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Rusty plumbing pipes which could be leaking dissolved iron into the water supply of a home

An in-depth look at how iron gets into the water in your home, the problems it causes once it’s there, and what you can do about it.

Iron is one of the most frequently found minerals in our water.  In fact, iron is the most abundant mineral in the composition of the earth as a whole, composing a large portion of the planet’s inner and outer cores.  It is also in steady supply in Earth’s crust, where it gets picked up by rain water and melting snow, dissolves, and becomes a part of the water supplied to our homes.  Iron can also enter drinking water through the corrosion of iron or steel well casing and pipes.

In our close-up look at Magnesium, we noted that Magnesium has numerous dietary benefits and should not be thought of as something to avoid.  Similarly, iron is an essential part of a healthy diet.  Iron is a primary component of hemoglobin, which binds to oxygen in the lungs and transports it throughout the body.  Without iron, breathing would be useless.  Human iron deficiency, known as anemia, is a major issue that can cause small or pre-term births during pregnancy and fatigue for teens and adults. 

So you should drink as much iron as you can, right?  Not so fast.  Water that has high iron content causes many problems, the most notable of which are the trademark unsightly red, yellow, or brown stains it leaves in plumbing fixtures and on your laundry.  As most people know, iron reacts with water and oxygen and causes rust, turning relatively new appliances into eyesores and shortening their useful lifespans.  Additionally, iron gives drinking water an unsavory metallic taste and can cause coffee, tea and other beverages to take on an inky, black color.

Do you have iron stains in your home?
Contact a Water Quality Association-Certified Specialist

Obviously, this is not an element you want in your water, and standard water softeners are not designed to handle high concentrations of iron.  Luckily, Water Doctors has the solution.  Our Custom Engineered Chem-Free Iron Filter automatically removes soluble iron (“clear water” iron), precipitated iron (“red water” iron), and bacterial iron, extending the lives of your pipes and other plumbing fixtures while keeping your dishes and clothes looking their stain-free best.  The Chem-Free Iron Filter is, as its name suggests, free of expensive chemicals, instead forcing water through a pressurized aeration tank which converts dissolved particles of iron into miniscule physical particles which eventually grow large enough to be captured in the filter bed and removed.

So if your water is iron-free, how can you incorporate it into your diet?  Many terrific foods are great sources of iron including meats like chicken and ham, green vegetables such as peas and broccoli, and bran and oat-based breakfast cereals.  Follow this link for a more complete list. 

If a water analysis reveals that your water has iron issues, or you notice any of the telltale stains suggesting the presence of iron in your water, call Water Doctors at (763) 535-1800.  We’ll take the iron out of your water and put it back in the earth, where it belongs.