Iron (Rust) & Manganese
Iron and manganese are common metallic elements found in the earth’s crust. Water percolating through soil and rock can dissolve minerals containing iron and manganese and hold them in solution. Iron will cause reddish-brown staining of laundry, porcelain, dishes, utensils and even glassware. Manganese acts in a similar way but causes a brownish-black stain. Soaps and detergents do not remove these stains, and use of chlorine and household bleach in these areas of your home may intensify the oxidation process.
Often, when these minerals are found in your water it can also indicate the presence of iron or manganese bacteria. These nonpathogenic (not health threatening) bacteria feed on the iron and manganese in water causing red-brown (iron) or black-brown (manganese) slime in toilet tanks and can clog water systems. They also create a sulfur smell that can be quite unappealing.
The removal of iron and manganese can be accomplished through the proper water treatment system and can be done in multiple ways depending on the other characteristics of the water supply. The set-up and installation of the equipment are key components and should be assessed by a professional.