We all know that a higher level of iron in well water is one of the most prevailing problems faced by good owners. Even though iron is a beneficial nutrient it is one of the basic requirements of the human body. But still, a considerable quantity of iron in water often changes its odor and flavor. However; before we discuss any further about removing iron from well water, let’s discuss a few critical things about this problem.
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How Does Iron Enter Into Well Water?
You will be surprised to know that Iron makes up to 5 percent of the total earth’s crust. Due to this, some quantities of iron usually get dissolved in the groundwater and it mostly comes from rocks and minerals present in the earth’s crust. This whole process causes a higher concentration of iron in the well water.
Ferrous “Clear Water” Iron
Ferrous iron is what is often referred to as “clear water iron”. Being soluble, ferrous iron is invisible to the eye and cannot be filtered out. (It is dissolved in the water, just like sugar is dissolved in stirred iced tea or coffee. It’s there, but you can’t see it.) If your water has ferrous iron, then you may not even know until red stains start to form in the toilet tanks below the water line and other places where water is stagnant for a period of time. This is because ferrous iron has a tendency to oxidize once it comes in contact with air. As seen in the pictures below of the toilet bowl and shower wall, when the water evaporates on surfaces touched by the water, the unsightly iron stain residue is left behind. Our iron removal water system can fix this problem.
How Does Iron In Water Damage Your Home?
The excessive amount of iron in the water system often causes several serious plumbing issues in households such as pipe clogging, rusting of appliances, reduced water pressure, and many others. However; let’s explain a few major drawbacks of excessive quantities of iron in water for homes.
Pipe Clogging: The clogging of pipes is one of the most common problems caused by iron as it accumulates inside the pipes causing reduced water flow. It will not only reduce the water pressure in the pipes but it will also be more likely to clog sinks and toilets as well. Moreover; every single appliance that uses water will be damaged by the iron.
Poor Taste: The poor or metallic water taste is another most common problem caused by iron-rich water in homes. Water that contains a higher concentration of iron will cause an unpleasant taste and the foods which will be cooked using this water will also give a sharp odor.
Damages Appliances: Iron-rich water damages several daily household appliances such as dishwashers, and water filters. Due to iron contamination in the water, the lifespan of these appliances is reduced to half as it causes filter clogging and rusting that results in permanent damage to these appliances.
What are the Effects of Iron on Water?
As you might have heard excess of anything is always harmful. Similarly, excessive quantities of iron in water can trigger many serious health complications mentioned below. Some unpleasant side effects of using water having iron include:
- Damaged plumbing and appliances.
- Poor quality laundry cycles.
- Bitter-tasting drinks and food.
- Dry, irritated skin.
- Water stains everything orange.
- Excessive iron can cause lung cancer.
- Inhalation of too much iron oxide could cause the deposition of iron in the body also known as siderosis.
- Stomach upset.
- Nausea feeling.
Different Types of Iron in Well Water
Here, we will try to discuss all types of iron found in well water.
Ferric Iron: It’s an insoluble iron as the particles of iron in this type do not completely dissolve in the water. It causes the color of the water to turn bright orange or red, however; it’s quite easy to remove this specific type of iron from well water as compared to other types.
Ferrous Iron: It’s a soluble iron as the particles of iron found in this type completely dissolve in the water. The color of this particular type of iron is crystal clear that’s why it’s quite challenging to identify this type of iron in the water. However; the ferrous iron causes reddish-brown flakes in the water especially if the water stays in the glass in an open environment overnight.
Bacterial Iron: Bacterial iron often occurs whenever there is a presence of bacteria in well water along with iron. The color of bacterial iron is bright red or you can say similar to tomato soup. However, this specific iron type can be prevented in well water by avoiding poor maintenance and improper well-cleaning. Remember, bacterial iron is quite harmful to many household appliances as compared to other iron types discussed above.
Benefits of Removing Iron from Well Water
These are the following key benefits of removing iron from well water are mentioned below.
Improved Water Taste
As we have discussed earlier, iron contamination can cause the water taste to become metallic. Similarly, removing the iron from well water will significantly improve its taste.
The removal of iron-rich contents from well water will also provide several health benefits for our bodies. The excessive amount of iron causes some serious health issues such as lung cancer, siderosis, nausea, stomach upset, and many others. Water that contains the recommended amount of essential nutrients is beneficial for hair, skin, and overall health.
Extends the lifespan of Plumbing System & Appliances
The reduction or complete removal of iron-rich contents in the water extends the lifespan of the entire plumbing system of a household such as pipes, faucets, sinks, showerheads, toilets, etc. Moreover; the reduction in iron levels will also increase the lifespan of several household appliances such as water filters and softeners.
Best Ways to Remove Iron from Well Water
The cheapest and the most common way to remove iron from well water is by using an oxidizing agent and filter method. According to this method, an oxidizing agent is added to the feedwater through a pump. After 20-25 minutes, the water is left in a separate tank so that the iron particles can settle down. In the last step, the water passes through an activated carbon filter to remove the remaining particles of iron from the water. However; this method is only applicable for iron concentrations up to 10 ppm.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. How do you remove iron from water naturally?
2. Is iron in well water harmful?
A low level of iron cannot harm your health, it contains bacteria. In addition to this, high iron in water content leads to an overload which can cause diabetes, hemochromatosis, stomach problems, and nausea. It can also damage the liver, pancreas, and heart.
3. Do water softeners remove iron from well water?
Water softeners remove small amounts of iron. A typical water softener contains resin beads that are designed to remove the hardness minerals calcium and magnesium through a process known as ion exchange.
4. What type of water filter removes iron?
The only effective way to remove iron from the well water is by using an iron filter. A Katolox filtration system is able to remove both forms of iron, magnesium, and hydrogen sulfide present in well water.
Check Out: Best Compact Small Water Softener Systems
We hope the information discussed in this article about iron removal from well water will be helpful for you. Remember, it’s never easy to identify or remove iron from well water especially if you don’t have any knowledge about minerals and their effects. You can try the cheapest water removal method that we have discussed in this guide. Moreover, don’t forget to share your feedback with us in the comments section.
Steve Smith is a United State Licensed Plumber with over 18 years of plumbing experience. Steve has conducted residential and commercial plumbing jobs throughout the state and currently works for one of California’s largest plumbing companies. When he’s not working, Steve enjoys spending time with his daughter and son.