Iron Ochre Perimeter Drain

The WaterGuard® Iron Ochre Drain System

system designed to handle iron ochre problemsIn some rare cases, a home with a high level of iron or manganese in the soil and/or groundwater will allow the growth of a microorganism known as iron bacteria. As this bacteria thrives in groundwater, it creates a thick, gelatinous substance known as iron ochre. While this substance is not known to be a health hazard, it can quickly clog a French drain system. It also emits a foul odor and leaves rust-colored stains on everything it contacts.

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. Our drain system is custom designed to protect and help keep your basement dry all the time!

Don’t let iron ochre clog your perimeter drain system and ruin your basement. To schedule a free iron ochre perimeter drain quote, contact us by phone or e-mail today! We proudly serve the Maryland area, including Walkersville, Frederick, Westminster and many surrounding areas.

Advantages to Our System:

  • A wider, more open design
  • Large, clog-resistant channel
  • A removable lid for easy maintenance
  • A wall flange to collect wall leaks
  • Typically installs in 1-2 days

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.

What are Iron Ochre & Iron Bacteria?

Iron ochre water on a concrete basement floor, staining everything

Iron bacteria is a microorganism that survives by oxidizing minerals dissolved from water, most commonly from ferrous iron but also sometimes from manganese. As it does, it typically creates a reddish-brown slime or ooze which can potentially be very thick.

This substance is called iron ochre, and it 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.

This thick slime is known to affect drain and plumbing systems of all kinds, presenting a unique challenge for basement waterproofing contractors.

Impact of Iron Ochre:

As iron ochre grows in pipes, it attaches itself to the sides of pipes and on surfaces, forming layers of reddish sludge or slime. This slime can be found on the ends of faucets, on laundry machine screens, on the insides of water tanks, and inside pumps and plumbing.

When the bacteria builds up thickly enough, it can begin to corrode pipes and plumbing equipment. Heavy buildup will also lead to damage to stainless steel surfaces, which are used by the bacteria as an iron source.

Once thick layers of bacteria have built up inside pipes, chunks will begin to break away, flowing down the system and leading to clogs. This can happen very quickly — entire well systems have been known to completely clog in just a few months’ time.

How to Test for Iron Bacteria:

To test for iron bacteria and iron ochre in your water, try this simple procedure. One morning (when your pipes have sat for a while without being used and “flushed out”), fill a glass with tap water. Let the sample sit quietly for a day, allowing discoloration to occur and sediments to settle to the bottom of the glass.

Visually inspect the glass for any sediment that’s built up. If sediment is present but has a rusty, flour-like appearance, then it’s likely that your water contains little, if any, iron bacteria. If you see reddish sediment with a fluffy, three-dimensional appearance, or sediment that looks like strands of strained cotton fibers, then it’s very possible that you have iron bacteria infesting your water.

Generally, iron bacteria thrives best in soils that are sandy or high in organic material. If the soils around your home have high loam or clay content, your chances of having iron ochre are lower.

You Deserve the Best in Iron Ochre Drains

Cleanable. Flushable. Hassle-Free.

No matter how challenging your basement problem is, Mission Home Services has the solution you’re looking for! Our iron ochre perimeter drain system is customized to handle any kind of iron bacteria issues that may arise — and is the ONLY cleanable, flushable iron ochre system of its kind!

To schedule a free basement waterproofing quote to solve this or any other wet basement problem, contact us today! We’ll send a specialist to your home to inspect and measure the space, answer any questions you may have, and provide you with a customized cost quote.

Our experts proudly serve the Northern Maryland area, including Walkersville, Frederick, Westminster, Hagerstown, Columbia, Cumberland, Silver Spring, Ellicott City, Olney, Laurel, and throughout the nearby areas in Maryland.


We get it. Basement waterproofing and foundation repair services can be challenging to consider when you’re on a budget. But everyone deserves a home that’s safe. That’s why we offer smart financing options to help make payments easier. View our options and consult with an expert to chart the path that will work best for you and your family.


Our Reviews

You don’t have to take our word for it. Our customers agree and we’re happy about that.

“From the very beginning of the transaction, Dave, the owner was honest, upfront and professional in his interactions with me. I am more than pleased with the work but more importantly, his values instilled in me a sense of confidence in small business owners who still believe in doing what is right for customers and providing outstanding customer service. I HIGHLY recommend Mission Home Services!”

Robert J. | ★★★★★

“Dave was super responsive and went above and beyond in getting my basement project completed. He kept in regular contact with me on updates to the project, expected delivery of materials, and on permitting status. Very reliable and did a terrific job on my basement retaining wall.”

Gail B. | ★★★★★

“First of all, I don’t usually do reviews; however, I was so impressed with the guys at Mission Home Services that I felt the need to let others know. We had them out to inspect our basement and give us an estimate on waterproofing it for future renovations. The representatives gave us a great education on not only how a basement leaks, but also how ours was leaking and the correct method to fix it. We highly recommend this company!”

Karly H. | ★★★★★
service area map

We serve communities in the following Maryland counties: