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iron removal : water filtration that removes iron and manganese to prevent damage to equipment

Iron Removal Water Treatment

Iron removal: water filtration that protects industrial equipment

proven and effective industrial iron and manganese water filters that prevent taste, odours, stains and blockages

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Iron removal is a common treatment for commercial industrial and drinking applications. Iron and Manganese in their oxidized forms can contribute to suspended solids in water. Found as dissolved ions in many underground water sources, Iron and Manganese become insoluble solids after oxidation when in contact with Oxygen present in surface waters.

Table of Contents

1. Iron and Manganese filters: water filtration to protect industrial equipment

Watercore engineers design and manufacture DMI-65 catalytic Iron (Fe), manganese (Mn) and hydrogen sulfide (H2S) water filters for industrial and commercial applications.

Iron and Manganese along with turbidity are the most common quality issues in Australian aquifers. The recommended limits of 0.3 mg/l for Fe and 0.05 mg/l for Mn in drinking water are the approximate concentrations above which iron and Manganese cause problems like taste/odour, laundry stains, and blockages.

Iron and manganese are also problematic in industrial applications such as cooling water, boiler feed and most of all in steam generation as their precipitates will reduce heat transfer and increase corrosion risk.

This way, iron removal is a common stage in drinking and industrial water treatment. Manganese, usually present in lower concentrations, will also be removed,

Iron can be found in water as dissolved Fe2+ (ferrous) or as precipitate Fe3+ (ferric).  In the same way, Manganese can be found dissolved as Mn2+ or insoluble as Mn3+ or Mn4+.

Dissolved Iron and Manganese cannot be filtered easily and the common practice is to oxidise all Fe2+ and Mn2+ to Fe3+ and Mn3+ and then remove the precipitate flocks by filtration.

Fe and Mn can be oxidised using aeration, chlorine dosing or any other oxidation agent but reaction times are, in general, high (5 to 30 min). These reaction times can be accelerated by means of a catalytic media like Greensand or DMI-65, with which Fe and Mn are oxidised and precipitated by contact with the catalytic media. 

2. Main design parameters common to commercial and industrial iron filters

Data Sheet Fe & Mn reduction by media filtration
Feed Flow
5 – 200 m3/h
Raw Water Turbidity
If turbidity > 1 NTU it is recommended to use a pre-filtration
Filtration Media
Filtration Rate
8 – 12 m/h (m3/h per m2). Fe concentration and presence of Mn will determine final filtration rate design
Working Pressure
2 bar – 8 bar
Filter Diameter
0.3 – 3 m
Filter Height
1.1 – 3 m
Vessel Materials
FRP filament winding
Backwash options
Automatic (Timer)
Automatic (diff Pressure)

3. Watercore standard Iron and Manganese water filters based on daily capacity (m3/day)

ModelFiltration Flow
Backwash Flow
Tank Dimensions
D x H (inches)
Pipe Size
HR-SF220.4 (10 m3/day)0.9 (22 m3/day)8×443/4″
HR-SF300.6 (15 m3/day)1.2 (30 m3/day)9×483/4″
HR-SF360.7 (18 m3/day)1.5 (36 m3/day)10×543/4″
HR-SF440.9 (22 m3/day)1.8 (44 m3/day)12×521″
HR-SF651.3 (32 m3/day)2.6 (65 m3/day)13×541″
HR-SF751.6 (38 m3/day)3.2 (75 m3/day)14×651-1/2″
HR-SF881.8 (44 m3/day)3.6 (88 m3/day)16×651-1/2″
HR-SF1152.4 (57 m3/day)4.75 (115 m3/day)18×651-1/2″
HR-SF1453 (72 m3/day)6 (145 m3/day)21×621-1/2″
HR-SF2004.1 (100 m3/day)8.2 (200 m3/day)24×721-1/2″
HR-SF2565.3 (128 m3/day)10.7 (256 m3/day)30×722″
HR-SF4008.2 (200 m3/day)16.5 (400 m3/day)36×722″
HR-SF58012 (290 m3/day)15 (377 m3/day)42×722″
HR-SF63013.1 (315 m3/day)17 (400 m3/day)48×722″
HR-SF100021 (500m3/day)27 (650 m3/day)63×863″

4. Watercore : here to help removing Iron and Manganese from water

Filtering Iron and Manganese from water can be a challenging task. Present in dissolved or colloidal state will require the application of different filtration methods.

When deciding the right water treatment for removing Iron and Manganese from water, Watercore can help with a range of solutions that will improve the operational efficiency and final treatment costs.

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5. Learn more about iron and Manganese water filters

Dissolved iron in irrigation water is common in Australia. When it precipitates on plant leaves or in irrigation equipment it can can cause several problems affecting plants, soil,  irrigation and industrial equipment:
  1. Concentrations less than 5 mg/L may produce light-brown spotting on plants.  The immediate consequence is discolour leaves and poor transpiration and photosynthesis.
  2. Concentrations of iron less than 0.2 mg/L will cause only minor problems with clogging of trickle or drip irrigation systems, while concentrations above 1.5 mg/L may cause severe problems.
  3. Precipitated iron in soils binds phosphorus and molybdenum (essential plant nutrients), making them unavailable to the plant.
The basic chemistry of iron in water is:
  • Iron (Fe) is present in water as soluble reduced Fe2+ or oxidised insoluble Fe3+.
  • Oxidation of Fe2+ to Fe3+ takes place in the presence of oxidants such as O2 (aeration) or Chlorine. The oxidation reaction needs only a few minutes (it is slower in acidic conditions).
  • Dissolved Iron (Fe2+) is common in bore water. Fe2+ oxidises and precipitates as insoluble Fe3+ during irrigation. 
How we can help:
Our iron filters can reduce the presence of Fe to levels as low as 0.1 ppm, which don’t represent any risk for plant growth. It is recommended that the concentration of iron in irrigation waters should be less than 0.2 mg/l.

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