Which type of filtration system for iron or red stains?

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Old 03-22-11, 04:22 PM
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Which type of filtration system for iron or red stains?

This is our first winter in our new house that runs on a 230' deep well. During the summer we had no red specks in our water, however now that it's winter, our new toilets have brown specs in the tank and this happens on our glass water jug that we fill form the sink... it appears after a day or so of settling.

I can't taste it and the water has been tested, last summer it came back soft and no harsh chemicals.

I decided to test it again, and will link to the results below.

Any suggestions? I would like to have some sort of filtration set up at our water pressure tank that sits in our basement (it's fed directly from the well and it pushes the water throughout the house-little blue tank).

Is this something I should be concerned with? From what I've read I think we have iron in the water and it's no problem to drink it but could it clog our pipes?

Information sheet

Water results

Thank you,
 
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Old 03-22-11, 06:38 PM
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Iron is generally divided into two main categories

Soluble or "Clear water" iron, is the most common form and the one that creates the most complaints by water users. This type of iron is identified after you've poured a glass,of cold clear water. If allowed to stand for a few minutes, reddish brown particles will appear in the glass and eventually settle to the bottom.

Insoluble
When insoluble iron, or "red water" iron is poured into a glass, it appears rusty or has a red or yellow color. Insoluble iron can create serious taste and appearance problems for the water user.

I think your main issue is your test that shows possibly bacteria???? Looks like the value is less then 1, but does that mean there were traces????

Scary

Anyway your iron is low according to the test results and your hardness is around 6 grains. Your PH is low 6.7 (Acidic ) and should be 7.2-7.8

What would I do????

Get a calcite PH filter, Get a fine mesh resin water softner that will soften the water and take out the iron.

Thats for bathing etc....


As for drinking I would go with a point of use RO system. Filters down to .0001 micron. Removes bacteria. UV is added for extra security.

$$$

RO with all the extras $600
softner $600
PH $600

My well is similar to yours, and I have been on wells all my life and have encountered everything possible.

Mike NJ
 
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Old 03-23-11, 05:29 AM
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A backwashing calcite filter will deal with the acid water and a softener with SST-60 resin and regular use of an iron cleaning salt will deal with the small quantities of iron. I prefer SST-60 resin over fine mesh resin because the flow characteristics are better.

I don't think the test shows a bacteria problem but to be sure I suggest you discuss the bacteria result with the lab that did the test. A follow up test for bacteria would be advisable if you still have doubts.
 
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Old 03-23-11, 07:59 AM
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I mis-linked the info sheet. This is the correct link: http://public.blu.livefilestore.com/...nfo.tif?psid=1
Unless I'm mis-interpreting the sheet, the bacteria is in the satisfactory level.

The water doesn't have an acidic taste or metallic taste to it at all, it tastes like spring water. I am concerned more with the pipes and toilets clogging up in addition to the whites in our wash getting dirty red which did happen once. Our water is also pretty soft compared to hard water we had at our apartment.


Are you saying that a pH filter will help with this? I don't want to strip our water minerals that is healthy for us either.

I don't want to have something that strips our water of healthy minerals and don't want a system that requires chemicals or salt. A filter would be preferable if possible.
 
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Old 03-23-11, 08:28 AM
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First of all your well tested Positive for Coliform Bacteria! The well needs to be chlorinated, flushed and retested for Coliform before proceeding with any water treatment. After well is retested and bacteria results are Negative, treatment can be addressed to handle PH, hardness, iron, lead and arsenic. A calcite filter will help raise PH. This will also add a couple grains of hardness to water. The iron you describe is commonly referred to as clearwater iron. It oxidizes over several days and that is when the rust stains occur. A water softener will remove the hardness, iron, most of the lead and some of the arsenic. A reverse osmosis system for your drinking water would be the best option to remove the balance of lead and arsenic from drinking water.
There are 2 types of Arsenic AS II (2) & AS III (3). AS III is more readily removed by reverse osmosis because it is oxidized. AS II is much harder to removed because it stays in solution. AS II may be more prevalent in your well supply because of the low PH. Additional cartridges can be added to the reverse osmosis to remove AS II. Your water can be tested for what type and how much of each valance is ocurring in the 5ppb but that tends to be a very expensive test. 10ppb is the recommended level now, but the closer to 0 the better for your drinking water. After the RO system have water retested for Arsenic and Lead levels.
Any water analysis is only a snap shot in time so it is important to have your water yearly as you did with this water analysis.
I would suggest for this water you have a professional handle this application. You can go to WQA.ORG for a water treatment professional in your area.
RJ
 
