Iron is the most abundant mineral on earth, and is noticeably prevalent in earth’s crust. Rain water and melting snow dissolve the iron in earth’s crust as they filter through it and carry dissolved iron to underground aquifers that supply our homes with water.
This ferrous iron is not immediately visible to the naked eye, and is in fact sometimes called “clear water iron” because water containing it will emerge from the tap looking perfectly clear. Later, when the dissolved iron reacts with oxygen in the air, it will take on the trademark brown or rusty coloration, and leave unsightly stains on clothes and plumbing fixtures.
High concentrations of dissolved iron can cause water to smell and taste like metal. Coffee, tea, and other beverages made from water with a high concentration of iron will take on an inky, black color. This abundance of iron is not considered hazardous, but the stains and tastes can be a major annoyance to homeowners.
You Don’t Have to Live With Rust-Colored Stains
Unfortunately, iron cannot be removed from water in its dissolved state. Modern day iron filters use cutting-edge technology to combat this issue. By raising the pH of the water (decreasing its acidity), iron filters create an environment which encourages the oxidation of ferrous iron into a precipitate. The precipitate binds to specialized resin beads within the filter and can be rinsed away during the ion-exchange process of backwashing. Injecting pressurized air can also catalyze the oxidation of dissolved ferrous iron and aid in filtration.
These treatments for iron issues have proven to be extremely effective, but only after a careful water analysis determines the best course of action.