Do you have problems with iron in your well water supply? You have come to the right place. Below, we will discuss the issues associated with iron in your well water and how to determine if you have an iron problem. We will also explore how iron filtration systems work and whether a water softener can remove iron.
When you look at iron filtration systems for well water, you need to consider how much iron you have in your water supply, how many gallons of water you use, other contaminants that you might need to remove, and the lifespan of the filtration system itself.
What’s the Issue With Iron in My Water Supply?
Iron is a widespread issue in many water supplies, and it can cause various problems, such as:
- Stains on clothes, dishes, and fixtures
- Unpleasant odor and taste
- Plumbing build-up
- Reduced water pressure
These issues are both frustrating and costly, which is why iron filtration systems exist to combat them.
Iron can occur naturally in water sources or result from corroded pipes. It can be present in both city water and well water. In well water, iron can come from the surrounding rock formations and soil, while in city water, it can result from corroded pipes in the distribution system.
How Do I Know if There’s Iron in My Water Supply?
There are various methods of determining if you have an iron issue in your water supply. One of the most common indicators is reddish-brown staining on your clothes, dishes, and fixtures. You may also detect a metallic taste or odor in your water.
A Rotten Egg Smell
You may also notice a rotten egg smell coming from your water supply. This comes from hydrogen sulfide in your water. If your drinking water smells like rotten eggs, it could be a sign that you need to improve your water quality using a sediment filter, carbon filter, or even a whole house filtration system placed before a water softener.
If you suspect that you have high levels of iron in your water supply, you may want to consider having your water tested by a professional water testing service.
How Do Iron Filters Work?
An iron filter is designed to eliminate iron from your water supply. There are various types of iron filtration systems, including:
- Birm filtration systems: These filtration systems use a media called Birm to remove iron from your water. Birm is a type of granular filter media that contains a special coating that oxidizes iron and manganese, making it easier to filter out.
- Greensand filtration systems: Greensand filtration systems use a special type of sand that is coated with manganese dioxide to remove iron and other minerals from your water supply.
- Catalytic carbon filtration systems: These filtration systems use a particular type of activated carbon that is impregnated with a catalyst to help remove iron from your water.
- Aeration filtration systems: Aeration filtration systems utilize the process of aeration to remove iron from your water supply. Aeration exposes the water to oxygen, which converts soluble ferrous iron into insoluble ferric iron. This process makes it easier for the iron particles to be trapped and removed. Aeration filtration systems are especially effective for treating water with high levels of dissolved iron and can also help in reducing the presence of other contaminants, such as hydrogen sulfide and manganese.
The type of filtration system you choose will depend on the level of iron in your water, as well as other factors such as the size of your household and your water usage.
Can a Water Softener Remove Ferrous Iron?
Although water softeners are not specifically designed to remove iron from your water, some models can reduce iron levels effectively. This is because water softeners use ion exchange to remove minerals from your water, and iron is a mineral.
However, it’s worth noting that not all water softeners can remove iron effectively. If you have high levels of iron in your water, you may need to use an iron filtration system in addition to a water softener. A water iron filter can help with iron removal, but you must make sure it is right for your specific level of iron.
If you are looking at various iron filter systems, most iron filters should be right for your needs, but the best water filtration systems should remove calcium and magnesium as well. That is where a water softener can help you deal with too much iron contamination and other minerals in your water supply.
The Benefits of Using a Water Softener
Apart from removing minerals like calcium and magnesium from your water supply, a water softener can provide numerous benefits, including:
- Better tasting water: Soft water is often described as having a cleaner, fresher taste than hard water.
- Longer lifespan for appliances: Soft water can help prevent buildup in your appliances, which can extend their lifespan.
- Softer skin and hair: Soft water can be gentler on your skin and hair, reducing the amount of soap and shampoo you need to use. This can also help alleviate dry skin and other skin irritations.
- Save money: Soft water can help reduce the amount of soap and detergent you use, which can save you money in the long run. It can also reduce the amount of energy needed to heat water, which can lower your energy bills.
Consider relying on a water softener to help you remove calcium, magnesium, and other contaminants as a part of your water treatment process.
Choosing the Right Iron Filtration System
When selecting an iron filtration system, there are several factors to consider, including the type of system, the system’s size, and the flow rate.
The type of filtration system you choose will depend on the level of iron in your water and other factors. Birm filtration systems are generally effective for low to moderate levels of iron, while greensand filtration systems are better suited for higher levels of iron. Catalytic carbon filtration systems are also effective for reducing high iron levels.
The system’s size is also essential. You want to select a system that is large enough to handle the amount of water your household uses. The flow rate is also significant. The flow rate is the amount of water that can pass through the filter at a given time. You want to choose a filtration system with a flow rate that is appropriate for your household’s needs.
It sounds like a lot, but our 5 minute build your system quiz makes it easy.
|Type of Iron Filtration System
|Suggested Iron Level Range (mg/L)
|Birm Filtration Systems
|0.5 – 10
|Greensand Filtration Systems
|0.3 – 15
|Catalytic Carbon Filtration Systems
|0.5 – 10
|Aeration Filtration Systems
|1 – 25
|0.5 – 2 (low levels of iron)
Please note that water softeners are not specifically designed for iron filtration but can be effective in treating low levels of iron. The suggested iron level ranges provided in the chart are approximate and can vary based on factors such as water pH, temperature, and the presence of other contaminants. Always consult with a water treatment professional to determine the best iron filtration system for your specific water conditions.
Maintenance and Replacement
It’s crucial to maintain your iron filtration system to ensure it continues to function properly. This may involve regularly backwashing the filter, adding filter media, and replacing the filter as needed. This can help you maximize the flow rates throughout your home and prevent rust stains from forming.
The frequency of maintenance and replacement will depend on the type of filtration system you choose and the level of iron in your water. It’s vital to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for maintenance and replacement to ensure that your system continues to function correctly. If you take care of your well water iron filter, it should help you remove iron and provide you with an iron free water supply throughout your home.
Contact DROP for Help Finding the Best Water Softeners and Water Filters
If you’re experiencing iron issues in your water supply, an iron filtration system can be an effective solution. By removing iron from your water, you can prevent staining, unpleasant tastes and odors, and plumbing buildup. Depending on your situation, you may need a filter, a softener, or both.
At DROP, we can help you find the right water treatment equipment to meet your needs, and that could include a smart water softener or a water filter. If you have questions we would be happy to review the options with you via chat, or over the phone.