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I was looking for information on how to remove iron from well water naturally, so I did a quick research on it. According to the “Essential of geology” journal, 5% of earth’s crust is made up of Iron. It is this iron in rocks that finds its way into the water aquifers. So What’s the answer?
An effective technique of removing iron cheaply is by aeration. This is a process by which air is added to water. When air comes into contact with water, an oxidation reaction between iron and oxygen occurs which results in the precipitation of iron. This is the process that the best iron filters use.
Afterward, a sediment filter is used to remove the rust. You can use point of use filters such as shower filters or whole house water filters to remove the solid precipitates.
How to Removing Iron From Water naturally and Cheaply
Let’s dig a little deeper and look at the best iron filter for well water. If you’re looking for some alternatives solution, here are iron filter solutions:
- Best whole house water filter for Iron: Whole house well water Iron Filter (Springwell)
- Best Water Softener for Iron: Iron pro 2 combination iron filter. (Amazon)
- Best Iron Injection System: AFWFilters AIS10-25SXT (Amazon)
Best Filter to Remove Iron for Well Water
SpringWell Water Filter: Best Overall
- Iron removal up to 7 PPM
- Hydrogen Sulfide removal up to 8 PPM
- Manganese removal up to 1 PPM
- Lifetime warranty
- 6 Month Money-Back Guaranteed
Do you want to say goodbye to brown stains on your sinks and toilet bowls and sulfur smell (rotten eggs) from your well water? Springwell whole House Water Filter System is the perfect solution. It offers the ability to remove Iron, Manganese, sulfide efficiently.
This system removes iron, manganese, and sulfur through a process of air injection which results in oxidation. The oxidized iron, manganese, and sulfur are trapped in a bed of green sand.
With this filtration system, you will not need to install other additional systems such as aerators to get rid of iron, manganese, sulfur. It uses the latest filtration technology which makes it environmentally friendly.
Speaking of the technical details, the system comes with an electronic control valve which is programmable. It uses Bluetooth technology to automatically adjust air draw and backwashing cycles. And it’s super easy to install.
You can conveniently use its app functionality on your phone to adjust valve settings, start the regeneration process, view current water usage, and start the backwashing cycle.
When it comes to customer service, you can expect the best from Springwell which has over 20 years of experience in making water filtration solutions. It comes with a lifetime warranty and 6 months risk-free money-back guarantee.
Iron Pro 2 Combination: Most Popular
- All in one Water Softener and iron filter
- Removes Up to 6 PPM iron range
- emoves Hardness of up to 75 gpg
- Remove mangansese 6 PPM
- Sediment filter
if you’re looking for an effective simple solution for dealing with high levels of iron in your water, without doubt, try out Fleck Iron Pro 2 combination Water Softener. It’s a really highly rated, and it performs very well when it comes to dealing with a high amount of iron and manganese.
Without a doubt, the best water softener that removes the iron is the Iron pro 2 combination. This system was designed with iron removal in mind. It comes installed with a fleck 5600 control head. In addition to that, it’s installed with an iron filter that is able to remove iron from highs of 8ppm. Most people who have iron problems with their water will tend to also have hard water; thus, making a water softener ideal for hard water with iron.
This system is very popular with most customers who had an iron problem in their water reporting that they really love how clean their water becomes after installing this system. The systems come with a guarantee from the seller to repair or replace the system for 5 years for the control head and 10 years for the tanks.
AFWFilters AIS10 Air Injection: Best Value
- Ability to remove iron from highs of 15ppm
- Able to remove iron, sulfur, and manganese.
- Fairly simple installation and because of the bypass valve, it’s easy to service.
- Does not add any chemicals into the water because it utilizes oxygen.
If you have very high levels of iron in your water, installing an air-injection iron filter. This ideal if you’ve upwards of 15 ppm iron in your water. This system work by drawing oxygen into a tank that has water rich in iron where oxidation happens.
The AFWFilters AIS10 is the top air injection on the market today. As you probably know, AFW company has been one of the top water filter manufacturers for years.
They are renown by most experts as being the best filter makers. One look at the AFWFilters AIS10 demonstrates why their products are so popular. Here are the features and benefits of this model.
