Information overload iron and IRB in well water

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barlow96

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Well i have been doing a ton of research and I'm not sure if i am more confused now or when i started.

new house built in 2014 with an existing shallow well (100') constructed in 1980 (prior home which burnt down)

water test in 2015:

iron .0892 mg/l
total hardness 99 mg/l
total dissolved solids 56 mg/l
IRB 2300 cfu/ml

installed chlorine injection stenner pump directly before pressure tank (turns on when well pump kicks on)

installed vortech terminox filter 10'' x 54''(i believe 1.5 cu ft media) with pentair 263/740F autotrol valve

sediment filter after this (need to replace every couple of month. filter is brown and metal flakes in cartridge, probably well casing material?)

fast forward 5 years, IRB is still persistent (probably due to not enough contact time) and still having iron staining in toilets, grout lines in shower dog water dish etc...

I am not sure what media terminox uses, but i would like to revamp the system.


I am thinking of a 120 gallon contact tank for the chlorine injection to completely maximize the contact time to get rid of the IRB, but after that i am at a lost for what type of filter. Should i just go with an GAC filter for the chlorine? I am assuming all of the iron would oxidize in the contact tank which the GAC would then remove?

Could i use my existing 10x54 vortech tank and control valve to replace the media with GAC?

any help would be greatly appreciated as I would like to get this right.
 

barlow96

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I forgot to mention that the water is clear out of the pressure tank so this would lead me to believe it is clear water iron...i will also get a pH reading of the water in a little bit and post back
 

Bannerman

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Recommend obtaining an updated comprehensive lab test. Water conditions can and do change so 2015 test results might continue to be relevant, but maybe not. The information you stated above from 2015 is too basic.

Compare the Well Standard testing from National Labs WaterCheck: http://watercheck.myshopify.com/?aff=5
 

ditttohead

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Agreed, time for a new water test, and if you are consiedring a new contact tank I would highly recommend a baffled design. More expensive but far more effective.
 

barlow96

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i only posted the results i thought would apply...additional results:

coliform and e. coli ND
copper .0135
lead .00123
nitrate ND
turbity .60 NTU
pH (as per the test but not within hold times) 7.3

I will get another test done here soon, but let just go with these numbers for now....what would be the options in my original post?
 

barlow96

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i agree about the baffle design of the tank...i guess my question is all about post chlorination. What should i go with?
 

Reach4

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Have a boiler drain valve to let you test residual chlorine. Then a backwashing GAC tank. Then the softener.
 

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I forgot to mention that the water is clear out of the pressure tank so this would lead me to believe it is clear water iron...i will also get a pH reading of the water in a little bit and post back
the GAC tank is only used to remove residual chlorine. The iron is oxidized and falls to the bottom of the retention tank, which then requires manual blow down periodically. A test port between the retention tank and the carbon tank is required
 
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ditttohead

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the GAC tank is only used to remove residual chlorine. The iron is oxidized and falls to the bottom of the retention tank, which then requires manual blow down periodically. A test port between the retention tank and the carbon tank is required to ensure 2 ppm residual Cl after retention. 35 minutes of contact time is required. if you were running 3.2 gpm (which is usually max with multiple sinks running) in your house, 3.2 x 35 minutes = 111 gal. That is why 120 gal tank is recommended. In contrast, hydrogen peroxide requires very little contact time. With HP you could utilize the pressure tank as a retention tank, but would require a different type of carbon to physically remove the oxidized iron. the latter method is usually used with smaller amounts of iron (<4ppm), while the former can treat much greater amounts of iron. The fact that hydrogen peroxide is more than 3 times the cost of Cl is another consideration.
A few minor corrections, H2o2 is very similar in cost to chlorine especially when you consider the lower amounts needed to oxidize but the "local availability" can make it difficult. The carbon is very effective for reducing ferric iron which is important as some ferric iron will certainly get out of the retention tank. Carbon is not meant to be an iron filter but if you are desperate, it can be reasonably effective. The old school way for those on very tight budgets was to overdose chlorine from a chlorine pellet system and go straight into the carbon tank. Not a great idea but very effective. H2o2 is rarely used when bacterial issues are a concern. H2o2 can oxidize iron, manganese etc very quickly, it is not so good at kill at low doses. if bacterial issues exist, chlorine is the preferred method of oxidation.
Here is a chart from my catalog on injection rates by contaminant. You can use half the H2o2 compared to chlorine in most cases.