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Old 03-23-11, 01:46 PM
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Your water is mildly acidic. This is primarily a long term problem with copper plumbing--the mild acid will very gradually erode the copper and at some point in the future create pin hole leaks. The acidity is not a health risk but can elevate the level of copper in the water to an unhealthy level in some circumstances--your tests don't indicate a problem with this.

A calcite filter neutralizes the acid by adding some hardness (calcium carbonate) i.e. the acid dissolves the calcite.

Your hardness is about 6 grains--moderately hard and many people use water with that amount of hardness. Even with the addition of a calcite acid neutralizing filter your hardness will probably be below 8 grains.

However softening (using a salt regenerated ion exchange process) is probably your best and lowest cost means to remove the iron you have along with softening the water. Softeners exchange sodium ions for calcium and magnesium ions in the water and also remove iron ions.

If you don't go the softener route to iron removal then you might be able to use a BIRM filter, a Filox filter, or Greensand (or greensand plus) to remove the iron. Each has particular water conditions that must be satisfied. Another approach is to chlorinate followed by a retention tank followed by a carbon filter to remove the excess chlorine. Alternatively you can inject hydrogen peroxide followed by a retention tank or a filter media like Filox.

The iron levels you have are not a health risk and if you are not having esthetic problems (staining, etc) the risk of plumbing blockage is a long term risk at best.
 
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Old 03-25-11, 05:10 PM
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I will shock the well in a bit but with the low numbers that came back I'm not overly concerned with it.

I've been doing some research and am thinking about the Filox Catalox iron filter system. I like that it seems to have minimal maintenance and the filter lasts for a long time and is "relativity" cheap. I know some of have stated that our water is hard but from the report it doesn't seem very hard, do you think I need an additional softener? Does this system reduce the acidity?

For the reverse osmosis filter at the sink, what brand do you recommend?

BTW our water flow is about 5-6 gpm. It could be a little higher. The spicket has really good pressure and I really don't want to sacrifice that if possible.
 
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Old 03-25-11, 07:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Mainer82 View Post
I've been doing some research and am thinking about the Filox Catalox iron filter system. I like that it seems to have minimal maintenance and the filter lasts for a long time and is "relativity" cheap. I know some of have stated that our water is hard but from the report it doesn't seem very hard, do you think I need an additional softener? Does this system reduce the acidity?


BTW our water flow is about 5-6 gpm. It could be a little higher. The spicket has really good pressure and I really don't want to sacrifice that if possible.
Filox is a very heavy media. It requires relatively high backwash rates because it is so heavy so you need to ensure that you have adequate supply from the well pump to backwash the size filter you are considering. In order to work Filox also requires a positive ORP. If your water doesn't meet this spec you will need to inject an oxidant into the water before the Filox filter--I recommend hydrogen peroxide or chlorine if an oxidant is needed but air injection can also be used. Air injection done on the cheap often causes more problems than it solves and done correctly will cost $800 for the equipment alone.

Filox does not neutralize the acidity. There are two basic approaches to deal with it--a backwashing calcite filter (which I recommend) or an injection system. (the internet site you found the Filox system on sells both).

As I previously stated many people with hardness like yours live with it. Personally I would install a softener with water like yours. That would have the added benefit of dealing with the iron and be less costly than an iron filter alone that does nothing for the hardness. The softened water will, in my opinion, improve your quality of life--less and easier cleaning, longer life of plumbing fixtures, cleaner looking and brighter clothes from the washer, etc.
 
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Old 03-25-11, 09:15 PM
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Mainer82 go back and read my post #2.

Here is the best RO in my opinion. They are rated #1 and have outstanding support.

