Understanding The Dangers And The Removal Of Iron In Your Water

Posted on: 29 December 2016

If you have recently moved into a home with a well, then recent water testing may have revealed that the water contains an abundance of iron. If this development concerns you, then keep reading to understand why high iron levels in your water are concerning and also what you can do about it.

Why Are High Iron Levels A Concern?

Iron is an essential nutrient that your body needs to create red blood cells. Specifically, iron is used to form oxygen carrying hemoglobin. While the metal is needed, too much iron can be toxic. Thankfully, most well water does not contain nearly enough iron to cause a life threatening toxicity concern. However, if you do consume too much iron, you may feel tired, dizzy or nauseous. You also may gain weight or experience headaches

Since most symptoms of consuming an excess of iron are not life threatening, iron is considered a secondary contaminant in your water. These contaminants are ones that typically cause aesthetic, cosmetic, or technical water effects, but pose little or no health risk. In general, iron is problematic due to its taste and odor. Iron will commonly smell metallic and leave a metal taste in your mouth. 

In most cases, iron can also change the appearance, color, and technical properties of your water. The metal can make the water appear brown, red, or cloudy, and it can also cause rust stains to appear on your clothing and other fabrics.

What Can You Do About The Iron?

Iron can come from a wide variety of sources and enter your water well. Iron can come into the well from the water table and it can also develop due to the corrosion of metal well pipes and parts. If you know that a specific part of your well has corroded or deteriorated, then it is wise to have it replaced. Deterioration and the build of rust in your water will continue if you do not.

If you are unsure about the cause and want to remove the rust from the water after it flows into your home, then invest in an iron removing filter. This filter can be added to your filtration system after the sediment filter. There are a wide variety of different iron filters you can buy, but try to stay away from products that utilize potassium permanganate. Greensand filters typically have this sort of media housed inside of them. The potassium permanganate is a strong and potentially dangerous chemical that should be avoided with home water filtration systems. Acid and air injection filters are a much better option.