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What strength of hydrogen peroxide in well water can approximate effect of bleach?

We’re answering questions asked by readers about hydrogen peroxide  treatment for well water:

Question no. 1

Erik asked, “What would the recommended dosage of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) be per volume unit of water?

Answer:  The dosage of H2O2 required depends on the concentration of contaminants in water, not so much the volume of water in your system.  Of course, contaminants are measured in parts per million (ppm), so any measurement of their concentration already accounts for the total volume of water present.

Hydrogen peroxide is injected in parts per million, which is the same as saying milligrams per liter (mg/L).  The amount of hydrogen peroxide needed depends on the “hydrogen peroxide demand” of the water.  Hydrogen peroxide demand is the amount of various contaminants in the water that combine with the hydrogen peroxide after it has been injected and sufficient contact time has occurred.

After the hydrogen peroxide has combined with the various contaminants such as bacteria, iron, manganese, and odor, some level of uncombined or “free” hydrogen peroxide will remain.  The goal is to have some small amount of free peroxide, usually around 0.2 to 0.4 ppm of peroxide, up to a maximum of 1.0 ppm of hydrogen peroxide, present before filtration.

For bacteria you’ll want to inject 1 – 2 ppm of hydrogen peroxide with approximately 5 to 10 minutes of contact time depending on your water’s temperature and turbidity (cloudiness).  If the water is colder than 50° F (10° C) and/or the pH is higher than 7.5, you may need longer contact time or a higher dosage.

You should generally inject 1.0 ppm of hydrogen peroxide for each part per million of iron or manganese, and 1-2 ppm of H2O2 for each 1.0 ppm of hydrogen sulfide gas (the cause of rotten egg smell in water).

We recommend Stenner pumps for hydrogen peroxide injection due to their reliability, adjustability, and easy of use.  For more information about hydrogen peroxide injection, consult our Stenner pump installation guide.

Question No. 2

How to Calculate Hydrogen Peroxide Concentration for Well Water Treatment?

Need to know how much water to add to dilute your hydrogen peroxide?

Hydrogen Peroxide treatment We’re answering a very common question we often get:  “I had a question about diluting my 7% hydrogen peroxide. How much water would I have to add to the gallon to dilute it to 7000ppm or 12500 ppm.”

This is a good question, and the first step is understanding how many PPM 7% peroxide is.

Since we want to solve for parts per million, 7% of 1,000,000 is 70,000.   So 7% peroxide is just another way of saying 70,000 PPM.  If you used the 7% solution without dilution, your solution strength would therefore be 70,000 PPM.

By adding 9 parts of water, for every 1 part 7% peroxide, you would end up with 7000 ppm.

For more information on how to set up the pump settings, see our installation on peroxide systems:

https://www.cleanwaterstore.com/technical/water-treatment-guides/HydrogenPeroxide/Stenner_peroxide_startup.pdf

Question No.3:

What strength of hydrogen peroxide do you recommend to replace bleach?

Another question is:  “What strength of hydrogen peroxide in well water  do you recommend to replace bleach?”  and  “Do you recommend replacing chlorine bleach with hydrogen peroxide, in my well water chlorinator?  I heard it works better or is less toxic.”

Hydrogen peroxide is indeed a great replacement for bleach in many well water applications, whether the goal is destroy hydrogen sulfide or other odors, bacteria or to oxidize iron or tannins.

Hydrogen Peroxide treatment Unlike chlorine bleach (which is also called sodium hypochlorite) it does not add sodium or other trace contaminants to the water.  Peroxide breaks down into oxygen and water and leaves the water smelling good and looking great. Combined with a catalytic backwash carbon filter, the water is left free of odor, sediment, iron, manganese and any trace residues or peroxide residuals.

In some applications a chlorine residual is desired however, such as in a small community systems where a disinfectant residual is preferred in the distribution system.

Peroxide is more expensive to use than chlorine, but the actual dollar amounts are small for the typical residential well water user.  Most users spend only $4 to $12 a month on peroxide.

Chlorine bleach is typically 5% chlorine.  Some bleach is available (often sold for pools) that is 10 to 12%.   We recommend 7% hydrogen peroxide.  If you switch from 5% chlorine to 7% peroxide you can expect to turn down the control knob on the metering pump or dilute the peroxide to achieve the same effect as chlorine.