upload_2020-12-10_16-53-26.png
 

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A few minor corrections, H2o2 is very similar in cost to chlorine especially when you consider the lower amounts needed to oxidize but the "local availability" can make it difficult. The carbon is very effective for reducing ferric iron which is important as some ferric iron will certainly get out of the retention tank. Carbon is not meant to be an iron filter but if you are desperate, it can be reasonably effective. The old school way for those on very tight budgets was to overdose chlorine from a chlorine pellet system and go straight into the carbon tank. Not a great idea but very effective. H2o2 is rarely used when bacterial issues are a concern. H2o2 can oxidize iron, manganese etc very quickly, it is not so good at kill at low doses. if bacterial issues exist, chlorine is the preferred method of oxidation.
Here is a chart from my catalog on injection rates by contaminant. You can use half the H2o2 compared to chlorine in most cases.

View attachment 68728
good info. I always recommend a cartridge filter prior to injection to remove ferric. the problem sometimes with treating iron is it's difficult to distinguish between ferric and ferrous. I recently installed a filter for a customer who had a retention tank installed previously (by another company) to treat more than 5 ppm iron. she was confused why almost nothing ever came out of the drain-down. Turns out almost all of her iron was ferric. your correct in that Cl is better for treating IRB. Although with that level of IRB, I wonder if the actual iron levels are much higher than anticipated. honestly I only recommend HP for treating high levels of manganese. I was trying to suggest option that may let him utilize his existing setup
 

barlow96

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Thank you for the reply’s. I am going to get a new water test to also include manganese. I will reply when I get the results and we can go from there. Not sure if this is true but I have heard the the IRB can cause a lab result of iron lower then what is actually present?
I can tell you that my water is perfectly clear coming from the pressure tank so that leads me to believe my iron issues are from ferrous iron and the IRB
 

Reach4

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good info. I always recommend a cartridge filter prior to injection to remove ferric.
I have no experience. My thought is that injection turn ferrous iron to ferric iron, and you intend to somehow trap that. Whether that is to let is settle into a settling tank or get caught in a backwashing filter, it seems that that means should be able to trap old ferrous and new ferrous.

If you inject before the pressure tank, you would normally not want a cartridge filter before the pressure switch and pressure tank. Also, most backwashing filters take a high flow of water to backwash -- a moderated amount for carbon, and a bigger amount for other media, such as Filter AG, Katalox light, BIRM, and more. So a cartridge filter can restrict backwashing.

I have my H2S+iron filter as the front end filter. (my system uses Centaur carbon, with bleach used just during regen every 3 days) My iron is relatively low yet above the SMCL, and my H2S was numerically relatively low I suspect, but they were both unwanted. There is very little for the following 4.5x20 Pentek BB filter to catch after that. Maybe I should put a wye filter before that backwashing filter to exclude pebbles, or maybe those don't hurt operation.

Incidentally, while not the purpose, the pressure tank picks up iron. People should flush that out periodically -- annually or better. That is also a good time to measure the precharge. I don't make it annually, but I should.

Anyway, my point is that backwashing iron away, or blowing it down, seem like less work than changing a filter cartridge. I don't say my way is best. I am thinking that it's worth thinking about.
 

