Before installing an iron removal system, it is a good idea to complete shock chlorination to kill most iron bacteria. To do this, fill the well and the water system with 4 to 5 1/2 gallons of chlorine bleach, leave the liquid there for at least eight hours, and rinse it out thoroughly. This treatment doesn't kill all bacteria, but it keeps its level to a minimum. Repeat the procedure in spring and fall for best results.
Continuous chlorination with dry pellets or liquid chlorine is necessary when shock chlorination isn't efficient enough.
Use water softeners to remove iron from well water only if the iron is in the ferrous state. To determine whether the iron in the water is in the ferrous state, pour the water from the well into a clear glass. If the water is clear at first, but then red or black particles appear, it is in the ferrous state. If the water has red particles when it comes out of the tap, the iron is in the ferric state, and it is not possible to purify the water with water softeners.
Iron tends to get stuck in the resin of the softener, so users need to clean the softener with special cleaning products frequently. Sodium hydrosulfite and phosphoric acid are the most common resin cleaners.
To choose the correct iron removal system, you need to know the water pH, manganese content and hardness. To determine these properties, get a test kit from an environmental laboratory, collect water samples, and send them to the laboratory for testing.