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Journal Article 
Aspects of the occurrence and behaviour of iron bacteria in boreholes and aquifers 
Tyrrel, SF; Howsam, P 
Quarterly Journal of Engineering Geology and Hydrogeology
ISSN: 1470-9236 
Iron bacteria are well known to borehore operators as the
cause of iron biofouling--the build-up of orange-coloured slimes and encrustations on casing,
pump and pipe surfaces. In addition to biofouling, these nuisance organisms play a part in:
enhancing the corrosion of borehole, pump and pipe components; influencing the chemistry of
polluting acidic mine drainage waters; and promoting the accumulation of soluble iron in
groundwaters. This paper highlights the diversity of organisms which may be classed as iron
bacteria, briefly describes the behaviour of iron bacteria in boreholes and aquifers and outlines
the deleterious effects that their activity can have on the efficient functioning of groundwater
abstraction systems. However, it would be wrong to classify iron bacteria only as a nuisance.
There is potential for harnessing the activities of these organisms in a positive way and
particular reference is made here to the benefits of biological removal of iron and arsenic from
aquifers; preventive measures; water quality; wells 
• Arsenic Hazard ID
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• Arsenic (Inorganic)
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