You might be asking what are the downside of using this system. You should know that unless you’ve very high levels of iron then air injection system might not be ideal. So, let’s look at the pros and cons of this system.
iSpring WGB32BM 3-Stage Filtration System: Best Value
- Ability to reduce iron from highs of 6ppm to less than 1ppm.
- Water flow capacity of 15 GPM; thus, does not negatively affect water flow capacity.
- Does not get rid of healthy minerals such as calcium from the water.
- Three-stage filtration where the 1st stage is a sediment filter, 2nd stage is carbon filter, 3rd stage iron filter.
- 100,000-gallon capacity replaceable filters.
Most water purification experts and customers know iSpring WGB22B-PB to be among the best whole house water purification system. This water purification system is packed with many cutting-edge features to ensure the highest performance.
The iSpring WB22B-PB is a 3-stage filtration system for removing iron and manganese from water. Making it really great for well water that has dissolved iron and manganese. The WGB32BM 3-Stage is able to reduce iron from highs of 6 ppm to as little as.
Stage one is a sediment filter for removing large sediments in the water. Stage two involves water going through the carbon block filter. Stage three involves FM25B iron and manganese filter.
Because of its high capacity, iSpring WGB22B-PB is perfect for large homes or even restaurants. You might be asking what are the downsides of this system. One thing I noticed when I was researching reviews is some people who complained of leakages. However, most reviews were positive.
Home Master Whole House 3-Stage Water Filtration System Review
The Home Master Brand is well known for their Reverse Osmosis water purifier. They assembled their most skilled and accomplished engineers to come up with Home master Whole House 3-stage filtration system, which is tailored towards removing iron, manganese, and sulfur from water. The filters are long-lasting with a capacity to process 100,00 gallons of water.
Before we begin looking at just how great the Home Master HMF3SDGFEC is, there are some basic things you should know about this filtration system; it uses a 3-stage filtration system.
- The 1st stage is a multi gradient sediment filter that removes solid contaminants such as rocks and salt.
- The 2nd stage is a carbon filter which is made with a coconut shell carbon filter. At this stage contaminants such as chlorine and eliminate odors.
- The 3rd stage is a specialized filter for removing iron, sulfur, and manganese. At this stage, 95% of iron is removed.
When it comes to flow rate, you have the option of going with either 20 GPM, 15 GPM or 10 GPM depending on your consumption. You might be asking what are the downsides of this filter, so let us dive in and look at the pros and cons.
To solve this challenge of removing iron from water cheaply and naturally, you have to find a way of adding air into the water. The method you use will depend on which is the most convenient way you have. The following are some of the commonly used techniques for water aeration.
- Ejector air diffuse– This is basically an air pipe inside a water pipe that injects air into the water.
- Drip air diffuser-In this method a closed tank has several plateaux on top of each other. Water drips from one plateau to another meeting a stream of air in the opposite direction.
- Bottom air diffuser– Aeration is achieved by placing water on a screen and then air is blown beneath it producing bubbles as the air escapes from the water. This technique is called a bubble diffuser.
- Aeration staircase- water flows down a staircase into a waiting container. In this technique, oxygen for aeration is gotten from the atmosphere.
How Iron contermination gets into the water
During the perforation of rainwater through rocks into water aquifers, irons that naturally exist in rocks dissolve in the water. Because there is no oxygen underground, oxidation of the iron does not take place.
Oxidation of iron happens when iron comes into contact with oxygen and a chemical reaction takes place to form solid particles that settle down on the surface of the container holding the water.
You can enhance this method of oxidation and filtration by spraying water into an underground tank and then pumping it to a tank. Before water reaches the tank it should pass through an air injector which adds more oxygen into the water.
Types of iron
Iron is the most abundant minerals found on the earth’s crust. This is why iron is also most everywhere. Most people who get their water supply from wells in American have iron in their water. There are three forms of iron found in underground water.
1. Ferrous iron
Ferric is iron in a solution form. If you put water with ferrous iron in a glass, the water is crystal clear because the iron is completely dissolved.
This form of iron can cause lots of problems because it stains your sinks and toilet bowls. The iron stain will only be seen when it’s exposed to the atmospheric air.
It has a chemical symbol (Fe2+). You can get rid of this form of iron by using a water softener. However, you should know when the concentration of this iron is very high it will shorten the life of the water softener.
