Is Iron In Your Tap Water Dangerous?
While it would be great if all home taps ran clean, pure water, most tap water has at least a few additives that are more than simple H2O. In fact, a lot of the little stuff in tap water is even considered healthy like trace minerals from the local ecosystem and the friendlier microbes that keep our immune system strong and attuned to resist local diseases. If you pull from a municipal water supply, there’s a chance that there is added fluoride for strong teeth (though some people are conflicted about fluoride) and if you pull from well water, you might have a little more of the local mineral content. However, there are also bad things that can be in your tap water, and one of them is incredibly hard to miss.
Identifying Iron In Your Tap Water
Iron in the tap water is incredibly common and can be easily spotted even in very small concentrations by the distinctive stain it leaves on white porcelain in your sinks and toilet bowls. A tiny amount of iron in your water will look like a faint yellow-orange stain where water runs and sits most often, but the more concentrated the iron is in your water, the easier it is to see. Higher concentrations make the water start to look murky, orange, and then eventually a deep dark red, with a staining capability to match. If it looks like your toilet bowl has been bleeding instead of running water or if water poured into a glass is yellow to red, you have iron in your tap.
Where Iron in Water Comes From
Iron in your water can come from a number of different sources. The most common is if you live in a region with iron-rich soil. When it rains and water seeps through the ground into the underground aquifer, it carries some of that iron with it. This can happen to municipal water supplies but is more common with people whose homes pull from well water. If you are connected to the city water supply, the most likely cause of iron is that somewhere along the way, possibly on your property but not always, there is an old rusting iron pipe constantly releasing little flecks of iron into your tap water. However, either delivery method can apply to either municipal or well water.
Is Iron in Water Dangerous?
The good news is that we’re pretty much made of iron and you would have to eat a lot more than can be suspended in water to get sick. That said, you’ll actually want to drink and cook with it a lot less because the iron comes with a darkening effect on everything it’s put in and tends to create a metallic, bitter taste in food and beverages prepared with iron-contaminated water. While consuming iron is safe, washing with it is another story. As a metal, showering in iron water can potentially cause itching, irritation, and breakouts so if your family has been having skin troubles, the iron may very well be the culprit.
Removing Iron From Your Tap Water
The good news is that iron isn’t hard to remove, you just need a system big enough to handle all your tap water as it enters the home, before it reaches the taps. This can be done with a home filtration unit which is connected in-line between the water supply and your water heater. With advanced filtering methods, the millions of tiny iron flecks in your water can be removed, leaving you with clear healthy water to use for bathing, washing, cooking, and watering your plants. For information on the right filtration system for your home, contact us today!