Is there Iron in Your Water?

Do you have Red or orange stains in toilets, sinks and on your driveway or the side of your house?

This is also one of the most common water problems. Notice the orange stain on the wall in the photo on the right. The most likely cause of this problem is high levels of iron in your water.

Rainwater, as it moves through the soil and rock dissolves iron, causing it to seep into our aquifers that serve as sources of groundwater for our wells.

When cooking or making tea, coffee or any other drink that mixes with the water containing the iron, an inky, black appearance and a harsh, unacceptable taste in the drinks. It will turn vegetables dark and make them have an unappealing look.

Even small amounts of iron will leave reddish-brown stains on fixtures, tableware and laundry that are very hard to remove. When these deposits break loose from water piping, rusty water will flow through the faucet.

We have equipment that will remove iron from your water. Call us for more information on iron removal.

More Facts on Iron In Drinking Water

Iron can be a troublesome chemical in water supplies. Making up at least 5 percent of the earth’s crust, iron is one of the earth’s most plentiful resources. Rainwater as it infiltrates the soil and underlying geologic formations dissolves iron, causing it to seep into aquifers that serve as sources of groundwater for wells. Although present in drinking water, iron is seldom found at concentrations greater than 10 milligrams per liter (mg/L) or 10 parts per million. However, as little as 0.3 mg/l can cause water to turn a reddish-brown color.

Iron is mainly present in water in two forms: either the soluble ferrous iron or the insoluble ferric iron. Water containing ferrous iron is clear and colorless because the iron is completely dissolved. When exposed to air in the pressure tank or atmosphere, the water turns cloudy and a reddish-brown substance begins to form. This sediment is the oxidized or ferric form of iron that will not dissolve in water.


Iron is not hazardous to health, but it is considered a secondary or aesthetic contaminant. Essential for good health, iron helps transport oxygen in the blood. Most tap water in the United States supplies approximately 5 percent of the dietary requirement for iron.

Taste and Food

Dissolved ferrous iron gives water a disagreeable metallic taste. When the iron combines with tea, coffee and other beverages, it produces an inky, black appearance and a harsh, unacceptable taste. Vegetables cooked in water containing excessive iron turn dark and look unappealing.

Stains and Deposits

Concentrations of iron as low as 0.3 mg/L will leave reddish-brown stains on fixtures, tableware and laundry that are very hard to remove. When these deposits break loose from water piping, rusty water will flow through the faucet.

Iron Bacteria

When iron exists along with certain kinds of bacteria, a smelly biofilm can form. To survive, the bacteria use the iron, leaving behind a reddish-brown or yellow slime that can clog plumbing and cause an offensive odor. This slime or sludge is noticeable in the toilet tank when the lid is removed. The organisms occur naturally in shallow soils and groundwater, and they may be introduced into a well or water system when it is constructed or repaired.

Organic Iron and Tannins

Iron can combine with different naturally occurring organic acids or tannins. Organic iron occurs when iron combines with an organic acid. Water with this type of iron is usually yellow or brown, but may be colorless. As natural organics produced by vegetation, tannins can stain water a tea color. In coffee or tea, tannins produce a brown color and react with iron to form a black residue. Organic iron and tannins are more frequently found in shallow wells, or wells under the influence of surface water.

Reverse Osmosis Systems

Reverse Osmosis (RO) treatment is used to reduce the levels of:

  • naturally occurring substances that cause the water supplies to be unhealthy or unappealing (foul tastes, smells or colors).
  • substances that have contaminated the water supply resulting in possible adverse health effects or decreased desirability.
  • total dissolved solids and suspended matter.

Whether you are looking for an R.O. System for under your sink or to supply your whole house, the systems work basically the same way. There is a pre-filter to trap the large debris or sediment in your water, protecting the workhorse of the system, the membrane.

The membrane separates the water, where the purest water goes through the membrane pores and to a storage tank while the high solids in the water are too large to fit through the pores and they are sent to drain. Then, the good water in the storage tank goes through a final filter to raise the pH and polish the water for an excellent, clean taste. Whether its city or well water, home or a commercial workplace.

If you are concerned, test your water. For more information on water quality, testing, and treatment, please contact Clear Water Treatment, Inc. at  239-458-5597 today!

We specialize in Water Softeners, Reverse Osmosis Systems, Carbon Filtration Systems, Water Purification, and Drinking Water Systems. Our systems eliminate hard water, chlorine, taste and odors, yellow water, and sulfuric odors.

Please feel free to give us a call at 239-458-5597 if you have additions questions we can answer or to find out how you can get on the road to cleaner, clearer, healthier water! We would like to take this opportunity to invite you to like our facebook fanpage, follow us on twitter, connect to us on linkedin, subscribe to our newsletter and blog if you haven’t already done so!

Sandy Wilkin, President
Clear Water Treatment, Inc.
We are the CLEAR Choice for all your water treatment needs
Phone 239-458-5597      
Fax 239-458-7771 


About clearwatertreatment

Clear Water Treatment will analyze your water situation and adjust your system, or advise you of any changes that you may need to make. With 30 years working with Southwest Florida water, you can be confident that you will receive an accurate assessment of your water problems and treatment solution(s) at a fair price.
This entry was posted in Bacteria in Water, Clean Water, Clear Water Treatment, Reverse Osmosis, Southwest Florida Water, Water problems SWFL, Water Purifier, Water Quality, Water Services Cape Coral. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Is there Iron in Your Water?

  1. Pingback: More on Contaminants in Water | Clear Water Blog!

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