Iron/Manganese/Hydrogen Sulfide

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Iron/Manganese/Hydrogen Sulfide are three contaminants that are often found in many types of rock. Often Hydrogen sulfide which is a dissolved gas is that is found in areas with elevated iron or manganese levels.  The Hydrogen Sulfide, which we often think of as “rotten egg” odor can also be released from the soil by the same conditions (low dissolved oxygen and low pH) that cause iron and manganese to dissolve in water. Fortunately the same treatment method can be used to treat all three of these contaminants- a combination of oxidation and filtration.

Drinking water doesn’t need to contain much iron or manganese to affect the taste or become a problem in your home. As rainwater infiltrates soil and the rocks below, it dissolves minerals and small quantities of iron and manganese. This rainwater eventually becomes ground water.

To recognize an Iron or Manganese problem, the following are a place to start

Raw Water Problem

  1. Tap water comes out clear but then develops black or rust-colored particles after standing.    CAUSE: Ferrous iron or manganous manganese
  2. Tap water has a reddish hue when first drawn, and on standing clears with 24 hours.  CAUSE: Significant particulate iron in the water. Likely sources are rusted galvanized iron pipes or connections, a rusted pressure tank and rust from the well casing or pump.
  3. Tap water varies from a blackish hue to almost black when first drawn but clears after standing for 24 hours.  CAUSE: Significant amount of dissolved manganese in the water
  4. Water has a metallic taste, stains appear on clothing, particulates are in the water.  CAUSE” Metal in the water