2. Ferric iron
Unlike ferrous iron which is pure iron, ferric iron is iron that has oxidized. In this state, iron is out of solution and it’s solid. In this state it’s is filterable as a particulate. This goes by the chemical symbol (Fe3+). Ferric is iron has already been exposed to oxygen.
Ferric is insoluble in water, so it is visible as blown coloring when it comes out of groundwater. If you don’t get rid of ferric iron, it tends to clog your pipes. Ferric is iron has already been exposed to oxygen.
Ferric is insoluble in water, so it is visible as blown coloring when it comes out of groundwater. If you don’t get rid of ferric iron, it tends to clog your pipes.
3. Iron Bacteria
Iron bacteria are micro-organisms that consume iron. These bacteria are naturally found in soil and water. When feeding on iron, these tiny organisms create an oxidation reaction forming rust and greasy material that is deposited on water equipment which results in staining and corrosion.
What makes iron bacteria very nasty is that it is very difficult to filter out. Iron bacteria use iron as their energy source. Because iron bacteria are common in North America, it’s very common to find iron bacteria contamination in well water in the US. It goes by the chemical symbol (Fe3+).
You can minimize iron bacteria problems by maintaining good hygiene when constructing the well by using clean drilling tools and using chlorine residual in the water used for drilling. You should never use surface water for the purpose of drilling.
Effects of Iron bacteria
- Bad Odor
- Corrosion of water appliances
- Clogging of pipes
- The presence of other bacteria such as sulfur bacteria
- A high cost of maintaining wells
- Corrosion of well casing
- Reduced amount of water because of clogging.
The presence of iron bacteria can be revealed by the presence of reddish color in the water. In addition, the presence of a greasy slime on faucets usually is an indication of iron bacteria.
Using Chlorine To kill iron Bacteria
Iron bacteria can be eliminated through a process called shock chlorination. In this process, a strong chlorine solution is introduced into the well. Roughly 2 gallons of chlorine is mixed with 10 gallons of water. It’s then splashed into the well. For more information read here.
How to testing for iron
Having iron in your water supply is a nuisance. You can easily diagnose the presence of iron by the stains on your fixtures such as sinks and toilets. Iron also causes havoc in your laundry because at best your clothes never look clean and at worst it turns them orange. If in high concentration, iron can trigger skin and hair discoloration.
It’s very important to know the level of iron before we decide on the best iron filtration system to buy because if the iron is in the solution you’ve to turn it into a ferric state so that you filter it out as sediment. Iron test kits are available in test strips or as chemical titration home tests, and you can buy cheaply buy them online or in the local supply store.
Testing for iron using an iron test strip
- To carry out the test first fill your test tube with sample water.
- Remove the test strip from the packaging making sure not tear through the color chart.
- Deep the testing strip in the sample water
- Start moving the test strip around the test tube 30 seconds.
- After 30 seconds removed from the sample.
- Wait for two minutes after removing it from the water.
- Put it against your color chart and get the closest reading on the chart.
Water treatment methods for removing Iron
- Aeration of water
- Chemical oxidation
- Iron Filters- Oxidation, Sedimentation, and filtration
- Water softeners
1. Aeration of water to remove iron
The idea of aeration to remove iron from water from a borehole or well water is to allow the water to mix with air. Aeration brings water and air into close contact in order to oxidize the iron and bring it out of solution form to solid-state. Once the iron is in solid form it can be filtered out using a sediment filter. Aeration systems use the spraying process to mix underground water with air. The following are aeration methods that can be used.
- Venturi: This is a method of injecting air into water by installing a device on the pump to inject air by restricting the flow of water. A disadvantage of using ventures is they tend to creat problems like low flow in the home water supply.
- Air compressors: Air compressors draw air from the atmosphere and compress it using pressure. The air is injected into systems. Unlike venturi, air compressors don’t create flow problems.
- Air strippers: Air and water are thoroughly mixed together inside an aeration tank.
2. Chemical Oxidation
There many types of chemical oxidation agents that can be mixed with water. Examples of powerful chemical oxider include potassium permanganate. Chemical oxidizers are very effective at reducing iron from water. Another oxidizing media that is effective in converting ferrous iron into ferric is called Birm.
