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Is Iron in Tap Water Dangerous?

Published by Passaic Bergen Water Softening on


For most of us, turning on our taps is something we do without thinking about it. We have faith that our water is fine, as long as there’s nothing obviously wrong with it. However, iron is one of the most common contaminants in our water, and unless you know what you’re looking for, iron in tap water can be tough to spot. But the sooner you catch it, the sooner you can stop it from doing damage to your home and your clothes.

What are the Signs of Iron in Tap Water?

If you’re worried about iron in your water, there are a couple of things you should keep an eye out for. Some of the most common signs include:

Yellow or Red Ring in Your Toilet

Since your toilet is full and running so often, the stains are easiest to note here.

Yellow or Orange Stains in Your Sink

From the kitchen to the bathroom, sinks go through a lot of water… and iron deposits often get left behind in these locations, too.

Yellow Stains on Your Teeth

Yellow teeth aren’t necessarily a sign of bad hygiene; they could simply be a result of brushing with water that has iron deposits in it.

Clogged Pipes

If your pipes are always getting clogged, then it could be a result of rust build-up, since iron flakes are suspended in water. Nearly impossible to see with the naked eye in many instances, they still build up over time.

An Unpleasant, Metallic Taste

If there is iron in tap water from your home, you’re quickly going to notice that it has a harsh, metal taste to it. Whether you’re drinking from the tap, making lemonade, or just cooking, it’s going to show up in nearly anything you make.

Once you know what to look for, it’s pretty easy to determine whether or not you have iron in your water. Even a little bit will leave signs.

Is Iron Dangerous?

The first thing most of us worry about when we find out there’s a metal deposit in our water is that it’s going to have adverse effects on our health. After all, lead in your water can be deadly, and even if it doesn’t kill you, it can have terrible effects on your body. Fortunately for all of us, though, iron is a different metal altogether, and its effects on our bodies are nowhere near as dangerous.

That doesn’t mean drinking water with a high iron content is safe, though.

The EPA has set the safe amount of iron in tap water to be roughly .3 mg/L, which is a fairly small amount. If you have more than that, then you (and your home) could be at risk for additional problems. Problems like:

Liver, Heart, and Pancreatic Damage

If you drink water with too much iron in it over the long term, it can do serious damage to your internal organs. Keep an eye out for unexplained joint pain, weight loss, or just plain fatigue as early warning signs of potential hemochromatosis.

Bacterial Infections

Even if the iron itself isn’t an issue, it’s often accompanied by bacteria that feed on the metal. This means that when you drink iron-heavy water, you’re also drinking this bacteria, and it can have all kinds of negative effects on your body– specifically your gut health.

Skin Damage

Iron in tap water can damage your skin, making it hard to shower properly. This can cause dryness, contribute to the formation of wrinkles, and all kinds of other issues. In some cases, iron in tap water may clog pores, resulting in acne, eczema, and similar conditions.

Even if your iron is within a “livable” limit, it’s never a good idea to just tolerate having more metal in your water. If you want to protect yourself and your home from the effects of iron deposits in your water, then all you have to do is contact us today!



Wyckoff NJ

537 Goffle Rd
Wyckoff, 07481


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Newfoundland NJ

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