. Iron can exist in water in one of two forms or both. Treatment depends on the form of iron present. Waters containing ferrous iron are clear and colourless when drawn. Exposure to air converts ferrous iron in to the insoluble reddish brown ferric brown.