How To Remove Iron From Well Water

Last Updated on December 14, 2022 by Mattias

One of the most common issues that people who use well water supply face is the presence of iron. 

So in this article, I will show you different ways to remove iron from your well water. 

Without further ado, let’s get right to it. 

How Does Iron Get Into Your Well Water Supply?

Iron is a naturally occurring mineral in the earth’s crust.

So when rain falls on the iron-bearing soil, the iron minerals dissolve into the water and settle as well water.

Is Drinking Water With Iron Harmful To Your Body’s Health? 

No, it isn’t because iron is essential to your body’s health. 

It helps keep your blood healthy and helps carry oxygen from your lungs to all the parts of your body. 

It also helps children grow properly and helps their brains develop healthily. 

Iron is also obtained more from food than water because it is difficult for the human body to absorb iron from water intake.

The lack of adequate iron in your body can lead to issues such as fatigue due to the inability of oxygen to be transported to all the parts of your body.

So, if there is no health risk involved in drinking water with iron, why should you remove it from your water supply? 

Let’s find out.

Read also: How To Chlorinate a Well – Step By Step Guide

Why Should You Remove Iron From Your Water Supply?

• Increase In the Growth Of Bacteria

If your well has harmful bacteria, the entrance of iron will help these bacteria grow further and make them difficult to get rid of.

When iron comes in contact with these harmful bacteria, referred to as the “iron bacteria,” It causes clogging of your water pipes and your home’s entire plumbing system.

It also makes your drains stink and makes the water in your toilet tank or sinks have dark red, yellow, or brown colored slime in it. 

• Iron Stains

Iron might not be harmful to your body’s health, but it can cause harm to your home’s plumbing system and water-using appliances. 

When you use water with iron contamination in your dishwasher and washing machine, whatever you are washing has noticeable orange-colored iron stains. 

Water with iron also leaves hard-to-remove and awful stains on your home’s plumbing fixtures, countertops, and other surfaces.

• Unpleasant Water Taste and Odor

The presence of iron in your water gives it a metallic taste and an unpleasant odor and makes it bad for drinking water. 

In addition, cooking food with water that has iron in it gives it a bad taste and a displeasing look.

• Unusual Water Colors

Another reason you should remove iron from your water supply is that it gives your water an unusual red or yellow color. 

Once you notice the water from your well having these unusual colors, it is proof of the presence of iron in it.

Note: 0.3 ppm of iron is considered the standard iron in your water supply, and when the ppm is more than 0.3, it is regarded as too much iron and will produce these effects.

Read also: How Fast Does Well Water Replenish? An Easy Explanation

How To Remove Iron From Well Water

The first step involved in removing iron from well water is knowing the type of iron and the level of iron concentration in the water.

By carrying out a water test, you can know the type of iron in the water and its level of iron concentration. 

There are four different types of iron, and through a water test, you will know the kind of iron in your water and the best way to remove it. 

You can carry out a water test by taking a sample of your well water supply to the laboratory for analysis.

Now, let’s look at the four types of iron, the different concentrations, and how to treat them from your well water supply. 

Types Of Iron

• Ferrous Iron 

This type of iron doesn’t change the color of your water supply. 

It maintains a clear look but gives it an oxidized taste and leaves stains on your clothing and ceramics whenever you use it to wash or clean. 

This stain is usually reddish-brown and mostly occurs where the water from your faucets drips.

Also called clean water iron or dissolved iron, this type of iron can pass through a filter easily, so you can’t use a filtration system to remove it. 

Removal Method 

You can remove this iron from your well water supply in two ways. 

First, you can carry out an oxidation process, convert the ferrous iron to ferric iron, and then remove it through the filtration system. 

Secondly, you can use an ion exchange water softener to reduce the iron content in your well water supply.

However, suppose you are using this method. In that case, you must ensure you carry out a regeneration process from time to time to remove the iron particles that are stuck on your system’s resin beads and guarantee their long-lasting use. 

• Ferric Iron 

This type of iron is also called red water iron or insoluble iron. 

With ferric iron present in water, it gives it a reddish-orange look. 

Removal Method

Unlike ferrous iron, ferric iron is usually in a solid and insoluble form and can be filtered.

So, you can use a manganese greensand filter or a sediment filter to remove it from your water supply.

• Organic Iron 

This iron is usually found in shallow wells and is challenging to eliminate.

It is formed by the reaction of organic compounds with iron, and this reaction causes stains. 

Removal Method

You can filter this type of iron with a  manganese dioxide iron filter and an activated carbon filter. 

• Bacterial Iron 

Iron bacteria or bacterial iron is a term for the bacteria in your well that uses the presence of iron to grow and form slimes that are visible in your toilet tanks, bathtubs, and other appliances in your home. 

Removal Method

You can either carry out a constant chlorination process to eliminate this type of iron or hire the service of a professional, as removing it isn’t a walk in the park.

Concentrations Of Iron 

If you want to know the concentration of iron in your water supply, you can use a water test strip.

Furthermore, if the concentration of iron in your water supply is less than 2 ppm, you can use a water softener system to treat it. 

And if the concentration of iron in your water supply is between 2 to 3 ppm, then you can use an iron removal filter to treat it. 

However, suppose you want to treat water hardness and a concentration of iron less than 3 ppm. In that case, you can combine a standard water softener and an iron water filter for full efficiency. 

Also, If the concentration of iron in your water supply is more than 3 ppm, you should use an air injection or oxidizing agent together with a filtration system. 

On the other hand, if the concentration of iron in your water is not up to 0.05 ppm, you can use a reverse osmosis system to treat it.

Read also: Why Is My Well Water Brown All Of A Sudden

How To Remove Iron From Well Water Summary

The best treatment method for removing iron from your well water depends on the type of iron present.

So, ensure you carry out a water test to know the specific iron type and then use the removal and treatment system listed above that best suits that iron type. 

A whole house filtration system is the most effective and cheapest way to remove iron from your water supply, so you can install it to treat your water issues.