A hydrogen peroxide well water treatment system can be a good option for many people that receive their water from a well. It can remove iron, manganese and foul odors, without leaving a chemical residue. This kind of system can also kill iron bacteria, and the user can benefit from very low levels of maintenance. Let’s take a look at treating water with hydrogen peroxide and some of the advantages it has compared to chlorine.bucket-1557061

How Does Hydrogen Peroxide Work? 

Hydrogen peroxides (H202), is a potent oxidizing agent that is more powerful than other methods, such as chlorine, potassium permanganate, and simple aeration. When hydrogen peroxide is added to water, dissolved oxygen is released, and an oxidizing effect occurs. Any coliform and/or iron bacteria that are present in the water are killed, and any tannins are oxidized. Any iron, manganese or sulfur odors, are also oxidized into a solid form, that is removed via catalytic carbon, and in many instances no contact tank is necessary. The hydrogen peroxide decomposes into water and oxygen leaving no chemical residues behind. This makes hydrogen peroxide a good choice for “problem wells” that contain iron, iron bacteria, manganese and the “rotten egg” sulfur odor that is hydrogen sulfide gas (H2S). 

An Alternative to Chlorine? 

Chlorine has been our go to chemical for water treatment for decades, and it has been a very effective disinfectant. Hydrogen peroxide has an advantage over chlorine for disinfecting water, because of its chemical makeup. The process of disinfection through oxidation, where the oxygen and water split, can kill bacteria that chlorine cannot.  

Chlorine is not very effective at removing offensive odors from sulfur or reducing the amount of iron, iron bacteria and manganese. Any iron solids present are quickly settled out and then easily filtered. The iron bacteria are sterilized making the water ready for further filtration and purification.  

Although manganese has some similar properties to iron it actually oxidizes to black color rather than the orange we see from iron. This will cause black stains in the toilet and on fixtures, but it also feeds the bacteria that cause odors. Hydrogen peroxide oxidizes manganese immediately and then sterilizes any other anaerobic odor causing bacteria that may be present. 

Iron bacteria can colonize in various locations, such as the water lines, the filtration system, and the water heater. A foul odor is caused, equipment can fail, and the iron bacteria will consume any dissolved iron. Hydrogen peroxide sterilizes the iron bacteria so that it cannot reproduce, it also oxidizes and removes the dissolved iron that they are feeding on. Over time, the hydrogen peroxide will remove any iron bacteria residue that remains in your water lines. Although, iron bacteria is one of the most common and nastiest water quality issues encountered, it is actually easy to fix with hydrogen peroxide. 

If you have concerns about your well water quality issues, talk to your local water treatment expert.  

With more than 25 years experience in the residential and commercial water treatment space, Terry is a WQA (Water Quality Association) certified water specialist, LEVEL 3, as well as a WQA certified sales representative.  Terry currently sits on EcoWater Systems (a Berkshire Hathaway Company) national Peers committee, as a water treatment expert advising other water professionals with less experience on best trade and technology practices. EcoWater Systems of Nebraska is one of the biggest water treatment and water delivery businesses in the state.