Do you have iron in your well water? If you suspect iron in well water, read our blog to learn more about this common water quality issue.
Besides hardness in well water, iron is the second most common issue homeowners must address. Though it is one of the most prevalent water quality issues faced by well-owners, there are many solutions to rid your water of this unwelcome mineral. Read on to learn more about iron, how it gets into well water, how you can identify it, and what you can do if you suspect iron in your well water.
What is Iron?
Iron is a chemical element that is classified as a metal. It is also an essential mineral found in our bodies. Iron is common in the Earth’s crust. As water moves through soil layers, it dissolves iron, causing it to seep into groundwater. Iron pipes also may be a source of iron in the water.
Levels of iron found in drinking water are considered harmless but can be a nuisance. Even the smallest amount of iron can stain your laundry and fixtures and give your water a bitter or metallic taste.
Iron can be in soluble or oxidized form. Water with soluble iron looks transparent when it comes out of the faucet but has red rust when left standing. Oxidized iron looks red from the tap.
How Does Iron Get Into Drinking Water?
Rain or melting snow can seep through soil or rock that contains iron. This dissolves the iron, causing it to enter the groundwater. Iron can also enter groundwater from the corrosion of some pipes. Acidic (with low pH) can make iron compounds more soluble.
What Are The Health Effects Of Iron?
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) considers iron a secondary water contaminant. Secondary guidelines are established to assist in managing drinking water for aesthetic conditions, such as taste, color, and odor. Secondary contaminants are not considered a risk to human health at the suggested level. The recommended level for iron is 0.3 mg/L. Well owners should use this level as a guide for treating their well water.
Signs Of High Levels Of Iron In Your Water
- Yellow, red, or brown stains on laundry, dishes, and plumbing fixtures such as sinks
- A metallic taste to drinking water
- An inky black appearance with a harsh taste in beverages made with water, like tea and coffee
- Vegetables cooked in the water are dark and look unappealing.
- A reddish-brown, yellow or white slime that can clog pipes and cause an offensive odor, often described as smelling like rotten eggs (water tanks, toilet tanks, and plumbing may have the slime present)
- Water comes out of the faucet clear but turns red or brown after standing, or rust-colored particles settle to the bottom of a glass.
- Water is red or yellow when first drawn. After standing, particles settle to the bottom of the glass.
What Should I Do If I Suspect Iron Is In My Water?
If you suspect iron in your well water, the first step is to have your water tested by a water quality expert. Working with a company like AqualiteUS will help you identify the form of iron in the water. Based on your test results, their water quality specialists will help you determine the appropriate water treatment solution to solve your water quality problems. Aqualite’s comprehensive in-home water quality testing gives you a complete understanding of your well water’s health.