I would recomend the faster GPD linked below, with the 14 gal tank add on, and UV. $600

R.O.-90 Premium Reverse Osmosis Filter System & Drinking Water Filtration For whole house

PH filter below. These guys are good also. 1" tappings. $600

1.5 Cubic Foot pH Neutralizer*Mild Acid Condition pH Neutralizer from CAI Technologies

Get the softner there also and get the iron option. Comes with fine mesh resin. Thats all you need. $670.

32K Metered Water Softener*WS1SM Microprocessor Metered Softener from CAI Technologies

You will be good for showering with silky skin. Use less soap...etc softner
Your copper pipes will not leach. So you dont get leaks down the road. Green/blue stains in tub is copper. PH
Best water you will drink. RO.

I have all the same stuff.

PH 6.4 went to 7.2
Hardness 84ml/g 5 grains went to 8 ml/g .46 grains
Iron .7 went to <.05
RO TDS at tap 164 went to TDS 8 at RO. ( better then bottled water. TDS 40 )


It funny how they list the prices on the link for the Filox and slash the price in half. What does that tell you?????

Mike NJ
 
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Old 03-26-11, 08:35 AM
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I recommend units with a Fleck valve. Here is a link to a softener with a Fleck 2510 SXT valve that offers SST-60 resin as an option.Water treatment, water softener, water conditioners, Fleck 2510 water softener

Before chosing any equipment you need to estimate the max flow rate you will need to treat. A 1 cubic foot softener is typically rated in residential applications to treat up to 9 gpm and given your estimate of your well pump output that is probably adequate.

On the other hand a 1.5 cubic foot acid neutralizing filter is only rated at 5 gpm and that might be a bit on the low side for your application.

Here is a link to a 1.5 cubic foot AN filter with a Fleck valve:

pH Neutralizers, pH adjustment, calcite, calcite filter systems, calcite filters, raise pH

Note also the backwash requirement for the AN media--the 1.5 cubic foot unit has a backwash rate of 7.5 gpm--possibly exceeding what your well produces. One approach to deal with low well pump output is to put two 1 cubic foot units in parallel and set them up to regenerate on different nights. This would allow you to backwash at 5 gpm and have good treatment at higher flows.
 
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Old 03-26-11, 09:04 AM
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lawrosa,

I'm looking at your links and am trying to determine what the maintenance is on these items and the cost to replace the filters. This is a lot of money for those three systems if they have a high up keep. Thank you for your help so far.

I'm looking at the reverse osmosis system and it looks like it goes under the sink? This isn't for the whole house is it?
 
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Old 03-26-11, 09:44 AM
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No there really is no whole house RO. Its point of use. Its only for drinking. You get the water from a tap at the sink.

The maintainance is minimal. You need to change 3 filters every yr. They give you a extra set so you are good for two years. The menbrane and last filter is 3 - 5 years, but on a well you get longer. No chlorine to damage the membrane. ( if you had to buy the pre filters for a yr its $35. The membrane and post filter at 5 yr mark $100.

The softner you just add salt. Set the hardness and it does the rest. It will backwash on water usage and not based on time. You should go through 12 bags a year. About $100. When the salt tank is empty fill it. Resin in a well should last 15-20 yrs. Again no chlorine to damage the resin.

The PH uses calcite. Its self adjusting and will make your PH nuetral. You probably will need to add once a yr to the port on the side. Its granular. 3 bags $50.

Easy....

Mike NJ
 
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Old 03-26-11, 10:51 AM
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The fact that the well tested "POSITIVE" for e-coli and coliform bacteria IS the point to the test not the levels found. This well needs to be sanitized before equipment is applied. You stated that water flow is 5-6 gpm is that from the well itself and what pressure is it running at? If so that is not enough water for any equipment to work.
RJ
 
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Old 04-03-11, 01:56 PM
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The pressure is in house, I don't know if that's from the well. I'm assuming that blue pressure tank in the basement is giving it some pressure. I will have to measure the gpm once the snow melts in a few weeks.

Also, can someone tell me when a system like this one can't be used? It claims to filter our iron and sediment. It seems like the systems being suggested are for people who have major problems. Maybe I'm in correct though.
 
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Old 04-03-11, 05:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Mainer82 View Post
Also, can someone tell me when a system like this one can't be used? It claims to filter our iron and sediment.
From you description you have "clear water" iron. The filter you provided the link to is used to remove dirt, silt and oxidized iron i.e. it only filters particulate matter. It will not remove clear water iron.
 
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Old 04-08-11, 11:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Bob999 View Post
From you description you have "clear water" iron. The filter you provided the link to is used to remove dirt, silt and oxidized iron i.e. it only filters particulate matter. It will not remove clear water iron.
That's what I thought but wanted to ask you guys.

How about this system? It sounds like it may work well. I like to do a lot of research before I buy and happened to come across this. I may end up going with Lawrosa's suggestions.

Here's the item I recently found: Whole House Iron, Hydrogen Sulfide & Manganese Removal System 1.0 C.F.
 
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Old 04-08-11, 11:38 AM
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That is a good filter but you can get the best of both worlds with a softner. You have High copper in your report because the PH is leaching the copper lines most likely.

Like I said before in post #9 I feel will be your best option.

With any trace of Bacteria, as in your report, I would not drink the water. Get the RO as I described.

Treat the PH with the calcite filter, and the softner will also take care of iron up to 5ppm. Yours is low. You probably dont need the iron package with the suggestion I posted. Your iron is low. Mine is .7 and the softner removes it.

PM me if you do the RO. I have a coupon for you from Apec.

Mike NJ
 
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Old 04-09-11, 12:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Mainer82 View Post
How about this system? It sounds like it may work well. I like to do a lot of research before I buy and happened to come across this. I may end up going with Lawrosa's suggestions.

Here's the item I recently found: Whole House Iron, Hydrogen Sulfide & Manganese Removal System 1.0 C.F.
The media in the filter is Filox-R. In order to work without addition of an oxidizing agent (like chlorine or hydrogen peroxide) it requires that your water have a positive ORP and it will work better with a significantly positive ORP. In my opinion it is very likely you will need to have a feeder continually injecting an oxidizer to keep this filter working over the long term. Additionally, Filox is a very heavy media and requires a relatively high backwash rate to adequately lift and clean the media. The listed backwash rate in the page you linked to is 5.3 gpm but in my experience that is likely not to be sufficient. If you look up the backwash specs for Filox you will find they are higher than 5.3 gpm for a 1 cubic foot tank.

I believe your most cost effective and easiest to maintain approach is a calcite filter and a softener with SST-60 resin assuming that you have confirmed you do not have a bacteria problem. If you have a bacteria problem I recommend chlorine injection (soda ash can be added to the chlorine solution to treat your acid water so a calcite filter is not required but maintaining the correct chlorine and soda ash concentration can be tricky and maintenance intensive), a retention tank to allow time for the chlorine (and soda ash if used) to act (kill bacteria, oxidize iron, and raise pH), and a backwashing carbon filter to remove excess chlorine.
 
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Old 04-09-11, 04:23 PM
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Treatment

The question posed about GPM has not been addressed. Run a hose off the pressure tank into a 5 gallon bucket. Time how long it takes to fill it up. IE:30sec=10gpm. Lets diagnose the problems correctly, address them and then recommend the proper application options
A reverse osmosis system is NOT designed to remove bacteria! The bacteria issue needs to be addressed and corrected as stated earlier. If you have the flow rates (10+gpm and correct the bacteria problem) here is a simple solution with one piece of equipment for hardness, iron, manganese, slight h2s and PH adjustment.
A Water Right ASP1 Sanitizer plus conditioner with CR100 media. Here is the link
Water-Right, Inc. - manufacturer of quality water softeners, conditioners and treatment systems, plus water testing services.
 
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Old 04-09-11, 07:31 PM
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A reverse osmosis system is NOT designed to remove bacteria!
But it does remove bacteria. RO is designed to remove and filter .0001 micron - .001

Bacterial is .2 micron >

Virus .005 >

A sugar molecule is smaller then Bacteria or Viruses @ .008 >


That filter you suggest uses "zeolite". If you ever had a pool with zeolite then you know the issues and maitainance involved. Zeolite needs to be shocked periodically.

