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Problem Water Series: Iron in Water


Iron. One of the most common elements in the world, and a necessary mineral in the human diet. It is also abundant in much of our water supply, and while a necessary nutrient, can create problems in your home and business when present in the water you use.

There are a few telltale signs that you might have too much iron in your water and need an iron filter. 

  • Rust stains on plumbing fixtures, including toilets, sinks, and bathtubs.
  • Rust colored stains on clothes which have been washed.
  • 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 can be present in almost any water supply, but is more commonly found when well water is the source. Unfortunately, there is no hard and fast rule about where iron is present, sometimes two wells right next to each other can have different amounts. However, if you are concerned about possible iron in your water, contact your local water professional, who can test your water for iron and recommend an iron filter or other water conditioning treatment.* 

There are three primary types of iron found in water, and your water professional can test for the type, and recommend the right treatment solution for you. 

Dissolved iron is what it says, iron which is dissolved in the water completely. Dissolved iron is the most common type of iron containment found in well supplies. 

Particulate iron is when the iron-based containment is literally floating about in the water as little particles. There are 2 sub-types of particulate iron. The larger particulates are known as “filterable iron,” since the particles are large enough to be filtered from the water. Colloidal iron is made up of very small rust particles which must be removed using different methods. 

Finally, there is organic bound iron. Organic bound iron is usually found with tannins, or humic acid, in the water. These tannins must be removed with specific treatment solutions. The presence of tannins is usually noticed by smell or taste, but is also verifiable with laboratory water testing. 

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

Your local Culligan Water expert has the training, experience, and products to help you identify what is in your water, and how to address it if you need to. Most importantly, your Culligan team is local, and likely already has experience with water issues just like yours. 

*Contaminants may not be present in your water.

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