3. Iron filters: Oxidation, Sedimentation, and filtration
An iron filter is a water purification system specifically designed for filtering out iron from water. Basically, Iron filters work by the principles of oxidation, sedimentation, and filtration. It states by injecting oxygen into the water. An oxidation chemical reaction causes precipitating a. This is then followed by the physical filtration of iron particles.
When iron reacts with oxygen, oxidation of iron results in the formation of iron solid particles which are then physically filtered from the water. Water goes through a filter bed that captures solid particles. What you get on the other side of an iron filter is iron-free water.
For iron filters to remain efficient, they need to keep on getting rid of the iron that accumulates on the iron bed. They do this by backwashing to wash away solid particles. The iron filter requires a large amount of water for backwashing. The bigger the filters, the more amount of water it will require for backwashing with some big iron filter requiring up to 20 gallons for backwashing.
Iron filters pros and cons
Advantages of iron filters
- Iron filters are very effective in removing iron from water even when it’s in high concentration.
- Easy installation
- An iron filter does not add any chemical to your water. This is unlike water softeners that add sodium into your water.
- An iron filter will also function as a sediment filter.
- They will eliminate the staining caused by the presence of iron in the water.
- An iron filter has low maintenance compared to a water softener which requires you to add salt regularly.
Disadvantages of using iron filters
- An iron filter will not soften your water if you have hard water
- You will need to replace the filter after a while.
- A bit expensive
2. Using Water Softeners to Remove Iron
A water softener is a device for converting hard water to soft water. Hard water is water that is rich in minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and iron. The best way of dealing with hard water is to use a water softener. Water softeners use a process of ion exchange to remove calcium, magnesium, and iron. The water softener replaces calcium ions, magnesium ions, and iron ions with sodium ions.
The process of ion exchange takes place on the resin bed. After a water softener has worked for a period of time, it will need to regenerate. Regeneration is the process where a water softener clean and recharged itself.
A water softener is made up of two tanks and a valve head. One tank is where the process of ion exchange takes place and the second tank is where salt is added. The control head is some sort of computer that controls the whole system.
Water softeners pros and cons
Advantages of using water softeners to remove iron
- Very effective in softening water
- Effective in removing iron when it is not in high concentration
- Cheap to operate
- Water softeners are long-lasting. You can expect it to last for even a decade
- Some brands of a water softener are installed with iron filters
Disadvantages of using water softeners to remove iron
- Water with lots of iron reduces the life of water softeners
- Water softeners are a bit pricey compared to other types of filters
- Soft water is more corrosive and can result in it leaching on
Frequently Asked Question on Removing iron from Water
What are the health effects of iron?
The human body needs iron which is used by blood as hemoglobin for transporting oxygen in the body. On the other hand, iron can also be harmful to the human body when it comes into contact with human tissues. Inhalation of concentrated iron oxide fumes or dust may cause siderosis. More seriously, excessive inhalation of concentrated iron oxide can lead to lung cancer.
According to the U.S Environmental protection Agency, an acceptable level of iron in well water is below 0.3 mg/L. This amount does not lead to staining and other negative such as reddish color and metallic taste.
Do Water softeners remove iron?
The most popular device for removing iron from water are water softeners. Through a process of ion exchange, water softeners are great at removing iron and softening water. Most households that use water-softeners report a great improvement in the quality of water. However, you should now these devices are not great at removing organic-iron.
Do water filters remove iron?
Although regular carbon filters can’t remove iron, an iron filter can remove iron quite effectively. Iron water filter uses the process of aeration to bring iron into contact with oxygen so that oxidation of iron takes place. After oxidation, solid particles of rust are gotten rid of using mechanical filtration. You should note that ferric iron should be removed using sediment filters which tend to be more effective because it is in solid form.
Removing Iron From water using Shower filters.
We have done a comprehensive analysis of shower filters, and what they remove. Read the effectiveness of shower filters in removing iron here.
Iron Removal from well Water
Iron is abundantly found on rocks. When rainwater is sipping through rocks, this iron in rocks dissolves in the water. Effects of iron include staining of clothes and water appliances. In addition, iron might lead to the clogging of pipes. The most effective method of removing iron from well water naturally is by aeration. This technique involves bringing the well water into contact with oxygen. When this happens iron reacts with oxygen to form rust which consists of solid particles which can then be filtered by mechanical means.