Orange bacteria

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog' started by pudge565, Mar 18, 2008.

  1. pudge565

    pudge565 New Member

    Messages:
    24
    ok my neighbors have a well not sure how deep it is but they have orange "Bacteria" in the water can't see it in the water but it gets built up in the matal strainer in the faucet. then have a i think nylong or some sort of synthetic filter int eh system. i was wondering what they could do to remidy the problem other than drill a new well.
  2. sammyhydro11

    sammyhydro11 Previous member

    Messages:
    709
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    First thing they need is a full water analysis and they need to do it before any water filters. Have them get it done by a local certified laboratory.DONT HAVE A WATER TREATMENT COMPANY TEST THE WATER.Once they get the report back from the lab, they can start calling around to get quotes and opinions on water treatment. The proper way to treat iron bacteria is by a chemical feeder that injects bleach into the water. After the chemical feed the water would go through a carbon back wash filter, and then a water softener. They would need a contact retention tank but in the past i have gotten away with a static mixer. I treated 32 ppm iron with that same method and the system has been working fine for 4 years but i think the carbon filter is due for a re-bed soon.

    Sammy
  3. pudge565

    pudge565 New Member

    Messages:
    24
    thank you for the quick reply i will let them know
  4. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Sammy, why not a water treatment dealer for testing? Do you think their accuracy is less than a lab? Especially for "orangish bacteria".

    I do not sell or suggest using solution feeders. They are a PIA type thing and rarely dose the same strength solution because of it weakening in the tank as soon as you mix it. And anyone thinking of buying water treatment equipment should think of buying online unless they want or need to depend on a local dealer. If they don't want to install it themselves, they can hire plumber to do it.

    In this case, we need to know what the orange bacteria is. It sounds like IRB; iron reducing bacteria. Is this water from a residential well? If not they should call the water company. If it is, and there is enough of it to cause a problem, it has to be killed. Filtering will cause more of it so have them remove the Nylon filter thing.

    Is there an odor to their water? If so is it in the hot and cold or just the hot? If in the hot only, turn the temp up to 140* for a few hours. That will kill the bacteria that live in the water heater and cause the odor. Or replace the anode rod with a different type like aluminum. Check their toilet tanks for a clear to orangish brown slime at and below the water line. If present, that is IRB. If there is an oily film on the water, that is manganese reducing bacteria (MRB).

    I suggest an inline erosion chlorine pellet chlorinator followed by a special mixing tank and then a backwashed filter with a special carbon. That system usually costs the least of any and the chlorinator is nonelectric, and has no moving parts and maintenance is like every 2-4 months depending on how much water is used. It takes like 20-30 minutes to clean the hopper and add more pellets.
  5. riccet

    riccet New Member

    Messages:
    19

    We have the same problem in our area. Most people I know don't worry about it. I remember consulting my local health department some years ago and they said standard treatment was to 'shock' the well. But I guess the stuff comes back after awhile. You might get a good deal of info from your local health department, including cheap water analysis.

    Baxter dialysis company (a local nurse) recommends people with catheters soak their shower heads in bleach water once a week to kill this bacteria from forming on the showerhead.
  6. sammyhydro11

    sammyhydro11 Previous member

    Messages:
    709
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    Gary,
    i have had way to many run ins with companies that do their own in house testing and have misapplied water treatment because of their faulty testing. People can buy whatever they want over the internet. What pisses me off the most is when these people call me to install this equipment, i will ask them if they got a water analysis before they bought it, and they say no. I would never install any equipment that someone purchased over the internet never mind one that was purchased without having the water tested first. Part of my income is based on the profit that i make off selling my own equipment. You wont find too many water treatment professionals that are willing to install equipment that the customer purchased themselves because they dont want to be held liable if the system doesn't work right. If they find a plumber naive enough to install it he probably doesn't have the proper experience to service the equipment either. Trying to convince someone that it's as simple as calling a plumber to install it is a bunch of crap. A pellet chlorinator might be less maintenance than a chemical feed pump but the feed pump doesn't destroy the well.

    sammy
  7. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    That has never been my experience as a local dealer or especially since I started selling online. My experience with misapplied equipment is sales person related selling something that is not a good choice or not sizing it correctly. Those types are usually ego driven.

    I've debated this with a number of dealers; I don't know how many were what you call "professionals" though. Your position is the same as 99% of them. IMO you and they are making a mistake. Installing something does not give you liability for the equipment not doing the job it is supposed to or not working right and, you are turning down an easy profit and possible future customer. I think that position is usually due to not understanding or liking internet sales and fear of not knowing control valves you don't sell or haven't sold.

    I average about one softener every day of the month. About 3-4 of those are installed by a plumber. In over 5.5 years of online sales, I haven't had anyone say they couldn't find a plumber to install their softener, iron filter UV, RO or AN filter etc..

    Yeah it's a lot less maintenance, takes up much less space and costs much less and is nonelectrical with no moving parts but no, I'm not using a pellet dropper on the well. It is installed after the pressure tank like a solution feeder - that's why it uses a 'retention' tank, it is not using the well for retention.
  8. Cookie

    Cookie .

    Messages:
    5,653
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    .
  9. sammyhydro11

    sammyhydro11 Previous member

    Messages:
    709
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    Gary,
    how excactly does that pellet feeder work?

    Sammy
  10. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Cookie, orange means ferric iron, common rust. IRB can be clear to black.

    Sammy, I'm really not sure but it does add chlorine to the water and works very well.
  11. sammyhydro11

    sammyhydro11 Previous member

    Messages:
    709
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    Gary,
    i would like to find out more abouter that feeder. If it does work just as good as a chemical feep pump, and is a lot more simpler, i am all for it. I was under the impression that they only made pellet feeders for the well head.

    Sammy
  12. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,450
    Location:
    Connecticut
    This "orange bacteria"

    Two things it could be:

    A high iron level in the water which requires Iron removal.

    or,

    It is an airbourne bacteria! Nothing to do with the water supply! It grows in areas that are frequently wet/damp. The name "Serratia Marcescens" It is difficult to get rid of! The color will be a pink or, orange.


    Quote:
    Due to its ubiquitous presence in the environment, and its preference for damp conditions, S. marcescens is commonly found growing in bathrooms (especially on tile grout), where it manifests as a pink discoloration. Once established, complete eradication of the organism is often difficult, but can be accomplished by application of a bleach-based disinfectant

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serratia_marcescens
  13. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Redwood, I guess you are saying it can't be IRB but... I've never heard of orange Serratia_marcescens; only pink. I've had it myself.

    Also, high iron content usually does not block screens in fixtures, but IRB does, including submersible pump inlet screens. Ferrous iron is clear water iron, it is dissolve in the water, it goes through screens etc.. IRB love to live in areas in plumbing systems where the velocity is higher because flow is being restricted, like a faucet tip, washing machine or submersible pump inlet screens etc..

    You can go to:
    www.groundwaterscience.com or .org and learn a lot about it.
  14. Mike Monett

    Mike Monett New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    Ontario
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