Controlling Iron With Bacteria

Filamentous microorganisms (C. polyspora, Gallinella fer-ruginea and Leptothrix ochracea) thrive in waters containing traces of iron and/or manganese. The actively growing bacteria precipitate hydrated iron oxide in their cell structures. These bacteria grow in clumps of slime attached to pipe walls or other submerged surfaces, causing slow corrosion and dissolution of the iron, thereby plugging the pipe. Bacterial growth is controlled by careful removal of iron and manganese from the water and by periodic disinfection with chlorine, ozone, or copper sulfate.

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