What are iron bacteria?
Iron bacteria are widespread in the environment. They will generally be found in iron water pipes and anywhere else that a combination of dissolved iron and dissolved oxygen is present. Iron bacteria are found in soil, stream, cool surface waters, and shallow aquifers; but even deep wells can be subject to the problems caused by iron bacteria.
What are the indicators of the presence of iron bacteria?
- A white or reddish brown gelatinous slime on well pipes and in the water system.
- Sudden iron staining.
- Sometimes taste and odor problems.
- Water quality deterioration.
What are the effects of iron bacteria?
- Pitting and corroding of the plumbing system due to a lowering of the pH of the water.
- Difficulties in coagulation.
- Taste and odor problems.
- Discoloration of the water.
Do iron bacteria have any positive aspects?
Iron bacteria may produce a biofilm that acts as a primary filtration system to remove iron, manganese, and some nutrients from the water.
What can be done to eliminate this problem?
Iron bacteria can be killed by chlorinating.
Photo Credit: Geoffrey Crofte