Water Quality


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Reddish-brown slime on fixtures

The reddish-brown slime you may find on fixtures is actually a living organism. It feeds on iron in the water and on iron pipes and fittings. It is known to completely clog pipes and fixtures. There may be times when you notice extremely discolored water caused by an occasional dislodging of bacteria.

You may find this reddish-brown or sometimes yellow, jellylike growth on the surface of the water in the toilet flush tank or oozing from leaky pipes.


Iron bacteria can not be treated by most common water filtration methods and can cause fouling in water treatment equipment. In extreme cases it can actually clog and destroy well pumps.

To treat this problem you must first kill the bacteria by chlorination or some other oxidizing-disinfecting method and then filter it out of the water.The well and all the piping must first be treated with heavy amounts of chlorine for an extended period of time, using a process known as "shock chlorination."

To see how to "shock chlorinate" your well view Chapter 6 of Taking Care of yOur Ground Water

Always have your water tested and base any treatment on those results. Our Water Quality Interpretation Tool will aid you in your decisions.

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