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4 Ways to Remove Iron From Tap Water

Published by Passaic Bergen Water Softening on


Iron in your tap water is one of the most obvious and unpleasant local pipe issues. The iron usually comes from one or more rusted pipes between the water treatment plant and your taps. For homes with a well, iron can come as one of the natural minerals from the ground. It’s relatively harmless to your health, but it tastes nasty and it looks worse.

If there is enough iron to make your tap water visibly yellow, orange, or red, then it’s already wreaking havoc. Iron in a home’s tap water stains your clothes, dries out your skin, and makes all sorts of cooking taste bitter. Fortunately, you have options. There are a few different ways to remove iron from tap water in your home either before or after you turn on the faucet.

1) Chemical: Chlorination

First, there’s chlorine. Chlorine is our society’s go-to solution for water cleaning. It will cleanse unwanted particles and also cause oxidation, which helps separate the iron particles from the rest of the water. Unfortunately, chlorine is also a dangerous and powerful chemical. Using chlorine to remove iron from tap water should only be done in very specific circumstances. Make sure the bleach substance won’t do more harm than the iron itself. Pools, for example, can be chlorinated to help remove iron before it reaches and stains your pool lining.

After you use chlorine, filter out the separated iron particles, which should fall to the bottom.

2) Mechanical: Oxidation

The next option is mechanical, at least on the molecular level. Oxidation is the act of exposing a material (in this case, your water) to oxygen (air) which causes all sorts of things for the other molecules involved. Most notably, oxidized water tends to let go of other particles, like iron, so that they are easier to filter. Oxidation can be done in a number of ways. This includes the new trend of ozonation, which uses bubbles of ozone infused into the water.

Like chlorination, iron particles will fall to the bottom and will need to be filtered out.

3) Ionic: Water Softening

Water softening is a unique chemical reaction using molecular ionic reactions. People do this by using either salt or, in more modern systems, resin beads. Resin is similar to plastic but, more importantly, it causes a mild ionic reaction (electrons jumping from molecule to molecule) which helps water to let go of suspended hard earth minerals.

Primarily, water softening targets the chalky white particles of calcium and magnesium, which make up that water residue and causes your skin to dry. Iron is less common but can also be filtered out using the exact same resin bead or salt system.

The iron, magnesium, and calcium “scrape off” onto the beads as the water flows through, so there is no need for an additional filter. Plus, you’re filtering for several mineral-related water issues with one device.

4) Complete: Home Filtration

Last but not least is a home filtration system. Water filtration removes iron from water, provided you use the right filtration methods and mediums. A home filtration system designed to keep the family safe from tiny microbes can handle a few bits of iron from rusty pipes along the line. Filtering your home water is a good idea on a number of levels, and it’s far more efficient to filter all the water for your home instead of filtering each tap and showerhead individually.

Understandably, water filtration takes care of its own multi-stage filtering so that your water is pure and clean when it exits the layered filters.

Is there iron in your home tap water, reducing your satisfaction at home? We can help. Contact us today for more information on the right for your pipes, house, and water iron content.



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