This is the third article in a series on “How To Remove Iron Manganese & Odor From Your Well Water”.
Part 1 is here.
Part 2 is here.
Now that you know your basic water chemistry and well flow rate, it's time to choose the lowest cost and the best solution to treat your water.
Oxidizing Iron Filters
Iron filters oxidize the dissolved ferrous iron in water to an insoluble particle. Then the filter traps the iron (rust) in the iron filter media. A periodic backwash cleans out the rust & flushes the filter media clean. Various types of iron filter media are available including Birm, Greensand, Pro-OX, Filox™, & Pyrolox™.
Oxidizing iron filters such as Pro-OX brand, use either air, potassium permanganate, chlorine or ozone to aid the filter media in oxidizing the iron.
They are all solid manganese dioxide media.
Most iron filter media uses a thin coating of manganese dioxide over some other type of filter media. The solid manganese dioxide media are the gold standard for iron filtration media. The media lasts for many years, often 15 to 20 years and these systems can filter the water at a faster rate.
The solid manganese dioxide types of filter media are the gold standard for iron filtration media. The media lasts for many years, often 15 to 20 years. These systems can filter the water at a faster rate.
Which Type Of Iron Filter is Best?
For best results, lowest maintenance, and longer life we recommend a high purity manganese dioxide filter media such as Pro-OX Iron Filters. Our company has customers with iron filters that have the same manganese dioxide media filters installed over 10 years ago. The filter media lasts many years longer than greensand, or other manufactured, coated filter media.
If sulfur odors or manganese are present, we recommend that you use a chlorinator or ozone injection system in front of the iron filter. The Air-Charger type (Pro-OX-AIR) systems work the best, if you have iron and sulfur odor, but no manganese or iron bacteria,
Air Charging Iron Filters Remove Iron, Manganese and Sulfur Odor
The air charge iron filter, as a single tank system, is an efficient and cost-effective system for the removal of iron and sulfur.
When used with a solid manganese dioxide filter media such as Pro-OX, it can last for many years with little or no maintenance. No chemicals are required.
This type of iron filter maintains an “air pocket” in the top of the tank while the system is in service. As the water passes thru the air pocket, iron and sulfur are oxidized. Additionally, dissolved oxygen is added to the water. The iron filter media bed then removes the iron and sulfur from the water.
Air charger type iron filters can generally remove up to 8 ppm hydrogen sulfide and up to 10 ppm Iron. The backwash removes accumulated iron and replenish the filter media bed and adds a fresh air pocket to the system.
The unique 5900e control valve allows the air pocket to be replenished each night, without having the iron filter go through a complete backwash.
Other Air-Charger Iron Filters must go through a complete backwash each night, in order to replenish the air. This wastes thousands of gallons of water each year.
The 5900e-AIR saves water by being able to draw in air, independent of the backwash. The Pro-OX 5900 AIR is able to put the whole oxidation process inside one tank, keeping maintenance costs and downtime to a minimum.
This type of iron filter is one we recommend most often as it works best for most of our customers and is the easiest to maintain.
When Iron Bacteria or High Levels of Manganese or Sulfur Is Present Use Chlorine Injection OR Ozone Injection
If manganese is present over 0.2 PPM, we recommend a chlorine feed (the water be chlorinated) ahead of the iron filter. A small amount of chlorine is automatically injected by a chlorine pump prior to existing well pressure tank. At these low levels of chlorine (under 10 ppm) the pressure tank is not affected by the chlorine.
The contact tank allows some time for the chlorine to work and dissipate. As the water flows into the Pro-OX filter all iron, manganese and hydrogen sulfide are filtered out. After the Pro-OX iron filter, a carbon filter removes all trace of chlorine.
Air Compressor Systems Aid in Removing Iron and Manganese
This type of iron filter uses a compressor to inject air into the water. This system uses a separate tank to inject and aerate the water and is highly effective at eliminating sulfur odors and oxidizing higher levels of iron. It will not remove iron bacteria, but it does offer a higher level of aeration than a standard Air-Charger type iron filter. The drawback is higher cost, and for most home well water applications, the Air-Charger is all that is needed.
One result of the air compressor is that the water itself does become saturated with tiny air bubbles. Often when first drawing the water in a glass, the water may appear white, but it instantly clears as the air leaves the water.
You can use air compressor systems with various iron filter media such as Birm, Greensand, and Pro-OX. We recommend Pro-OX manganese dioxide filter media as it lasts for many years. With Pro-OX (also Greensand) a chlorinator or ozone pre-treatment system could always be added later if iron bacteria were present.
The air compressor aeration tank is typically installed after the pressure tank and before the iron filter. The compressor can be wired so it turns on each time the well pump runs and re-charges the aeration tank with fresh air. It can also be set up on a timer so it refreshes the aeration tank one or more times a day automatically.