Iron in your drinking water can impact your home in various ways. You may notice discoloration of surfaces like sinks and showers, but this isn’t the only effect of iron in the home. Iron can also cause an unpleasant taste and damage pipes and other surfaces.
Treating excess iron in drinking water can help restore your home and prevent issues like clogged plumbing. That’s why it’s crucial to get a water analysis and treat the cause of iron in your water. A water analysis can determine whether you have too much iron in your water. From there, you can seek solutions — like a water filter system — to clear your water of excess iron.
Signs of Iron in Your Water Supply
Iron is a fairly common water contaminant. It is prevalent in the earth’s crust, so iron enters the water supply when distributors pump water from the ground.
In addition to natural sources, iron in water can also come from exposed steel or iron corrosion. Certain environments accelerate iron corrosion, like when oxygen is present at a low pH. Water heaters and boilers can also increase the speed of corrosion by increasing water temperature. If water is highly corrosive, contact with surfaces will cause iron to dissolve.
Here are several signs of iron in water to look for:
- Discoloration: Iron can add a rusty reddish-brown tint to your water. You may notice this tint as you fill a glass to drink from your faucet.
- Clogged plumbing: When too much iron runs through your pipes, it can build up on the sides, causing clogs and decreased water pressure.
- Unusual taste: Iron has a metallic taste that is noticeable in drinking water. You may also notice that tea or coffee tastes unpleasant when brewed with your water.
- Stains: When iron concentration in water is high, it often deposits onto other surfaces like clothing, sinks, showers, and dishes. These stains are almost impossible to remove.
If you notice any of these signs, it may be time to get the issue checked out by a professional. Water technicians can determine contaminant levels and suggest the best removal methods.
Effects of Iron on Your Water Supply
An unpleasant appearance and taste aren’t the only negative sides of iron in your water supply. Iron in water also affects the following:
- Drinks: Iron gives a disagreeable metallic taste to water, even in small amounts. When iron is present, it can ruin the flavor of tea, coffee, and alcoholic beverages.
- Color: Iron stains appliances and objects like plumbing fixtures, porcelain, and cooking utensils. It can also stain laundry reddish-brown and discolor walls and floors when used for cleaning in the home.
Industrial and commercial processes: Many wet processes require water that is free of iron. When water contains iron, it can lead to severe complications. Most wet processes cannot be performed with water that contains iron.
Iron Levels in Water
A certain level of iron benefits your health, so iron in water is not bad in small amounts in your water supply. However, high concentrations can cause issues in your home, so it’s imperative to know the best iron level for your water supply.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends a concentration of 0.3 ppm or below. This concentration is a secondary drinking water regulation since iron in water does not have significant health effects. This standard maintains aesthetic effects, including taste, odor and appearance.
To treat high iron in water, you should know what kind of iron is present. Iron is most commonly present as rust particles or dissolved iron. There are three main types:
- Ferrous iron: This iron completely dissolves in water, so the water is clear from the tap but causes stains when it stands on surfaces.
- Ferric iron: This iron doesn’t dissolve in water, so water has a red or yellow tint when coming out of the faucet.
- Organic iron: This iron typically comes from shallow wells. It may be transparent in water or cause a yellow or brown tint.
Contacting a water technician to test your water is the best choice for water treatment. These experts know how to test for iron in water and can take water samples within 30 minutes. Then, they can explain the iron in water test results and what they mean for your home. From there, your technician can suggest treatment options that work best for your water supply and the contaminants present.
Different treatment options may be necessary depending on the type of iron present. For ferrous iron, water softeners are a good solution. For ferric iron, iron filters or aeration are often best.
How to Remove Iron From Water Supply
Depending on your needs and water supply source, there are several options you can use to remove iron from your water supply:
- Well water filter: If you have well water for your home, you can use a water softener or filter system explicitly built for contamination. These systems use aeration, oxidation, and other processes to remove iron and other contaminants from water.
- Whole-house filter: A whole-house filtration system can help with widespread contamination in your home. There are varieties available for well and city water.
- Drinking water system: We recommend a whole-house pretreatment treatment method to remove iron from your water supply. Then, a drinking water system can increase water quality.
Contact Culligan Water to Help Remove Iron From Your Water Supply
If you’ve noticed iron in your water supply, it is time to seek a solution. Treating this mineral can improve your home’s overall appearance and function.
When you want to test your water for iron, the experts at Culligan Water can help. We provide free water testing and analysis to help restore your home’s healthy drinking water. We have 119 combined years of experience, making us the experts in water treatment in Pennsylvania. Our compassionate, trustworthy team will assess your water and provide solutions to keep you and your family healthy.
If iron in your water supply disrupts your life, contact Culligan Water online to find help. We’ll provide a safe and effective solution tailored to your home and needs.