Treating ~6 mg/L Iron Contaminant in Well Water

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Technically, industrial water softener can remove dissolved ferrous iron by ion exchange, just as they remove calcium and magnesium. Further, precipitated iron can be removed by filtration. Problems arise, however, in getting the iron out of the softener bed during regeneration. Precipitated iron (ferric hydroxide), formed when soluble ferrous iron is oxidized by oxygen in the air, is a gelatinous, sticky material that tends to adhere to the beads or particles in a softener bed

Ideally, ferrous iron removed by ion exchange should be discharged with the hardness during the usual brine regeneration. In practice, however, it is usual for at least some of this iron to be converted to the ferric, insoluble state by oxygen in the regeneration water or brine.

Many factors affect the ability of softeners to remove iron successfully; the form of iron and its concentration, softener design, the presence or absence of organic matter and dissolved oxygen, cleaning procedures, regeneration frequency, pH, temperature, and usage characteristics.


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North Carolina
Coming a little late to the party on this one and I know you said you wanted a DIY, but I have to say I have been using the Kinetico Marcolite self-backwashing system with a 0.5 micron filter (ya that is 0.5 and not 5) for iron management on my well since 2013 and it has been stellar, Those twin towers have required zero maintenance by me, no electricity and I only have to change the 4" 0.5 filter every few months. It's hard to believe the owners before me were using 2" 5 micron filters only and changing them every week. Who has time for that??? Not to mention it really didn't help much. Also, my pH was more like 6.0 so I also have a soda ash injection tank to neutralize the water. It's not a Kinetico. The whole system cost right around $5,500 including tax, installed. I'd be curious to hear what you ended up doing and how it's working for you? My neighbor is currently researching replacing their water softener system, which was installed to manage the iron (but they still get red stains in their toilets and holding tank.) I have not had that experience since putting in this system. Here are a few pics for you. The pic with the buckets of water shows straight from well (top) : filtered through Macrolite (middle) : filtered through macrolite and through 0.5 4" filter.

Note: I am not affiliated with Kinetico products in any way. I am just sharing the brand because it is what I have an I am very satisfied with it.

FYI, my total iron was 10 and ferrus was .25ppm x 4


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