Birm® is an efficient and economical media for the reduction of dissolved iron and manganese compounds from raw water supplies. It may be used in either gravity fed or pressurized water treatment systems. Birm acts as an insoluble catalyst to enhance the reaction between dissolved oxygen (D.O.) and the iron compounds. In ground waters the dissolved iron is usually in the ferrous bicarbonate state due to the excess of free carbon dioxide and is not filterable. Birm, acting as a catalyst between the oxygen and the soluble iron compounds, enhances the oxidation reaction of Fe++ to Fe+++ and produces ferric hydroxide which precipitates and may be easily filtered. The physical characteristics of Birm provide an excellent filter media which is easily cleaned by backwashing to remove the precipitant. Birm is not consumed in the iron removal operation and therefore offers a tremendous economic advantage over many other iron removal methods.
Other advantages of Birm include; long material life with relatively low attrition loss, a wide temperature performance range and extremely high removal efficiency. Negligible labor costs are involved because Birm does not require chemicals for regeneration, only periodic backwashing is required.
When using Birm for iron removal, it is necessary that the water: contain no oil or hydrogen sulfide, organic matter not to exceed 4-5 ppm, the D.O. content equal at least 15% of the iron content with a pH of 6.8 or more. If the influent water has a pH of less that 6.8, neutralizing additives such as Clack Corosex®, Calcite or soda ash may be used prior to the Birm filter to raise the pH. A water having a low D.O. level may be pretreated by aeration.