Higher concentrations of peroxide are also available but are hazardous to use and difficult and expensive to ship. Peroxide acts faster and in some applications, less peroxide can be used than the equivalent chlorine bleach.

If you are thinking of replacing your chlorine with peroxide, you need to make sure your existing metering pump can work with peroxide. It needs to be either a peristaltic type like Stenner brand. If you are using a diaphragm-type pump like LMI, you need to make sure you have a degassing valve so any peroxide bubbles don’t cause the pump to lose its prime.

Question no. 4

Need to know how much water to add to dilute hydrogen peroxide for hydrogen peroxide well water treatment?

A common question we get is:  “I had a question about diluting my 7% hydrogen peroxide. How much water would I have to add to the gallon to dilute it to 7000ppm or 12500 ppm.”

This is a good question, and the first step is understanding how many PPM 7% peroxide is.

Since we want to solve for parts per million, 7% of 1,000,000 is 70,000.   So 7% peroxide is just another way of saying 70,000 PPM.  If you used the 7% solution without dilution, your solution strength would therefore by 70,000 PPM.

By adding 9 parts of water, for every 1 part 7% peroxide, you would end up with 7000 ppm.

Yesterday we were asked a good question in a comment on a blog post from back in March about disinfecting water with hydrogen peroxide.  Erik asked, “What would the recommended dosage of H2O2 be per volume unit of water?”

The dosage of H2O2 required depends on the concentration of contaminants in water, not so much the volume of water in your system.  Of course, contaminants are measured in parts per million (ppm), so any measurement of their concentration already accounts for the total volume of water present.

Hydrogen Peroxide treatment
Stenner Chlorine Injector Pump

Hydrogen peroxide is injected in parts per million, which is the same as saying milligrams per liter (mg/L).  The amount of hydrogen peroxide needed depends on the “hydrogen peroxide demand” of the water.  Hydrogen peroxide demand is the amount of various contaminants in the water that combine with the hydrogen peroxide after it has been injected and sufficient contact time has occurred.

After the hydrogen peroxide has combined with the various contaminants such as bacteria, iron, manganese, and odor, some level of uncombined or “free” hydrogen peroxide will remain.  The goal is to have some small amount of free peroxide, usually around 0.2 to 0.4 ppm of peroxide, up to a maximum of 1.0 ppm of hydrogen peroxide, present before filtration.

For bacteria you’ll want to inject 1 – 2 ppm of hydrogen peroxide with approximately 5 to 10 minutes of contact time depending on your water’s temperature and turbidity (cloudiness).  If the water is colder than 50° F (10° C) and/or the pH is higher than 7.5, you may need longer contact time or a higher dosage.

You should generally inject 1.0 ppm of hydrogen peroxide for each part per million of iron or manganese, and 1-2 ppm of H2O2 for each 1.0 ppm of hydrogen sulfide gas (the cause of rotten egg smell in water).

We recommend Stenner pumps for hydrogen peroxide injection due to their reliability, adjustability, and easy of use.  For more information about hydrogen peroxide injection, consult our Stenner pump installation guide.

For more information on how to set up the pump settings, see our installation on peroxide systems:

https://www.cleanwaterstore.com/technical/water-treatment-guides/HydrogenPeroxide/Stenner_peroxide_startup.pdf

Have a question about peroxide or chlorine?  Please email us or call us anytime.

 

Hydrogen Peroxide treatment

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2 thoughts on “What strength of hydrogen peroxide in well water can approximate effect of bleach?”

  1. Hi, Erik.

    The recommended dosage of H2O2 depends on the concentration of your contaminants. To treat iron, 1 mg/L of peroxide for every 1 mg/L of iron will suffice. To remove hydrogen sulfide gas (the cause of rotten egg odors), inject 1-2 mg/L of hydrogen peroxide for every 1 mg/L of hydrogen sulfide.

    Sorry for the delay in answering your question. It’s a very good one, and since we haven’t touched on this topic in a while, we’ve decided to devote tomorrow’s blog post to hydrogen peroxide injection. Check back tomorrow if you still need more info. Thanks!

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