I need a new water filtration system on our well at home and was wondering what the least toxic systems are. Any ideas?

Asked by Russ Hamlet
Bainbridge Island, WA

We have high levels of manganese and iron and don't want to use chemicals to get rid of them.


Matthew O'Toole

Answered by Matthew O'Toole

Spring Valley, NY

Abbey EcoWater Systems

January 28, 2011

The answer to this question is not as straightforward as it may seem

As with all water treatment systems, a full water analysis is necessary to determine the right course of action.  It is important to know:

  • if your water contains ferric or ferrous iron,
  • what the amount present is,
  • how much manganese,
  • the pH,
  • the hardness and
  • if any bacteria is present.

A local lab will likely have a well water testing package to find out all of that information. Depending on what else is in the water, you may need to use some chemicals to bring the water to an acceptable condition.

An air-injected iron filter

That being said, I have successfully used an EcoWater Systems air-injected iron filter on red water iron. This was able to be used because all of the other parameters were within an acceptable range.

This is a system which uses air to oxidize the iron in the water and then removes it as the water passes through a bed of berm (a fine filter material).

This system is not without maintenance, though. It requires a complete overhaul approximately every 6 months. Of course, no system is without maintenance; at least none which work to produce healthy water.

Get good help

The best information that I can give you on this is don't try to do this on your own.

  • Visit the Water Quality Association's website ( and search for a Certified Water Specialist in your area.
  • A CWS has earned that certification by displaying knowledge of water problems and their solutions and pledging to adhere to a code of ethics.

It is well worth your time to have the right people come in and design the correct system for your particular situation. Remember, this is specialized equipment and it needs to be properly sized, installed and maintained.


For more information:

Read "Can you recommend a whole-house water filtration system?", a Q&A answered by Tammy Schwolsky.

Tagged In: healthy water

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