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Iron Filter for Irrigation System
Old 08-08-2018, 08:35 AM   #1
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Iron Filter for Irrigation System

Our summer house uses well water that contains a fair amount of iron. The water we use inside the house is treated and the iron is removed. However, the water that is used in the irrigation system is not, and the result is iron staining on the hardscape surfaces, but more importantly clogged sprinkler heads and soaker hose outlets.

I'm wondering if anyone here has any experience or recommendations as to an iron filter that could be used to remove the iron from the water?
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Old 08-08-2018, 10:20 AM   #2
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We use a simple canister filter system (three filters in series) to get the iron out of the well water at our mountain house. I've settled on a 20 micron / 10 micron / 5 micron setup to get the best filter life. Could you put something like this in line with the irrigation water?

https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
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Old 08-08-2018, 01:19 PM   #3
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Depends on the qty of iron and the volume of water.
Growing up our well water (only 50ft deep in sandy gravel... who knows what else seeped into that stuff) would rust in the toilet bowl in about 5 minutes.
Back then, the "rust remover" tech consisted of a special mineral tank that had to be back flushed with a strong chlorine/bleach solution.
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Old 08-08-2018, 01:20 PM   #4
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We use a simple canister filter system (three filters in series) to get the iron out of the well water at our mountain house. I've settled on a 20 micron / 10 micron / 5 micron setup to get the best filter life. Could you put something like this in line with the irrigation water?

https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
that will only get particulates out. The iron is most likely dissolved in the water and will need to chemically react with something to extract it.
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Old 08-08-2018, 03:04 PM   #5
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that will only get particulates out. The iron is most likely dissolved in the water and will need to chemically react with something to extract it.


Maybe. Maybe not. The particulate filters alone are enough to clear up our well water.
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Old 08-08-2018, 03:08 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Philliefan33 View Post
We use a simple canister filter system (three filters in series) to get the iron out of the well water at our mountain house. I've settled on a 20 micron / 10 micron / 5 micron setup to get the best filter life. Could you put something like this in line with the irrigation water?

https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
Thanks, it doesn't appear that this one would have enough flow, and I need something that wouldn't have to have filters changed frequently because we aren't present in the house some of the months when the irrigation is running.
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Old 08-08-2018, 03:22 PM   #7
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A modern iron filter uses oxygen to convert iron and other metallic compounds dissolved in water into insoluble salts that the filter media can then separate out. We had a fairly high arsenic content in our water, and the iron filter took that out as well as the iron.

Unlike a water softener that can be set to recycle based on water demand, an iron filter generally recycles every three days regardless of water use. BTW, an iron filter's recycling process produces a giant sucking sound that may be alarming to the uninitiated.

I think we paid about $1300 to have the iron filter installed in our home. A nearby water treatment company quoted us a price of ~$2500, so shop around -- the oxygenating iron filters all work pretty much the same way.
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Old 08-08-2018, 03:54 PM   #8
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Maybe. Maybe not. The particulate filters alone are enough to clear up our well water.
Just because you can't see it, doesn't mean it isn't there.

And just because it meets certain standards, it does mean another problem can arise. My former mega corp discharged water within standards of dissolved solids into local stream. A group of local fisherman, using waders/boots/shoes used in brackish tide pools from the Carolinas, brought back an saltwater algae strain upstream from our discharge point and was blamed for a major fish kill.
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Old 08-08-2018, 04:35 PM   #9
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A modern iron filter uses oxygen to convert iron and other metallic compounds dissolved in water into insoluble salts that the filter media can then separate out. We had a fairly high arsenic content in our water, and the iron filter took that out as well as the iron.

Unlike a water softener that can be set to recycle based on water demand, an iron filter generally recycles every three days regardless of water use. BTW, an iron filter's recycling process produces a giant sucking sound that may be alarming to the uninitiated.

I think we paid about $1300 to have the iron filter installed in our home. A nearby water treatment company quoted us a price of ~$2500, so shop around -- the oxygenating iron filters all work pretty much the same way.
Thanks, any brand name come to mind? I'm leaning toward the oxygenating type of filter. Part of my problem is I'm in a remote area and there aren't companies nearby that I can contact.
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Old 08-08-2018, 04:54 PM   #10
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Hellenbrand is probably the biggest player -- their filter is called the Iron Curtain. But any company that rents/sells water softeners probably has a similar product.
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Old 08-08-2018, 05:14 PM   #11
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Hellenbrand is probably the biggest player -- their filter is called the Iron Curtain. But any company that rents/sells water softeners probably has a similar product.
Thanks, I actually spoke with them. Their systems sound pretty good, and can handle the capacity I need. Unfortunately, they do not have a dealer that is anywhere close to us. I think I will try Culligan, which does have a somewhat local presence (and installed the system that conditions the water we use in the house.
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Old 08-08-2018, 05:53 PM   #12
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Culligan should have something for you. See if they have a trial rental program where you can rent the system first and apply the rent you pay toward the purchase price if you decide to buy it.

The system is pretty low-maintenance. I think the recommendation is to refresh the media after three years. Other than that it's set it and forget it.
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Old 08-08-2018, 08:34 PM   #13
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We use an Iron Breaker III at the cottage. Removes iron and hydrogen sulfide. Does a good job. Backwashes itself every 3 days.
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Old 08-08-2018, 08:41 PM   #14
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We use an Iron Breaker III at the cottage. Removes iron and hydrogen sulfide. Does a good job. Backwashes itself every 3 days.
When it backwashes, does it produce a giant sucking sound?
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Old 08-08-2018, 08:59 PM   #15
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When it backwashes, does it produce a giant sucking sound?

No it is more of a gentle gurgling.
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