What You Need To Know About Ochre Bacteria

The technicians at City Sewer Of Midland have noticed an increase in Iron Ochre Bacteria that is growing in drain tile systems. It has become an increased issue in parts of Midland and Sanford.

Iron Bacteria, also known as Iron Ochre, is a living microorganism more commonly found in areas with a high concentration of iron in groundwater. Know for its very bright orange or rust color with a slimy residue that sometimes has a strong iron odor. This bacteria is not known to be harmful to humans. However, it has the ability to attach itself to the side of a pump or the inside of a drainage pipe, they do this in order to feed on the nutrients that are in the water. Left untreated, Iron Ochre Bacteria can clog the drain tile system and sump pump discharge lines, leaving the drain system virtually useless.

This substance can also appear around faucets, in toilet water tanks, and within other plumbing. While red, orange, pink, or rust colors are standard, other colors such as gray, brown, or yellow are also possible.

Frequently Asked Questions About Ochre Bacteria

To help you better understand this bacteria, we’ll answer the most pressing questions people have about this organism.

Q: Is Iron Ochre A Health Danger?
A: While Iron Ochre isn’t a direct health hazard, it is unsightly and unsanitary. Additionally, iron ochre can cause a metallic taste in water, produce a foul odor, or clog pipes and drains.

Q: Can I Eliminate The Bacteria?
A: One of the best ways to eliminate the bacteria is through routine maintenance. Regular treatment by dropping a chlorine tablet in an external access point on the drain tile can slow bacteria growth. In extreme cases, auguring the system or using a high-pressure jetting system helps remove buildup.

Q: How Common Is Iron Ochre In Michigan?
A: Iron is common in Michigan groundwater, so it isn’t unusual to find iron bacteria in well water. When present, it can impact well yields negatively due to biofilm clogging or result in the premature corrosion of well components.

Q: Will It Regrow Or Come Back Later?
A: Unfortunately, there isn’t a way to prevent the regrowth of the Ochre bacteria. It grows much the same way as a plant or algae found on the side of a boat, so this bacteria is always a going concern.

Q: What Can I Do To CurbThe Growth?
A: At City Sewer of Midland, we recommend preventative cleaning once annually or every two years since there isn’t a way to prevent regrowth completely.

Q: What Might Happen If I Don’t Treat This Bacteria?
A: If your systems aren’t properly maintained and treated, this bacteria will grow and reproduce and potentially cause significant damage to your pipes and property.

If the bacteria builds up thickly enough, there’s a possibility it can start corroding pipes or plumbing equipment. The heavy buildup may damage stainless steel surfaces that the bacteria rely on as an iron source.

It can potentially plug the drain tile system, the sump pump, and the sump pump discharge line in extreme cases.

Q: How Do I Treat An Iron Ochre Clog?
A: The most comprehensive and effective way to treat an Iron Ochre clog is by calling a professional company to handle the issue.

If you reside in the Midland or Sanford area and you’re experiencing iron ochre-related well, sewer, or drainage issues, please contact the drain cleaning experts at City Sewer of Midland to remedy your plumbing problems.

We’re always pleased to work with new and existing clients to keep the plumbing and water in their homes running smoothly!