Iron in Water… Is It Harmful?

by Admin on June 23, 2017

Iron in Water - How to Remove Iron in WaterThere is nothing quite like a tall, cold glass of pure, refreshing water! Unfortunately, well water in many of the areas surrounding Boise tends to taste like… you have a bloody lip. Yuck.

When various attempts to reduce iron in well water prove unsuccessful, the problem leaves people frustrated enough to either sell their house of even drill a new well. Let’s explore how iron enters wells in the areas outside of Boise and the means of eliminating iron from residents’ water supplies.

How Iron Gets into Well Water

Iron has two means of infiltrating well water: seepage and corrosion.

Water in the form of rain or melted snow travels from the ground’s surface and through the soil to become part of a water supply. If the soil contains iron, the iron can dissolve into the wandering water and travel with it. Consider excessive amounts of tag-along iron as unwelcome extra baggage accumulated on water’s journey.

Exposure to a combination of water and oxygen causes iron to deteriorate; the casings and pipes of a well water supply have a passing acquaintance with both factors. If the casings and pipes contain iron, the acquaintance leads to this deterioration. Rust, the natural by-product of iron corrosion, flakes off the well’s components and into the water traveling from the well to our taps.

Is iron In Well Water Harmful?

Human bodies require iron to function properly, but iron, like many substances, is toxic at high dosages. However, you could not drink enough water to consume toxic levels of iron.

The Environmental Protection Agency considers iron in well water as a secondary contaminant, which means it does not have a direct impact on health. The Secondary Maximum Contaminant Level set out by the EPA is 0.3 milligrams per liter, but this is merely a guideline and not a federal standard. Typically around 15 mg/L, Idaho’s well water does contain quite high amounts of iron, but the level is still not enough to cause physical harm.

Is iron in well water harmful? Truthfully, it will not affect your health, but it will cause costly damage and other issues.

Damage Caused by Iron in Well Water

Although it won’t harm your health, iron in your water will destroy property and food.

Iron in well water takes its toll on laundry, dishes and water receptacles, such as sinks and tubs. The toll price is red, yellow or brown stains that are difficult – if not impossible – to remove.

Iron in Water - Harmful to Water Pipes and AppliancesWhen iron travels with water, it sometimes stops for extended stays where it is least wanted. Iron stays put, accumulates and clogs dishwashers, washing machines, sprinklers, wells, water pumps and other similar appliances and accessories. This unwanted visitor causes damage requiring expensive repairs.

Iron in well water affects both beverages and food. It causes the water to taste harshly, metallically offensive, and the taste carries into coffee, tea and other beverages made with iron-laden water. Aside from bad taste, iron adds an unpleasant, inky blackness to beverages. Food, especially vegetables, cooked in well water containing iron turns unappetizingly dark and absorbs the taste of the water.

How to Remove Iron from Well Water

Here are the four main treatment methods answer the question of how to remove iron from well water without the need to find a new water source:

Water Softener
Designed to remove minerals that cause hard water, softeners do remove small amounts of iron. Unfortunately, water softeners are not a filtration media so iron seems to settle into the tank, and backwash rates are never high enough to purge concentrations of heavy metals. So a water softener alone is not the solution.

This method adds oxygen to the water to oxidize the iron. (Iron Zapper System)

Oxidizing Filter
This causes immediate oxidation and adds a reverse (backwash) flush system. (Iron Zapper System)

Chemical Oxidation
Adds Chlorine or Hydrogen Peroxide to oxidize/destroy the iron. A water filter treatment system is then used to remove the chlorine or hydrogen peroxide from the water before use. (Iron Zapper System)

What about Iron Bacteria?

Iron bacteria are tiny creatures that feed off iron and leave behind iron waste deposits. Similar to straight iron in water, they cause unpleasant stains, tastes and odors; additionally, they leave behind slime that sticks to pipes and fixtures and can introduce other, harmful bacteria.

The three main control methods for iron bacteria are: chemical treatment, pasteurization and physical removal. However, high concentrations of the bacteria may prove expensive and stubborn to remove, and control efforts may be only minimally successful.

There is a solution that has proven very successful…

To Sum it All Up…

You can’t evade the process of iron traveling with water destined for wells, but you can prohibit it from journeying with the water traveling out of your taps. You can remove iron from your existing water supply before it reaches your pipes & appliances, stop the damage it causes, and create healthy water within your home or business.

The Best Overall Solution to Remove Iron in Water

The Iron Zapper System has proven to effectively treat/remove Iron, Sulfur (rotten egg smell), Iron Bacteria & Manganese from home and business water. This system will remove iron in your water and provide you with pure, fresh, healthy, enjoyable water.





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Serving: Boise, Nampa, Eagle, Meridian, Caldwell, Garden Valley, McCall, Cascade, Donnelly, New Meadows, Weiser, Council, Cambridge, Payette, Ontario, Horseshoe Bend, Idaho City & Surrounding Areas. Also serving Southeast Oregon: Baker City, Nyssa, Ontario & Vale.

peckham, george August 1, 2015 at 12:03 pm

How does one treat faucet water with unacceptable levels of iron?

Jen August 26, 2015 at 5:29 am

I have 150 parts iron per million plus hard water. Some of the highest in my state. I am on my third filtration system. Water filtration companies pull out of here stating their systems are not capable of alleviating this level of hard water. My current Kinetico salt water filtration system is rotting my fixtures, my pipes, appliances, etc. What do you suggest? Your input is greatly appreciated. Thank you. Jen 603.231.7000

Michael ferns November 9, 2015 at 6:11 pm

We have a well on the ranch out at fort rock Oregon. I can smell iron when I shower and can smell sulfur in the utility room. There is no smell in the kitchen and the water tastes good there. We need something to get rid of these smells and your product I sounds like what we need. Please let me know prices and where we can get it. Thanks

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