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Case Studies

Basement Waterproofing Case Studies: Iron Ochre Waterproofing Job in Roxbury, CT

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014 by Mary Kozan


The homeowners contacted us with a normal waterproofing job. Little did they know, they were dealing with iron ochre, turning a simple job into one that required our expertise to fix.

What Is Iron Bacteria & Iron Ochre?

Iron bacteria is a microorganism that lives by oxidizing minerals dissolved in water -- especially ferrous iron and sometimes manganese as well. As it does so, it creates a thick slime or ooze that's usually reddish-brown in coloration.

This ooze will stain anything it contacts. It has a swampy, musty smell, and it makes drinking water taste terrible. These stains can also show up in laundry, if the line contains iron-tainted water.

As this bacteria thrives in groundwater, it creates a thick, gelatinous substance known as iron ochre. Iron ochre is typically rust-colored, but can also be yellow, brown, or gray. This slimy material is a menace to typical perimeter drain systems, and can clog them in a few months' time. While this is not known to be a health hazard, it can quickly clog a normal drain system. It also emits a foul odor, and leaves rust-colored stains on everything it contacts.


Clogged Pipes & Perimeter Drains

Iron bacteria attaches itself to the inside of pipes, forming layers of iron ochre as it goes. Eventually, these layers result in the complete blockage of pipes -- and can even lead to deteriorating pipes, as iron bacteria uses the iron from the pipes as a food source. The sludge is not easily flushed out -- it must be manually scooped out. This makes it impossible to use a regular french drain system.

Our WaterGuard IOS (Iron Ochre System) Perimeter Drain Channel is ideal for managing this difficult problem. The wide-open design of the drain helps it resist clogs, while a removable lid allows for easy access and maintenance.

The owners of this home were happy with our waterproofing solution. Now they can use their basement as storage space, turning a liability into a great asset!


Project Summary

Sales Rep: Vincent Orsini

Primary Foreman: Allan Guglielmoni

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