Sometimes homes for sale sit vacant for awhile. When this happens, occasionally, you’ll notice that the toilet has a red-orange slimy deposit. The deposits can be orange, red, brown and sometimes yellow. Often, you’ll see an oil-like sheen over the water. It looks disgusting. If you’ve ever noticed this phenomenon, you won’t forget it!
So, what is it? Well, when water has been sitting for awhile in a toilet, these deposits can occur if there is iron bacteria in the well water supply. These bacteria are known to grow in water containing iron concentrations as low as 0.1 mg/L. You’ll also need at least 0.3 ppm of dissolved oxygen to carry out oxidation.
This filamentous growth is not known to cause any disease, so it shouldn’t be an automatic worry by any means. It can cause build up on fixtures and pipes, so having these things inspected is a good idea. It’s also a good idea to test water for other bacteria and all around quality before drinking from any well, of course. The bacteria can cause the water to have what some people consider a foul taste, but it’s not generally believed to be unsafe. This is a relief at a time when all across the nation people are paying special attention to water quality.
Thankfully, it’s also not difficult to treat or test for. A test should cost under $35 and your well can be treated by a professional.
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