Iron Bacteria is a living organism that feeds off of iron and manganese in water. It requires all three of these food sources to function.
Currently there is little being studied about how Iron Bacteria exist. They typically propagate in iron rich areas with high moisture. As a bacterium they are harmless to humans however people have recently began becoming frustrated with Iron Bacteria as it clogs pipes and basement drainage systems.
Very few companies are doing anything about Iron Bacteria. However, GrateProducts in Westport MA has officially put anti-microbial in all of its drainage system. What the anti-microbial do is to help the limit the “stickiness” of the bacteria to the surface of the drains, ports, sump pump basins and the like.
By maintaining yearly maintenance of your basement waterproofing system you can hold off infestations of Iron Bacteria, keep your drains clear, and allow a naturally occurring organism to live with out interfering with your daily life.
Canada, Quebec in particular, are having similar problems with the way that Iron Bacteria/ Iron Ochre reproduces and populates in an area. They're proposed very radical solutions.
Full ACAIQ article and Pioneer Basement's Responce to Iron Bacteria.