Mike NJ
 
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Old 04-10-11, 06:36 AM
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Originally Posted by RJh2o View Post
The question posed about GPM has not been addressed. Run a hose off the pressure tank into a 5 gallon bucket. Time how long it takes to fill it up. IE:30sec=10gpm.
Adequate well pump output is critical to effectively backwash filters. Well pump output must (and well production rate) must exceed the maximum backwash rate of any equipment. In order to correctly measure PUMP output you must run the water until the well pump kicks on and then begin the measurement process. You also need to monitor the pressure gage while measuring output--it the pressure gradually rises then the water flowing is less than the well pump is providing.
 
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Old 04-11-11, 08:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Bob999 View Post
Ö
On the other hand a 1.5 cubic foot acid neutralizing filter is only rated at 5 gpm and that might be a bit on the low side for your application.
Ö
Bob Iím a newbie trying to soak up everything I can. How did you determine that the 1.5 cu. ft. AN filter which is rated at 5 gpm might be on the low side for Mainer? Reason Iím asking is that Iíve been looking at AN filters and I know sizing is critical.
 
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Old 04-11-11, 09:27 AM
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A reverse osmosis system should not be applied to a non-potable water supply. This water supply tested positive for e-coli and coliform, which is the definition of non potable. No standard reverse osmosis sytem is rated for bacteria removal for a reason and should never be sold as such. Kinetico has an RO system with additional filters from Pall Corporation that is rated for such a water supply.
The Water Right Sanitizer has a chlorine generator that sanitizes the resin with each regeneration and KDF media which changes the residual chlorine to the chloride form. I have used sanitizers for years. The treated water from a sanitizer is unparalelled for quality. Zeolite resin does require 25% more sodium to regenerate than standard resin.
I woud also reiterate what Bob999 has stated about well pump capacity and testing for flow rates/gpm.
RJ
 
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Old 04-11-11, 01:47 PM
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Originally Posted by zoesdad View Post
Bob Iím a newbie trying to soak up everything I can. How did you determine that the 1.5 cu. ft. AN filter which is rated at 5 gpm might be on the low side for Mainer? Reason Iím asking is that Iíve been looking at AN filters and I know sizing is critical.
My suggestion had nothing to do with where you live--rather it reflects typical water usage--a water saving shower head is typically 2-2.5 gpm. A toilet will typically draw at least 2 gpm. Aerating sink faucets are typically 2-2-5 gpm. If you don't have water saving shower heads or aerating faucets the flow can be double or triple. In most households two or three uses of water at the same time are common.
 
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Old 04-11-11, 05:34 PM
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Gotcha Bob, thanks. Assuming Mariners actual service rate to the house is 5-6 GPM - thatís what threw me.
 
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Old 04-12-11, 12:10 PM
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I checked with the lab on the bacteria report. They said that our water did not come back positive for the listed bacteria. They said if it shows <1 then that means there wasn't any bacteria in our water.

I explained to them the reason why we had it tested was because of the red chunks in the bottom of our water jug and a slight red film on that water jug and toilet bowl. They asked if the inside of the tank had slimy chunks attached to the tank. At one point I thought I saw that, bleached the tank and it didn't come back however there's a film of red stuff lined on the tank. The test we had one does not cover iron bacteria. I'd like to note that our home made tea does not taste funny nor does our water smell bad and I can pick that up easily (I refuse to drink my grandparents water due to that).
 
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Old 04-29-11, 10:14 AM
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First of all, your blue tank has nothing to do with your pressure. It is the pump that creates the pressure. The tank provides a cushion of air for the pump to pump against so it does not short cycle. Bigger tank, longer cycles - on longer and off longer - same pressure whatever the pump gives you. Before any system can be recommended it must be certain whether continuous disinfection is needed or not. The well needs to be disinfected and retested properly. If continuous disinfection is required then completely different equipment would be needed for this dissolved iron problem. We find that MGS/MTM filters work best here if there were no other parameters involved. The levels are just high enough to cause staining (anything over 0.3). If your water was hard a softener indeed would handle this amount of dissolved iron. With low hardness I would think that a more specific unit may be called for. Perhaps a simple manual iron 13x54 iron filter would suffice. The surface loading of the 13" tank would provide the least pressure drop and will handle 5 gpm according to it's specs. Hopefully your pump is capable of providing decent backwash rates. MTM requires a lower rate and would be a better choice.
 
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