5 Ways to Remove Iron from Well Water

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Well water is a great asset to any home as it is known for it’s clean, clear taste. Most people appreciate well water because it doesn’t have the added chemicals that treated water contains. However, well water is not without problems such as muddy water or otherwise discolored water. If your well water has a red or brown tint it may contain iron which can damage your plumbing and cause stains. Luckily, there are many different ways to remove iron from well water.

  1. Sediment Filters

Sediment filters are an inexpensive way to remove iron from well water providing they meet certain specifications. Sediment filters capture dirt and debris in your well water and keep it from entering your plumbing while also allowing the water to flow through freely. In order for a sediment filter to remove iron from your water, you need to make sure that it has a small enough micron rating to capture iron.

  1. Water Softeners

Water softeners are gaining in popularity because they are a great and effective way to remove contaminants from your water. Prior to installing a water softener, it is a good idea to have your water tested for contaminants so that you can ensure you are purchasing a system that will remove all of them. Most water softeners are designed to replace iron with other, safer minerals however they may not be capable of removing other harmful minerals like arsenic or sulfur. Additionally, if your water contains ferrous iron you will need to have a sediment pre-filter installed to prevent the iron from clogging up the water softener system. Furthermore, water softeners are better at removing iron from hard water than from soft water. If you already have soft water and you just want to remove the contaminants, you will want to make sure that your softener system is equipped with an oxidizing filter. In this case, you will want to regularly flush out the system with Rust Out to protect the resin beads which remove the iron from well water.

  1. Water Additives

A popular way to remove ferrous iron from water is to convert it to ferric iron which is easier to remove from the water. Using an oxidizing filter like Maganese greensand is an easy way to do so. This method pulls the iron out of the water so that it doesn’t continue into the house however it does require that the system be washed every so often with potassium permanganate. potassium permanganate is a purple powder that flushes the build-up of iron flakes while also regenerating the Manganese greensand. Another additive that removes iron is the brim. Unlike Maganese greensand, brim doesn’t need a chemical process to oxidize the iron but it will only work in water with higher pH levels. Due to this limitation, most systems will also add in calcite to raise the pH.

  1. KDF Filters

These filters are made of high purity granular zinc and are able to greatly reduce chlorine as well. This material is typically used in iron filter cartridges to turn ferrous iron into ferric iron and then remove it from the water. These types of filters work best with low, slow-flowing water rates because extended contact time is needed to make the oxidization process work.

  1. Shock Chlorination

This type of iron removal system only works for water that is contaminated with bacterial iron. Bacterial iron occurs when bacteria bonds with the iron and creates a bright red sludge which can lead to a host of plumbing problems in addition to ruining water softeners, sediment filters, and water booster pumps. In order for this procedure to work the entire well must be exposed to the shock chlorination.

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