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Thank you for the reply’s. I am going to get a new water test to also include manganese. I will reply when I get the results and we can go from there. Not sure if this is true but I have heard the the IRB can cause a lab result of iron lower then what is actually present?
I can tell you that my water is perfectly clear coming from the pressure tank so that leads me to believe my iron issues are from ferrous iron and the IRB
Well quality can change a lot in a short time. The new test readings will determine the current levels of both iron and manganese regardless.
 

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I have no experience. My thought is that injection turn ferrous iron to ferric iron, and you intend to somehow trap that. Whether that is to let is settle into a settling tank or get caught in a backwashing filter, it seems that that means should be able to trap old ferrous and new ferrous.

If you inject before the pressure tank, you would normally not want a cartridge filter before the pressure switch and pressure tank. Also, most backwashing filters take a high flow of water to backwash -- a moderated amount for carbon, and a bigger amount for other media, such as Filter AG, Katalox light, BIRM, and more. So a cartridge filter can restrict backwashing.

I have my H2S+iron filter as the front end filter. (my system uses Centaur carbon, with bleach used just during regen every 3 days) My iron is relatively low yet above the SMCL, and my H2S was numerically relatively low I suspect, but they were both unwanted. There is very little for the following 4.5x20 Pentek BB filter to catch after that. Maybe I should put a wye filter before that backwashing filter to exclude pebbles, or maybe those don't hurt operation.

Incidentally, while not the purpose, the pressure tank picks up iron. People should flush that out periodically -- annually or better. That is also a good time to measure the precharge. I don't make it annually, but I should.

Anyway, my point is that backwashing iron away, or blowing it down, seem like less work than changing a filter cartridge. I don't say my way is best. I am thinking that it's worth thinking about.
Ultimately the goal is to remove oxidized iron or manganese, because unoxidized iron or manganese isn't able to be removed by mechanical means (RO aside). It all comes down to how much iron you have, as well as, what oxidation state it's in upon entering the home. Backwashing carbon media is only rated to treat a few ppm. So if you have 4 ppm iron, then trapping the ferric iron prior to the reaching the backwashing unit will ensure the unit is not overloaded unnecessarily. Manganese typically remains unoxidized upon entering the home, so a cartridge filter won't do much to remove it prior to the backwashing filter. If using PEX, it should be easy enough to switch the cartridge filter to prior to the backwashing tank, then see what's entering over the course of a few months. if it's orange or black with NO particulate, then it's all unoxidized. If particulate accumulates, then your saving unnecessary wear on tear on your backwashing filter. cartridges only take 2 minutes to change, so they don't add any significant maintenance. I've yet to see carbon filter fed by normal flow and 40/60 psi that was unable to backwash the levels it was rated for. The problem arises when it's overloaded and unable to fully backwash what's accumulated.
 
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I have no experience. My thought is that injection turn ferrous iron to ferric iron, and you intend to somehow trap that. Whether that is to let is settle into a settling tank or get caught in a backwashing filter, it seems that that means should be able to trap old ferrous and new ferrous.

If you inject before the pressure tank, you would normally not want a cartridge filter before the pressure switch and pressure tank. Also, most backwashing filters take a high flow of water to backwash -- a moderated amount for carbon, and a bigger amount for other media, such as Filter AG, Katalox light, BIRM, and more. So a cartridge filter can restrict backwashing.

I have my H2S+iron filter as the front end filter. (my system uses Centaur carbon, with bleach used just during regen every 3 days) My iron is relatively low yet above the SMCL, and my H2S was numerically relatively low I suspect, but they were both unwanted. There is very little for the following 4.5x20 Pentek BB filter to catch after that. Maybe I should put a wye filter before that backwashing filter to exclude pebbles, or maybe those don't hurt operation.

Incidentally, while not the purpose, the pressure tank picks up iron. People should flush that out periodically -- annually or better. That is also a good time to measure the precharge. I don't make it annually, but I should.

Anyway, my point is that backwashing iron away, or blowing it down, seem like less work than changing a filter cartridge. I don't say my way is best. I am thinking that it's worth thinking about.
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