How to Remove Iron from Well Water? - (Buying Guide Inside)
Well-owners often have to deal with contaminates, especially iron.
20:55 18 March 2020
From orange streaks in bathtubs and toilets to muddy-colored cups of drinking water, iron makes water taste foul, discolored and leaves a trail of stains in its wake.
While iron is one of the most faced issues by well-owners, there are a couple of solutions to help remove this unwelcome mineral from well water.
But before we dive into how to remove iron from well water, it’s important that you understand why you are dealing with such issues in the first place, the damage to expect if left untreated, and how to pick the right iron water filter for your well water.
How does iron contaminate your well water?
The primary reason why you are dealing with iron in your well water is because of its abundance in the earth’s crust, which results in a pervasive nuisance for all well-owners. Heavy rainfall helps dissolve iron and is responsible for underground aquifers containing iron deposits.
Also, melting snow seeps through the earth, leaving the well water sources with the unwelcome minerals. Iron makes up to 5% of the earth’s crust, which means this nuisance-causing mineral is one of the most common and prevalent natural resources on earth. This means your well water is contaminated by iron and cannot be prevented regardless of how diligently your well has been maintained.
However, this mineral exists in three forms - bacterial, ferrous, and ferric. Knowing the kind of manifestation helps, you determine the approach to treating your well water. Also, you might be dealing with contaminated water because your well water supply has been exposed to corroded, rusty plumbing.
Corroded iron fixtures and aged iron pipes will leave your drains stained and water with brown-colored flecks. Keep in mind that any iron material such as iron casing in your well will rust over time. Iron gets oxidized when exposed to water and oxygen and eventually deteriorates.
Exposing iron to the elements breaks down iron and leads to rusting. The only way to handle such an underlying problem is to replace the pipes in your well water network. More importantly, if you’ve got disrepair or old well, drilling a new one can be a better solution to your troubles with iron.
How to Pick the Best Iron Water Filter for Your Well Water
Iron lurking in your well water exists in one of the three different types. Removing iron effectively has to do with understanding the type of iron present in your well. This mineral requires a different solution and poses various challenges depending on the form of iron you intend to remove.
Therefore, it’s vital to perform a water test to determine the water condition and suggest the right approach to removing this unwelcome mineral from your well. We recommend the best iron filter for well water buying guide at rezpectourwater, which provide you with more information about the iron present in the well water.
Type 1 - Ferric Iron
Ferric iron is an insoluble form and has to do with incompletely dissolved iron minerals within the water. If you have a red-colored or bright orange-colored water, then you might probably be dealing with ferric iron.
Removing Ferric Iron
One of the most effective methods of removing ferric iron is using a sediment filter, which is capable of precipitating this form of iron. Sub-micron rated sediment filter allows the free flow of water while inhibiting the solid particulate matter. This filter is an excellent choice when it comes to preventing cloudiness, debris, and dirt from contaminating your home’s water.
However, you should ensure that the sediment filter is small enough to prevent iron from flowing with water. Most well-owners make use of natural cotton string wound sediment filters to solve this issue. Nevertheless, you shouldn’t expect a sediment filter to solve the metallic taste in your water or stained toilets and bathtubs.
Type 2 - Ferrous iron
Unlike ferric iron, this is a soluble form of iron, which means the iron mineral is completely dissolved within your well water. Detecting if your water is contaminated with ferrous iron can be challenging since it always appears crystal clear. However, when it gets exposed and oxidizes, it precipitates like ferric iron.
While it appears crystal clear, ferrous iron also stains your toilet and makes your water tasty and smelly.
Removing Ferrous Iron
Using ion-exchange water softeners can help reduce the amount of ferrous iron. This equipment is designed to get rid of minerals causing hardness of water using an ion-exchange method. This process has to do with replacing the iron minerals with positively-charged cation.
Water softeners are also great for removing other minerals such as magnesium and calcium ions. However, it’s best to use a sediment prefilter to help get rid of any ferric iron that might be present to prevent the water softener system from becoming clogged. More importantly, water softeners are best used to remove iron from hard water.
This is another way of eliminating ferrous iron by converting it to ferric iron and precipitating it. This method includes an oxidizing filter such as manganese greensand to oxidize the metal and form a solid particulate matter.
The now precipitated form of iron can easily be pulled out. However, you need to backwash the media using potassium permanganate, which helps the greensand regenerate, flush the accumulated iron flecks, and restore its oxidizing capacity.
Type 3 - Bacterial Iron
This is the nastiest and trickiest configuration of iron to have in your well. This form occurs when the bacteria bonds with iron. It’s common in improperly serviced or poorly maintained well. The bacterial iron will clog your well pump, stick to insides and congest plumbing fixtures. Not just that, it also ruins water booster pumps, sediment pre filters, and water softeners.
Removing Bacterial Iron
First, you need to be aware that removing bacterial iron is labor-intensive, but it’s definitely going to be worth it at the end. Shock chlorination introduces about 20ppm intense chlorine concentration to your well water, which does two things at the same time - disinfect the physical well and the water.
For satisfactory results, you should expose the entire well depth to the shock chlorination. Not just that, you should also expose the well pump, the walls, and other systems include the distribution and pressure system.