Iron removal ideas…

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Just trying to brainstorm some ideas on iron removal with neutral or slightly acidic ph. Most wells that have acidic/ neutral water usually have low hardness. So what’s a way to oxidize and filter out iron without changing the hardness? You can oxidize iron 2 ways either with oxidizing media or oxidizing chemicals. Oxidizing medias need high ph 7.5 or above to work properly. Ph can be corrected with calcite or soda ash injection. Calcite raises hardness. Soda ash injection is high maintenance. My idea is chlorine injection with a contact tank that is so large that there is no way ferrous iron would not have time to oxidize. Then a simple catalytic carbon filter to remove ferric iron and chlorine. You wouldn't raise hardness and chlorine will raise ph a little where it wouldn't be an issue. What are your guys thoughts?


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Ontario, Canada
You didn't clarify the level of iron in your raw water. Always recommended to include a current lab test report for your untreated water as additional water conditions may alter treatment recommendations.

In addition to chlorine, other iron oxidation methods include Ozone, Hydrogen Peroxide, Oxygen or Pot Perm. If any bacteria is present, then chlorine is most often recommended due to its rapid sanitizing capability whereas oxygen, including that produced by the decomposition of ozone, will typically cause bacteria to proliferate.

Katalox Light media is now the filtration media usually recommended to provide oxidation action in addition to Ferric Iron removal. KL oxidation action maybe enhanced by utilizing any one of the oxidation compounds listed above.

When there is a low level of Ferrous iron to be removed (<1ppm) even at low pH, a water softener will be often utilized so as to eliminate the additional expense for a dedicated iron removal system. Instead of oxidizing the iron, ferrous iron will adhere to the surface of the softening resin beads.

To remove iron accumulation from the resin beads during regeneration, an acid cleaning compound will typically be utilized either incorporated into each bag of salt, or added separately to the brine tank. Depending on all water conditions, a lower amount of acid cleaner may be needed when pH is low.

Because 1 ppm iron = 85 ppm hardness, a greater quantity of salt will be consumed for each regeneration, which will often need to be performed more frequently, thereby resulting in reduced softener efficiency.
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