We have pretty good well water in unincorporated Naperville, IL,
Wheatland township, but we have orange stains on the grout and
fixtures. Not uncommon, but I figured it was just high iron content.
got a test kit with several strips and these are the results:
Copper - 0 ppm
Iron - < 0.3 ppm
Nitrate - < 5 ppm
Nitrite - < 0.5 ppm
Chlorine - < 0.5ppm
pH - 6.5
Alkalinity - 240ppm
Hardness - 25 grains / 420ppm
Maybe the test is bonkers, maybe the hardness and alkalinity have
something to do with it. I figured I'd see white or grey deposits
this. I've heard the orange might be chromium, but I figured
deposits would end up grey, white or yellow.
I've been told by Eco Lindsay that we don't need an iron filter, and
that it'd be about 65 bucks a month (maybe every three months --
anything in that price range is a bit steep from my POV). I guess
they're right. Maybe what I should do is just install a sediment
filter or something. Iron Out takes the stains off pretty good, so
just a bit confused.
Any recommendations or ideas?
Mark, we now have a similar mystery. A couple of weeks ago, we had to
have our submersible well pump replaced. I've had orange water since
then. Why now?
I'll be interested to see what people tell you. We haven't had our
water tested since the pump replacement.
"Iron Bacteria"? Are you being facetious, or is this something you've
seen? And how could it exist in water with such low iron content? If
there is such a thing, as there is with the "sulfur bacteria" that
causes the hydrogen sulfide smell, I do chlorinate occasionally, and
that takes care of it. Why not this other bacteria?
Now, if this is a sediment problem (lots of construction around us,
and water quality has changed quite a bit with it), I GUESS free-
floating iron and dissolved iron would allow a high sediment iron but
a low iron concentration, as shown by the test I ran.
If THAT's the case, what do folks recommend as a good whole-house
filter for that? Is it pretty much just a case of choosing one with a
decent capacity so as not to affect flow as the filter gets nearer
needing replacement? I mean, there's a WHOLE lot of different models
out there with a big range of prices.
I was responding to limey, not you. And yes, there are iron
bacteria. Look at the link I provided above. An excerpt:
Iron bacteria in drinking water
For a free brochure containing the information on this page, contact
the nearest DNR office and request publication number WS-004.
Table of contents
1. What are the effects of iron bacteria
2. How do I know if I have iron bacteria in my well?
3. How can I prevent iron bacteria from entering my well?
4. How do I treat iron bacteria?
* Chemical treatment
* Mechanical treatment
5. More information on iron bacteria in drinking water.
What are the effects of iron bacteria?
Common effects of excess iron in water are a reddish-brown color,
stained laundry and poor tasting coffee. An equally common but less
well understood problem is infestation of water supplies with iron
bacteria. Iron bacteria are a natural part of the environment in
Wisconsin and most other parts of the world. These microorganisms
combine dissolved iron or manganese with oxygen and use it to form
rust-colored deposits. In the process, the bacteria produce a brown
slime that builds up on well screens, pipes, and plumbing fixtures.
In Wisconsin the dramatic effects of iron bacteria are seen in surface
waters as brown slimy masses on stream bottoms and lakeshores or as an
oily sheen upon the water. More serious problems occur when bacteria
build up in well systems.
Iron bacteria in wells do not cause health problems, but they can have
the following unpleasant and possibly expensive effects:
* Cause odors
* Corrode plumbing equipment
* Reduce well yields (clog screens and pipes)
* Increase chances of sulfur bacteria infestation.
So what would be the treatment for this? Is there any reason to expect
that the chlorination I've been doing would exliminate that sulfur-
odor-generating bacteria, as it has done, but NOT kill iron bacteria?
We get an orange buildup in the edges of the shower curtain and along the
edges of the tub. Could these be this bacteria? We have a water softener and
without it hard water and rust stains form within a day if we run out of
We get a reddish stain in the bathroom. Sometimes it is along the top
of the water in the commode and other times it is where water was
standing in the shower, along the rim of the tub. I believe it is
related to mold/mildew and not rust stain. I am not sure what causes
it. I had never seen it happen before I moved to FL.
Okay, based on all the input here, I figured I'd install a filter and
see what happens. After getting an estimate of 65 bucks a month for an
iron removal system, it was nice to get a whole-house unit at Menards
on sale for twenty bucks. The one with the filter included was 25
bucks. Similar units at Home Depot and other places were around 30-50,
and the replacement filters were between 19 and 29. I checked all
around and could not find anything negative about the brand, "Omni".
Replacement filters at Menards were about three bucks for the standard
pleated paper and around 7-9 dollars for a pack of two activated
charcoal chemical and odor filters. I soldered the unit in after the
softener, thinking that the filters would last longer, and the
softener, being a rental, is maintained rather well.
No stains, no odor, no red, no rust in the toilets. And while I
haven't gotten around to replacing the valve/washers on the upstairs
shower faucets that leak a bit, there's no more residue from them,
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i had a well that was very red and stinky and turned anything it touched
red. i had a water softener installed and now the water is usable. I
RENT my unit from CULLIGAN . I buy the salt from the grocery store. Sure
made a difference. JO
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