(Galion Ella and Cremothrix)
Iron bacteria live by obtaining energy through the oxidation of ferrous
iron to ferric iron and utilize the resulting CO2 to create organic
molecules for their existence. Growths of these bacteria result in a
gelatinous material, which can clog pipes and cause a foul taste. This
material often forms in the tanks of toilets and will produce a
"rainbow" slick on the surface. The most common non-pathogenic bacteria
found in water, is iron bacteria. Iron bacteria can be readily
identified by the red, feathery floc which forms overnight at the bottom
of a sample bottle containing iron and iron bacteria
Iron bacteria can often produce unpleasant tastes and foul odors
: "swampy," "oily " "cucumber," "sewage," or "musty." . Iron
bacteria do not produce hydrogen sulfide, the "rotten egg"
smell, but do create an environment where sulfur bacteria can
grow and produce hydrogen sulfide.
Iron bacteria will typically cause yellow,
orange, red, or brown stains and off-colored water. It is also
sometimes possible to see a rainbow colored, oil-like sheen on the
Iron bacteria produce a sticky slime which
is typically reddish orange color, but may be yellow, brown, or
grey. A "feathery," growth may also be seen, particularly in
standing water such as a toilet tanks.