FAQ: Iron

Have questions about the iron content in your water? We’ve got answers!

Q. What exactly is the iron in my water?
A. Iron comes in two forms, ferrous and ferric. Ferrous means the iron is dissolved into the water so that the water contains iron but still appears clear. Ferric iron results when ferrous iron has been exposed to oxygen and oxidizes, which causes the iron to then separate from the water and become a suspended matter, much like sediment.

 

Q. How is it measured?
A. Both ferrous and ferric iron is measured in parts per million, or PPM. The industry standard is that iron levels of over 0.2 ppm in a water system should be addressed and treated.

 

Q. How does it get into our water?
A. As iron is found in deposits in the ground, water readily dissolves it as it passes through them in its underground flow into our water sources. It can also result from the corrosion of pipes and your various plumbing systems.

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Q. What can iron do to a home and plumbing system?
A. In the home, both ferrous and ferric iron show themselves by leaving hard-to-remove yellow or reddish-brown stains on fixtures, anything porcelain and cooking utensils. They can also leave similar stains on clothing in the laundry. Water high in iron also has that distinctive metallic taste to it. To your plumbing system, ferric iron acts similar to sediment/hardness and can contribute to the formation of clogs in pipes, wells and pumps among other systems.

 

Q. How are high iron levels reduced from water?
A. Stay tuned to see the answer to this, and last week’s question on removing hardness from water in next week’s blog!

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