At what levels of iron and/or manganese does one need to utilize specialty filters or resin units. I understand regular ion exchange softeners will remove some levels of iron/manganese. Is there a cartridge unit for iron/manganese removal?
Answer: This is a difficult questions to answer precisely; it really depends on the specific water chemistry, type of iron present, and overall design of the water softener. However, a standard water softener can remove up to 2 approximately 2 mg/l iron, assuming the iron is present only in ferrous (dissolved, clear-water) form. Again, depending on water chemistry and specific design (like up-flow, twin tank, or softeners equipped with a turbulator), higher levels of iron can be removed using a water softener. We generally recommend using a fine mesh resin, and adding a resin cleaning feeder to the softener when levels of iron are present that exceed 2 mg/l. You can take a look at our Iron Eliminator add-on package that features this design. When iron is present as both ferrous & ferric (particulate, “red water”) iron, iron removal efficiency is significantly reduced, and the softener should be designed correctly for the specific application.
Regarding manganese removal, one of the best methods for removing manganese is with use of a water softener, however, pH must be above 7.0 units. In addition, a resin cleaner like Res-Up or Pro-Res must be used for effective removal of the accumulated manganese, or resin bed failure may result.
If you have the specifics of your application that includes a complete water analysis, number of residents in the home, and pipe diameter, we can help you further. If you need a water analysis, we will provide one at no charge to you. By the way, there are cartridges available that will remove iron & manganese – but these are generally not used for whole-house application.