What is an oxidizing iron ﬁlter?
An oxidizing water filter that removes iron and/or sulfur smells usually has a mineral, sometime called media, inside the tank. The tank is a backwashing tall, slender water filtration device with an electronic control valve (brain) which tells the filter when to backwash (Clean) itself. Normally you would want the sort of brain that is on a clock timer as opposed to a “Metered” control valve most commonly found on a traditional water softener. Please be sure to note that you should never use a water softener as an iron and sulfur removal filter.
An oxidizing filtering tank either has some sort of air injection to oxidize water, or a oxidizing mineral inside the tank which “Naturally” oxidizes. The water is oxidized by using oxygen (air) to turn substances in the water to a sedimental state or form so that is can remove the sediments by filtering them through a mineral bed that catches the oxidized substances. The ﬁltering device’s electronic control will then send the water backwards through the unit to backwash the unwanted substances down some form of drain. The most common substance you will normally see oxidized is iron. Clear water iron is iron in the water you normally can’t see well. For instance, if you fill a water glass with water that has clear water iron in it, the glass will appear relatively clear and then begin to show color after spending enough time in the glass for air to oxidize it and change it to a color you can see. That color is usually a shade of orange or red. Red water iron is iron that has already oxidized either from air in the water or air in the water well or spring that feeds water to the home. If you put red water iron into a drinking water glass, you can usually see a noticeable color if there is a fair amount of iron in the water. Most water we see has a bit of BOTH types of iron. Using a water filter that only removes one type of iron is a very marginal approach.
If you use a sediment type filter you only remove the red water iron. If you use a filter for clear water iron then the red water iron remains. If you ﬁrst “Oxidize” the water will air (Oxygen) and turn it into a sediment, then the sediment ﬁlter can remove it. Or, if you have a sediment filter with something that oxidizes the water naturally, you effectively now can remove all the iron with one device. The most advanced all in one type device is Terminox ISM®. As there are no air injectors, potassium permanganate (Pot perm), salt or other chemicals this device is virtually maintenance free. In the event you have organics or iron bacteria issues as well, it also removes the chlorine left in the water to treat those symptoms.