Iron in Water
Source of Iron in Water: Iron is a natural element found in bedrock and the soil. Iron makes up at least 5 percent of the earth’s crust and 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 private and municipal water supplies. 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.
Effects of Iron in Water: Dissolved iron gives water an unpleasant metallic taste. When the iron combines with tea, coffee and other beverages, it can cause a blackish appearance and a harsh taste. Vegetables cooked in water containing excessive iron turn dark and unappealing. Iron can leave reddish brown stains on fixtures, tableware and laundry. Iron-loving bacteria create a smelly biofilm that leaves behind a reddish brown or yellow slime that can clog plumbing and cause offensive odors.
How to Remove Iron: A WECO whole-house backwashing filter with Katalox Light is designed to remove iron from well and municipal water supplies. In some cases, a WECO water softener is sufficient to control iron problems. WECO reverse osmosis filtration will also remove iron. Consult with WECO technical support to find out which solution is best for you.