Don't water filters remove important minerals from my water? ?Studies have found that minerals in your drinking water essentially make no contribution to your health and may even be present in forms your body can't absorb. Unfortunately, the myth that drinking water with minerals is healthy is perpetuated by companies that promote "mineral water."

Methods of Removing Iron, Manganese and Hydrogen Sulfide From Water.?Iron and Manganese ions have an attraction for oxygen. When oxygen combines with these metals they convert from the dissolved form (Ferrous) to the enlarged precipitated form (Ferric). If the conversion is complete, the ferric and manganese ions can be removed by several filtration methods. In the past several types of filters have been used in an attempt to remove these contaminants with various degrees of success. All of these systems utilize oxygen in one form or another for their conversion from the ferris to the ferric form.

Greensand Filters – Greensand filters have been used for years with mixed results. In this method the greensand has a coating of Magnesium Dioxide that releases oxygen into the ions of iron and manganese for conversion. The enlarged ions are then trapped lower in the media bed. As the oxygen becomes depleted, it must be replaced. This is accomplished by flooding the greensand media with Potassium Permanganate on a regular basis. While an effective way of removing the iron and manganese, there are several limitations with this process for homeowners:

The injectors tend to plug requiring frequent servicing of the equipment. Average households will spend from $75.00 to $100.00 per year in Potassium Permanganate. The Potassium Permanganate tank should be cleaned annually. A very messy job. The pH of the water should be over 7 or complete oxidation may not take place. Service flow rates are low for quality water. Five gallon per sq. ft. of media is recommended (a ten inch diameter tank has just 0.55 sq. ft.). The greensand needs to be replaced as the manganese dioxide coating will wear off. Average replacement of the media is five years for best results.

In Line Air Injectors (Micronizers) – Another way to oxidize the iron and manganese is to induce air in front of the pressure tank with an air injector device. While an inexpensive process it also has limitations. The injector needs to be built with a restrictive orifice to create back pressure on the water flow in order to induce the air. This back pressure may reduce the water flow to five gallons per minute or lower. Too low for many farm or home needs. Also, five gallons per minute is not enough to backwash filters over 10" in diameter. If the backwash flow is not sufficient, iron and manganese will not be flushed from the filter media. Continued use will soon foul the filter bed allowing the iron and manganese to pass through and into the household water lines.

Chlorination and Filtration – Chlorine will oxidize the iron and manganese ions, but is dependent on the pH of the water. A pH of 7.0 requires a retention time of 20 minutes to enlarge the iron and manganese ions to the size needed for removal by a filter. In periods of heavy use, as when the family is taking showers, flushing stools or washing clothes the household may require five to seven gallons per minute of water. In order to provide quality water at a 5 gallon per minute flow rate for 20 minutes, a 150 gallon retention tank is needed (24"x60"). A very high additional cost for the homeowner.

Hydrogen Sulfide – Hydrogen sulfide is a gas created by sulfate reducing bacteria in the well. As the bacteria consume the sulfate ions, a rotten egg odor becomes present in the water. This gas can be removed by adding oxygen to the water which expels the gas and converts the sulfide to basic sulfur.

The presence of Iron is a very common water quality problem, particularly in water from deep wells. Water containing even a significant quantity of iron may appear clear when drawn, but will rapidly turn red upon exposure to air. This process is called oxidation, and involves the conversion of ferrous (dissolved) iron, which is highly soluble, to ferric (precipitated) iron, which is largely insoluble. The ferric iron then causes red/brown staining on clothes, fixtures, etc.

Iron concentration is measured in ppm or mg/l (milligrams per liter, where 1 ppm = 1 mg/l). Staining usually becomes a problem at concentrations greater than 0.3 ppm.

Manganese is a metal similar to iron which causes a grey/black stain. It can cause staining in concentrations as low as 0.05 ppm.

Hydrogen Sulfide is a gas which smells strongly like rotten eggs. It results from the decay of organic matter with organic sulphur and the presence of certain types of bacteria. Even very low concentrations are offensive as well as highly corrosive (silver tarnishes almost immediately upon contact with H2S).

Because it is in a gaseous form, H2S cannot be collected in a sample bottle for laboratory analysis. Therefore, its presence must be reported when a sample is submitted for a treatment recommendation.

Low pH Water which contains excess acidity tends to act aggressively towards plumbing and fixtures, causing corrosion and staining (i.e.-blue green stains on fixtures from copper pipes). Relative acidity/alkalinity is measured on the pH scale, ranging from 0- 1 4, where 7 is neutral, numbers lower than 7 are progressively more acidic, and numbers higher than seven are increasingly alkaline (basic). The pH value refers not to the quantity of acidity, but rather to the relative acidity/alkalinity of a particular sample.

Alkalinity acts as a buffer to deactivate the acidity, a process called neutralization. For example, limestone (calcium carbonate) is often applied to soil to offset the acidity which comes from acid rain and decaying organic material. The acceptable range for water is 6.5-8.5.

Iron bacteria is generally more common than sulfur bacteria, simply because iron is abundant in ground water. Iron bacteria are "oxidizing agents." That is, they combine iron or manganese dissolved in ground water with oxygen. A side effect of the process is a foul smelling brown slime which can coat well screens, pipes, and plumbing fixtures. This slime isn't a health hazard, but it can cause unpleasant odors, corrode plumbing equipment, and clog well screens and pipes. If conditions are right, the bacteria can grow at amazing rates. There are several signs that may indicate an iron bacteria problem. Water may have a yellow, red or orange color. Rusty slime deposits may form in toilet tanks. A strange smell resembling fuel oil, cucumbers, or sewage may be noticeable. Sometimes the odor will only be apparent in the morning or after other extended periods of non-use.

Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) Total dissolved solids (TDS) comprise inorganic salts such as potassium, sodium, bicarbonates, chlorides and sulfates and some small amounts of organic matter that are dissolved in water. High levels of total dissolved solids can result in your water having a bitter or salty taste (brackish water); result in incrustations, films, or precipitates on fixtures; and corrosion of fixtures.

To make it easy for you, we have created whole house well water and iron treatment packages to solve your well related water problems. Our well filters below have been designed to effectively remove the iron, iron bacteria, manganese, sulfur, sulfur reducing bacteria, and correct acidic water (low pH).