In this article, we will discuss how you can remove the iron from your well water.
This contaminant is commonly found in well water. The good news is that you can easily remove it from your well water using common disinfection techniques and water treatment systems.
Once the contaminants and their concentration is identified, it becomes easier to deal with them.
How to Remove Iron from Well Water?
Iron Detection – Minnesota Department of Health mentions that iron adds a metallic taste to water. It forms yellow, red, or brown stains on dishes, washed clothes, and plumbing fixtures.
It can also lead to scale buildup in water pipes, showerheads, aerators, appliances, well pump, storage tank, and sprinklers.
Iron is usually found as soluble or insoluble forms in water. Let’s see how you can remove iron from well water.
Sediment Filters – A spin-down sediment filter is best for removing iron particles, dust, debris, hair, sand, and other suspended particles. A sediment filter is usually installed before a water treatment system or the point where water enters your home. Hence, installing a filter with a higher flow rate is critical. Some people also install sediment filters before a pressure tank to protect sediment from settling at the tank’s bottom.
SpringWell’s sediment filter is an excellent option as it gives up to 25 GPM flow rate due to 1-inch ports. Moreover, it has a flush valve to help you clean the filter mesh.
Water Softener – Water softeners make your well water soft by removing calcium and magnesium. Some systems also remove iron from water up to limited concentration.
Oxidation Filters – Oxidation filters use an air stream to oxidize dissolved iron and manganese to convert them into insoluble form. The precipitates are captured by a filtration media and backwashed to refresh the media.
Oxidation filters are usually recommended when your well water has high iron concentration. Here a couple of oxidation filters you can install to remove iron from well water.
Though costly, it is highly effective for removing up to 7 PPM iron, 8 PPM hydrogen sulfide, and 1 PPM manganese from well water.
The system works for 10 years without any issues and comes with a sediment filter to remove suspended particles from water. Moreover, you can customize it by adding a UV purifier, RO filter, or a salt-based water softener to upgrade it to a complete water treatment unit.
Reverse Osmosis Filtration System – A reverse osmosis system uses a very fine membrane to remove a wide range of impurities from your water. RO filters are mostly used for filtering drinking water. This is why they are installed under the kitchen sink. RO filters can remove all sorts of iron from drinking water. However, iron in water isn’t a health issue.
Iron Bacteria in Well Water and their Treatment
Iron bacteria are harmless to humans but can stain various surfaces. Hence, it is critical to remove them. You can use the following methods to remove iron bacteria from well water.
- Shock chlorination
- Chemical injection system (chlorinator)
How to Remove Manganese from Well Water?
Manganese Detection – Manganese contamination must be dealt with immediately. It can cause problems with memory, attention and motor skills. EPA states that the safe level of manganese in water is 0.3mg/L (300 ug/L). If the levels go above this range, you may get to notice a brown color, odor, and an unpleasant taste in your water. The best way to assess the exact amount of manganese in your water is to get your water tested.
Most iron removal systems can remove manganese as well. You must compare manganese concentration in your well water before relying on your iron filter to remove it successfully.
How to Remove Sulfur from Well Water?
Sulfur Detection – The most common symptom of sulfur in water is the rotten egg smell. It is a usual problem with private well owners. Sometimes the sulfur bacteria (hydrogen sulfide) may not be present in water but in the plumbing fixtures or water heater. Hence you may need to check water at different points of use to pinpoint the root cause. The best way to rule out sulfur contamination in well is to collect and smell water right after it leaves your well.
Sulfur (rotten egg smell) in hot water can be removed by replacing anode rod in your water heater with a special well water anode rod and servicing your water heater.
Sulfur in cold water can be treated with the following methods.
- Shock chlorinate your well
- Install a Chlorinator
- Iron Filter that can remove sulfur concentration detected in your well water
- Use Ozone Gas
How to Remove Coliform from Well Water?
Coliform Detection – Coliform is a common bacteria found in well water, and unlike other contaminants, it cannot be seen, smelled, or tasted. The only way to know about its presence in well water is to test for it. There are 3 different types of coliform bacteria in water, and they are listed below
- Total Coliforms – They are commonly found in soil and in water, which has been exposed to human and animal feces.
- Fecal Coliforms – As the name indicates, they are present specifically in the fecal matter of warm-blooded animals.
- Escherichia coli (E.coli) – It is found in the animal fecal matter and indicates that disease causing bacteria can be present in water.
To know more about testing bacteria in water, you can read: How to Test Well Water for Bacteria
Following are the best ways to remove coliform bacteria from well water
Chlorination – Disinfecting water with chlorine is mandatory after constructing a well or well repair. You can shock chlorinate your well or hire a contractor to do it for you. It is the most effective method of killing bacteria and viruses found in water.
Chlorinator – A chlorinator is installed in wells that have recurrent bacterial contamination problem. The device injects chlorine as per the volume of water passing through it. You need a carbon filter with chlorine because it adds chlorine smell and taste.
Reverse Osmosis Filtration System – RO systems are recommended for treating drinking water. They remove up to 99% of all impurities in water including TDS. Some RO systems come with UV purifiers that are 100% effetve against coliform bacteria.
UV Purification – The most effective protection against all types of pathogens is UV purification. The UV rays eliminate bacteria and viruses ability to reproduce thus making them safe for humans.
UV purifiers are available in standalone models or as a part of multi-stage filters. We would recommend you SpringWell’s UV purifier. It kills up to 99.9% of bacteria in water and makes it fit for drinking. The UV bulb lasts for 1-2 years. You can also upgrade the system with an iron filter, a RO filter, or a whole house well water filter.
Final Words – The Best Setup