Iron is an essential mineral, but high levels in your drinking water should be removed. Iron in water has many negative effects, but here are the most common ones:
- Effects on Your Health – While a low level of iron isn’t harmful in and of itself, iron in drinking water is classified as a secondary contaminant according to the EPA. This is because iron often carries with it bacteria that feed off the iron to survive. These small organisms can be harmful when digested.
- Effects on Your Skin – Water with excessive amounts of dissolved minerals such as iron and magnesium can have negative effects on your skin. They can damage healthy skin cells, which can lead to wrinkles. In addition, water with iron doesn’t blend well with soap. This causes issues when showering and bathing, as soap scum residue will be left not only in your bathtub but on your skin as well. This can clog skin pores, which will lead to a buildup of oils in your skin. This, in turn, can lead to skin problems such as acne or eczema.
- Effects on Food and Drink – Water with iron has a metallic taste to it, which makes it very unpleasant to drink. Using this water for beverages such as coffee or tea will create to an unpleasant and dark concoction. In addition, water with high levels of iron is not recommended for your cooking needs. Vegetables and other foods cooked in such water will blacken and absorb a bad taste.
- Staining Effects of Iron – Iron leaves residue on anything it touches. If you clean your dishes with it, you’ll get orange or dark red stains on your plates and cutlery. If you wash your clothes with it, your clothes will have dark stains on them. Iron in water can also leave dark stains in your shower, bathtub, and in your toilet and toilet tank.
- Clogging Effects of Iron – When water with high levels of iron content flow through your pipes, iron residue builds up inside them. This can cause your pipes to clog up, leading to clogged toilets and sinks and a reduced water pressure in your house. Bacteria that is attached to the iron causes brown slime to build up in your pipes and wherever you have water in your house. A sudden release of the residue in your pipes can lead to a sudden rush of discolored water.
Causes and Solutions
What causes high levels of iron in water? Iron in water often comes from corrosion of underground iron pipes. It’s also if you have a private water source, such as a well. Iron from the surrounding soil can seep in when the soil is saturated. The EPA sets the limit for healthy levels of iron as 0.3 mg/L, but even lower levels can cause some of the problems mentioned above.
If you have iron in your water, using a water softener such as the Hague WaterMax is the best way to solve it. Methods such as filtration and an ion exchange are used to clean your water from iron and other harmful substances. If your iron levels are extremely high, you may need a system just to address the iron issue. We can help with that as well.
If you have any questions about iron in your water, or if you’d like a water filtration system serviced or installed in your home, contact EPA Water Consultants. We are the authorized Hague water filtration system dealer in the Greater Philadelphia area, servicing towns like Newtown, Macungie and Souderton.
EPA Water Consultants have been working with homeowners, home builders and businesses for years throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey to solve multiple water-related problems. Each install is completed by an EPA Water employee as if it was our home – no subcontractors! With our 100% water quality guarantee, EPA Water Consultants will provide the best water available to you and your home or business!