Iron Bacteria in CT Well Water

Iron Bacteria in CT


Iron bacteria: Living organisms that live and grow in soil, surface water, and well water.




Since iron is a natural food source, they thrive and quickly reproduce in iron bearing waters to form thousands of gelatinous colonies. They can also create ideal conditions where other organisms like sulfur bacteria can grow.

Signs of Iron Bacteria:

Iron Bacteria in well water

  • Clogged sediment filters
  • Orange, slimy film in your toilet
  • Clogged pipes
  • Fouled water treatment equipment leading to costly repairs and tank swaps
  • Premature pump failure
  • Poor water pressure
  • Musty, swampy, sewage-like odors
  • Colored water



Frequently Asked Questions About Iron Bacteria

Is Iron Bacteria harmful?Iron Bacteria in CT

No. Although they are not pathogenic, they cause ongoing staining in your laundry, sinks, tubs, fixtures, appliances, and even your dishes.

Is there a Water Test for Iron Bacteria?

Lab testing for iron bacteria is usually not necessary. Iron bacteria is easily recognized visually:

  • Fill a glass of water and let it sit until the discoloration settles to the bottom. If the sediment looks powdery and leaves a rusty tint at the bottom of the container, this is likely regular iron. If it is a very fluffy, strand-like, 3D substance, this is iron bacteria.

How to Treat For Iron Bacteria

The most widely accepted method is to “super- chlorinate” the well or “shock” it with sodium hypochlorite (bleach).  The CT Dept of Public Health recommends a semi-annual well chlorination.

Does a Well Chlorination get rid of Iron Bacteria?

Unfortunately, iron bacteria is very difficult to completely eliminate from well water. A well chlorination is the best method to keep it under control. Repeated chlorinations may be necessary.

H2O Equipment Company can perform a Well Chlorination for you.

iron bacteria well water