Iron in well water is probably the most common problem encountered by homeowners after water hardness. Unfortunately, it is also not easy to remove it to a level that is entirely satisfactory.
This difficulty is large because iron in well water can be found in several forms and each may require a different removal or treatment method. Before choosing the right method for removing iron from your well water, you need to test for iron.
How Do You Test For Iron In Water?
Iron in water also promotes the growth of “iron bacteria” within your distribution system often seen in the form of a slimy coating on the water piping. A water test informs you how much iron the well water has. This is what will assist you in choosing the system or type of approach you should adopt to treat it.
DIY water test kits are easily available. You can also detect its presence through observation. If you see the discolored water from your faucet, that is an indication that the well water has insoluble iron. The water can be brown, red, or yellow. If you fill a clear glass with well water, you can detect soluble iron because, at the bottom, you will see tiny red particles floating there.
What Are The Treatment/Removal Options?
Well water that has iron may be clear when freshly drawn, but once it gets exposed to air, it changes. The water will turn red and begin forming insoluble “rust” particles. This is because the iron will often get oxidized turning into a ferric state, particularly when you heat the water.
For the best treatment outcomes, it’s important to distinguish whether your water has ferrous or ferric iron (soluble clear-water iron or insoluble red-water iron). There are several DIY approaches that can be used to rid well water of iron.
Water Softeners are a good choice for mild contaminations such as hard water at home. They are definitely not a top recommendation for removing iron water from your well.
Oxidizing Filter: In general, these filters are more effective compared to water softeners. Besides removing iron traces, oxidizing filters can also eliminate harmful chemicals commonly found in well water such as arsenic.
Air Injectors: You can also oxidize your well water through injecting air (aeration). Using oxygen in the air, an air injector converts the ferrous to ferric. You can then filter the particles through straining them out.
Reverse Osmosis Filters: Among all the available well water filters, reverse osmosis filters will cost the least in terms of upkeep. It is helpful when you want to get rid of not just iron but also lead, fluoride, manganese, and salt. Reverse osmosis filters are accessible at most home supply outlets as well as online.
Iron in water affects not just the tastes of beverages and foods but can contribute to pipes blockage. It also has a distasteful odor and pigment that leads to stains in fixtures, dishes, and clothing. If your well water is supplied through a public system and you suspect it has high levels of iron, you may want to contact the water company to help you in establishing whether the problem is your home’s piping/plumbing or from the public system.
Water testing services can also be sourced from national laboratories or professionals who are government certified/licensed.
An important factor that also affects how successful your removal or treatment efforts will be is the well water pH level. However, with the right well water treatment or removal method, you can successfully remove iron and make your water better.
Jake is a clean water enthusiast and blogger. He has spent his university days in Chicago studying various water filtration technologies and now enjoys helping people live healthier lives when it comes to water consumption.