The following is a listing of the most commonly asked questions about bore water, iron bacteria, Clearbore application, its safety and environmental impact, and the red sludge that commonly blocks bore water pumps and water bores.

If you have other questions that are not answered here please contact us and we will respond as soon as possible.

Clearbore is a chemical formulation designed to dissolve the sludge and encrustations caused by iron and iron-related bacteria. Clearbore is manufactured in a granular form.

Although Clearbore is a toxic product it is non-volatile and safe to use. As with all products of its type, however, safe-handling procedures should be followed. Clearbore is Non-Hazardous according to the Australian Dangerous Goods Code.

While the cleansing process is taking place the treatment water will be unfit for consumption by mammals and it should be pumped onto waste ground afterwards. After treatment and flushing, the water should be tested for Clearbore residue before using for stock or domestic purposes.

No, when Clearbore is exposed to the atmosphere and sunlight it breaks down  completely.  Clearbore is biodegradable and harmless to the environment.

Follow the directions on the label of every pail. In short, run a return line from the bore head back down the casing; mix the Clearbore with water in a plastic drum and let the mixture run into the bore. Turn the pump on and allow it to circulate this mixture for six hours, and then release the treatment water over waste ground.  Alternatively, if the water is used for surface irrigation only, i.e. not overhead sprinklers, the treatment water can be pumped through the lines to assist in cleaning the reticulation system.  After the treatment flush the bore with clean water.

That depends on the amount of water in the bore. The factors for determining the volume of water are – the diameter of the bore, the depth of the bore, and the standing water level. The amount of Clearbore required can then be calculated using the Dosage Table.

The recommended time is a minimum of six hours.

After treatment the bore water can be tested for Clearbore residue. In every pail of Clearbore is a bottle of testing liquid and directions are on the label. Clearbore is biodegradable so it is only necessary to test the water if it is to be used for stock or domestic purposes.

There is no hard and fast answer to this question. The fact that iron in groundwater is inherent means the build-up will reoccur. We recommend regular treatments every twelve months. Alternatively, the bore and pump can be cleaned on demand, i.e. when the water flow slows down.

Dissolved iron in groundwater is a natural occurrence. As rainwater permeates the strata of the earth various minerals mix with the water. The most common are iron, manganese and calcium. Iron appears as a red or brown precipitate, calcium as white and manganese as black.

The sludge is the result of iron-related bacteria interacting with the dissolved iron in the water forming ferric oxide (Fe3+). The bacteria are harmless to mammals.

No, they are more common in groundwater drawn through sandstone.

It is a simple case of using Clearbore to dissolve the sludge and encrustations causing the blockage.

The smell is caused by sulphur-reducing bacteria, Thiobacillus sp., also harmless to mammals.

This is caused by three factors – heat from the motor, turbulence created by the pump, and oxygen introduced into the bore when the pump draws down. These conditions allow the iron-related bacteria to oxidise the dissolved iron that then creates a thick sludge. Some of this sludge may pass through the system when the pump is started causing a rush of red or brown water. Most of the sludge remains in the bore and if it is allowed to build up to any extent the water flow will be reduced and the pump will eventually break down.

There is probably very little iron-related bacteria present; however the iron in the water will precipitate as a stain when exposed to the atmosphere.

Clearbore Pty Ltd manufactures two iron stain removers – X-Fe for non-porous surfaces and X-Fe Forte for porous surfaces.

A clean pump and bore does not mean the end of the iron problem. Because the groundwater is constantly flowing through the system there can be no residual effect from any cleaning. The simplest way to control iron in water is to pump the water into a holding tank through a baffle plate in front of the inlet. The baffle will aerate the water and allow the iron to precipitate and sink to the bottom of the tank quickly. The water should then be drawn from the top by means of a floating suction.  See Aeration Diagram.