Culligan Blog

Problem Water Series: Iron in Water

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Iron, represented by Fe on the periodic table, is considered one of the most common elements in the world. Not only is it a necessary mineral in the human diet, its presence is abundant in much of the water supply in Canada. Although iron is an essential element, it can create problems in your residence and business when present in the water you drink and use.     

If you are experiencing any of the following signs, you may have too much iron in your water and may consider an iron filter: 

  • Rust stains on toilets, sinks, bathtubs, and other plumbing fixtures.  
  • Rust coloured stains on clothes that have been through a laundry cycle.   
  • Marks on floors or walls washed with water that may be confused with water stains.  
  • Metallic taste in water or water-based beverages like coffee or tea.  

Iron is more commonly found when well water is the source, but it can be present in almost any Canadian water source. Unfortunately, there is not a guaranteed rule stating where iron is present in water. Proximity does not even play a role; sometimes two neighboring wells can contain different amounts of iron in water. If you are concerned about the possibility of iron in your drinking water and are experiencing the aforementioned signs, contact your local water professional, the Culligan Man. He can test your water for iron to suggest the best way to enhance the quality of your drinking water including iron filters and other water conditioning treatments.

In water, you will find three types of iron: dissolved iron, particulate iron, and organic bound iron.  

Dissolved iron is iron dissolved in water completely.  It is the most common type of iron containment found in well water. 

Particulate iron is when the iron-based containment is literally floating about in the water as little particles. Particulate iron contains 2 sub-types: filterable iron and colloidal iron. Filterable iron is made up of particles large enough to be filtered from the water. Colloidal iron is made up of very small rust particles which are removable using different methods.  

Organic bound iron is the third and final type of iron found in water. Organic bound iron is usually found with tannins, or humic acid, in the water. The presence of these tannins is usually noticed by odor or taste.  The presence of tannins is also verifiable with laboratory water testing.  In order to remove these tannins from your water, specific treatment solutions are required.    

Each of these types can be tested, and effectively reduced in your residence or business through an iron water filter.   

Your local Culligan Man water professional possesses the knowledge, skills and products to help identify what is in your water and how to reduce contaminants when needed and enhance the quality of your water.  For your convenience, you can find a Culligan Man in your local area to efficiently meet your water needs.   

*These contaminants may not be present in your water.