What is Iron Ochre and can I get rid of it?
From the Minnesota Dept of health:
Iron bacteria are small living organisms that naturally occur in soil, shallow groundwater, and surface waters. These bacteria combine iron (or manganese) and oxygen to form deposits of "rust," bacterial cells, and a slimy material that sticks the bacteria to well pipes, pumps, and plumbing fixtures.
At least 18 types of bacteria are classified as iron bacteria, long thread-like bacteria that “feed” on iron and secrete slime. Unlike most bacteria, which feed on organic matter, iron bacteria fulfill their energy requirements by oxidizing ferrous iron into ferric iron. When ferrous iron is converted to ferric iron, it becomes insoluble and precipitates out of the water as a rust-colored deposit. Once the cells begin to decay, they release a reddish or brownish slime material. This process can occur simply by exposing iron-rich groundwater to the atmosphere. Slimy and clumpy deposits are likely caused by iron bacteria.
Is it Dangerous or Harmful?
Iron bacteria are of no threat to human health. They are found naturally in soils and water in low numbers and will thrive as more iron becomes available. However, the orange slime in the water or leaching from the shore is often considered to be an aesthetic problem. The oily sheens created by the decomposing bacteria cells are often mistaken for petroleum sheens.
Can I get rid of iron bacteria?
The best treatment for an iron bacteria problem is prevention. To thwart these obnoxious bacteria, have all fill material analyzed for iron content before using or exposing it. Unfortunately, once established, iron bacteria problems are difficult, if not impossible to correct.
Will my sump pump be able to pump Iron Ochre Ground Water?
Only heavy duty pumps, such as sewage ejector pumps will be able to move Iron Ochre water. You should have your sump pit cleaned once a year by a professional, even if you suspect you are getting Iron Ochre. Check with your dealer to see if your pump can handle the issue.
Can Basement Defender work in an Iron Ochre environment?
The answer is yes it can test your pumps every day, which is even more important if you have issues with Iron Ochre. Basement Defender is compatible with most mechanical float 120V 18 amp ejector pumps.
Check with your dealer to ensure your system is set up and annually maintained to avoid the issue or at least function.
Iron Ochre Clogged Sump Pit
You should get your sump pit cleaned once a year by a professional if suspect you have, or are getting Iron Ochre.