What’s That Red Stuff? Preventing Iron Bacteria

What's That Red Stuff? Preventing Iron Bacteria

If you have iron bacteria, also known as iron ochre or iron ocher, an interior drain tile repair (replacement of existing system that is filled with iron ochre with new interior drain tile system) is the solution. Accurate Basement Repair always installs cleanouts when we do a drain tile job, but if we are doing one with excessive iron ochre, we install more cleanouts than we normally would to allow the customer to monitor the system from various points. This also gives them the ability to more easily flush the system. Accurate Basement Repair is the only local company that installs cleanouts – none of our competitors do it.

We found the following article by Stephen Andras interesting enough to share with our readers.

Throughout my 28-year career as a basement drainage system specialist, there has been a nagging problem that our industry seemed to ignore: iron bacteria.

Anyone that has installed basement drainage systems has encountered iron bacteria at one time or another. I remember back in my early years being called in as an expert witness to testify about a drainage system being clogged with a slimy orange substance. After the homeowner’s lawyer showed the jury these awful looking pictures of iron bacteria (back then we called it the “red stuff” ), I watched the basement contractor on the stand squirm a little and say, “I’ve never seen this before” and “this is a rare situation”.

This has been the problem all along in our industry. Yet all of us—including myself until a few years ago—refused to admit there is a problem. Most basement drainage systems come with a warranty from 20 years to Life-of-Structure. Read those warranties, though, and one will find that most, if not all, exclude iron ocher, iron bacteria, iron algae or whatever someone decides to call it.

Read more by Stephen Andras at Basement Health Pros, (PDF) starting on page 12.

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