How to Remove Iron From Well Water

By Asad | 9 months ago

Everything you need to know about iron present in well water. We have covered how to remove iron from well water in a comprehensive way.

You will be amazed to get to know that iron is seldom found at 10 parts per million in your drinking water. Regardless of the amount, iron can cause water to turn a reddish-brown color and can cause severe and noticeable damages, making it a frustrating contaminant to grapple with for well owners. High iron levels present in water not only is stressful for well owners but can be life-threatening for the entire marine life.

From the unpleasant marks and stained tap water to foul iron bacteria in the toilet tank, high iron water is a frustrating problem. The most awful thing that makes the entire scenario even worst is most people have no adequate knowledge to deal with such a stressful problem. It is the most common reason that despite utilizing various methods, you still have issues with iron.

In spite of what you might opt, a one-size-fits-all solution for water treatment seems to be inadequate. But, don’t worry, here we have come up with a comprehensive piece of writing that helps you know a lot more about iron present in your well water and come up with the best solution to deal with the problem.

So, let’s begin….


Some Common Types Of Iron Present In Well Water  

Iron enters into your well water by seeping in from the crust of the Earth and exposure to worn, corroded pipes. More often than not, in three common forms, iron is found in well water. Although other forms of iron are found in the water, ferric, ferrous, and bacterial iron are typically significantly more common than the following three.

  1. Bacterial Iron

In well water, iron bacteria is commonly defined by the appearance of a slimy mass entangling softener or filter in several areas. Reservoirs are one such instance.

  1. Ferrous Iron 

Ferrous Iron, also known as Clearwater Iron, is another type of iron found in well water. It does not contain oxygen and usually comes from deeper wells and reservoirs of groundwater. Carbon dioxide acts as soluble ferrous bicarbonate on iron in the soil, which forms iron ions in water (Fe++).

  1. Ferric Iron

In well water, also known for its red water iron, ferric iron is primarily pure, oxygen-exposed water iron–typically from the soil, oxidizing. Carbon dioxide leaves the atmosphere, and oxygen is used as a ferric ion with iron (Fe++). The high concentration of Ferric iron can change the color of water in red rust.

How to Check Iron in Well Water 

Before knowing how to remove iron from well water the first step is to identify the source if there is an iron issue with the water supply. The iron source can be iron or steel pipe or other materials in the plumbing system where water’s pH acidity is not more than 6.8.

In the case of iron, pH, manganese, hardness and total dissolved solids, a water test may assess an appropriate place to start. If the water directly from the well appears or turns out to be yellow or tea color, a further tannin test is also recommended. During the test, make sure to bring the sample as close as you can.

With the support of your results, based on your water chemistry, you can determine if you need any type of water treatment and the type of system you need.

Take no time to reach out to your local authority officer in case the water source is a public water system and you have pipes-related issues. The officer will help ascertain whether it is public water or the plumbing or piping of the household water.

Is Iron In Water Dangerous? 

Iron presents in well water not only controls food but also makes water taste rough and aggressive. In addition to bad taste, iron contributes a dirty, dingy murkiness to drinks.

Drinking iron in low concentration is said to be not dangerous for your health. Iron is considered to be a secondary EPA contaminant. Secondary toxins are sensory and environmental contaminants, such as poor flavors and stains, but are not seen as fatal to consume. Iron itself is important for a safe, balanced diet and contributes to the development of red blood cells and carries oxygen all over the body. Spinach, eggs, lentils, and shrimps are all foods rich in iron that provide this essential mineral to your body.

When it comes to iron, we can say that several things in life are more satisfying and more innoxious than an icy glass of rust orange metallic water tasting… but that’s not the way, you need balance in your life. Though the consumption of low-level iron is safe for your health, there is a risk of toxicity in case you ingest iron in extremely high concentrations. Though Hemochromatosis, a genetic disorder, stops iron from being well absorbed in your intestines, the disease can lead to liver lethargy, loss of weight and disorderly intellectual.

The excess iron present in water may also affect your skin and hair, as well. The high amounts of iron and other minerals found in water, when absorbed through the hair, cause your hair to become darker and dry, frail and make you end up with a horrifying metallic aroma. Light orange hair is dyed in large amounts of iron, leaving dark hair darker with red highlights. Consequently, oxidized iron works the way a mild peroxide attacks the hair, leaving your hair too dry and can even affect the clear texture of your hair. Iron, also, can damage skin cells that lead to wrinkles in your skin.

Solutions to Rid Water of Iron 

Though it is quite stressful to deal with, there are many solutions to rid your water of this unwanted mineral. Below are some of the solutions you can use to remove iron from your well water.

  1. Physical Removal

Physical removal of iron from well water usually includes cleaning the pumping equipment and scrubbing the well with some effective solution.

Among several other ways, a water softener is the most exclusively physical solution for removing iron. It is effective in replacing iron with other minerals in water but may not eliminate more destructive minerals, including arsenic or sulfur.

Though it is one of the easiest method on how to remove iron from well water, it is recommended to ask an expert who has years of relevant experience for physical removal of iron from water.


  1. Chemical Treatment

The removal of excess iron from well water can be possible with the right use of gravitating systems. The usage of the system may seem a little complex, but it is all easy, all you need to spray open-air systems for an acceptable amount which is not more than Fe2+ of 7mg.L-1.

Though these gravitating systems need an important place on the earth, in addition to a stress-free and a cheap exploitation price, they can effectively take out hostile hydrogen sulfide (H2S) and CO2. Apart from these open-air systems, several pressure systems are available in the market, which on top of their solidity, allow you to treat water whose Fe2+ concentrations between 7 and 10mg.L-1.

Among other commonly-used chemicals, disinfectants and household laundry bleach that contains chlorine can also be used to get rid of iron from your well water. Both chemicals are effective and easy to apply.

Chemical treatment can be performed both with the help of specialized personnel or on your own. However, an individual with no experience in the field is not recommended to perform an acid treatment.

  1. Pasteurization

Another common treatment technique for removing iron bacteria from well water is Pasteurization. It is effective when it comes to cleaning iron, but it can cost you a little more compared to physical or chemical treatment.

What makes this technique more attractive is that you don’t need to take the assistance of experts or spend money on outsourcing the technicians. The process is so simple that you perform it on your own. Give a shot of steam or hot water into the well to keep the well water temperature at 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Make sure the shot lasts for at least 30 minutes.

Note: If you are performing water treatment on your own, please don’t take the equipment you use for granted. Maintain each properly as you have spent your precious money on it and of course you don’t want to spend again on this equipment. So, give them the care they need.

Add-ons: How to Prevent Iron Bacteria

As an old age saying goes, prevention is better than cure, the same implies here — we need to prevent iron bacteria from entering the well. Don’t worry. It is easy. It is, in fact, as simple as it seems. Follow below-mentioned tactics, with utmost care:

  • Instead of using water from a pool or lake, place clean water in a well;
  • Avoid putting pumps, well pipes and well device on the ground while servicing;
  • Seal, watertight and extend the well at least 1 foot above ground; and
  • Once you get done with repairs, don’t forget to clean the well and pump from infection.