Why is it Bad to Have Iron in Your Home’s Water?

Water testing

The Importance of Iron Removal from Water

Today, after events like in Flint, Michigan, we are all concerned about the quality of the water coming into our homes. Even though the city or water supply companies are required to perform water treatment, many of us are considering doing additional water treatment. One goal of water treatment excessive iron removal process. While iron is needed for the human body, it is one of those things that too much is not good. 

What is iron removal?

The process of iron removal is to make water safer for consumption. By consuming water that has a high level of iron content, the excess iron will naturally be stored in organs like the heart, liver, and pancreas, leading to having too much iron in the body. Too much iron can lead to diabetes, heart problems, liver disease, and other life-threatening conditions. 

What methods are used for iron removal? 

There are different ways that iron removal can be done. It is recommended for your water quality be tested before proceeding with any type of water filtration. This will ensure that you’re removing the right type of materials and not something that you need. The ways for iron removal can be done in various ways, including:


What equipment is used for iron removal? Every region of the country can have different factors affecting the water supply, thus why water quality testing should be done first. The factors that should be a concern are: 

  • Temperature
  • pH balance
  • Alkalinity
  • Dissolved oxygen content
  • … and other factors 

If the wrong equipment is used, or the equipment is used wrong, it can lead to failure. Following the directions provided by the equipment manufacturer for the backwash rate, flow rate recommended pH levels,  and maximum iron input level as well as suggested water temperatures.

Water filter

Water filters are the most commonly used method for homeowners because of their versatility. Most iron removal systems operate using the principle of oxidation and converting the iron to a ferrous state before filtering the water. 

Water softener

By design, water softeners exchange ions and for the iron removal process, a cation resin is used to exchange the iron content for sodium, and exchange the calcium and magnesium are exchanged for sodium. 

Media Selection

Filtration with various means of oxidation is a common iron removal method. Various choices in media for iron removal can include other processes like aeration, chlorine, peroxide injection, or ozone to give the oxidizing properties a boost. The media choices include: 

  • Greensand
  • Manganese dioxide
  • Birm
  • Redox

What are the benefits of iron removal? 

Iron removal from your water has several benefits, including: 

  • Increases the plumbing’s lifespan.
  • Improves the water pressure.
  • Extend the lifespan of your appliances.
  • Improves the health of your hair and skin.
  • Improves the smell and taste.

How do you know your water has too much iron?

The best method for iron removal is to start with professional laboratory testing. This will give you an exact measurement of iron in your water so that you know how to proceed. If your water has reddish or yellowish colored, either the water has a high level of iron, or you may need to have your home replumbed. 

How can iron affect your family?  

High doses of iron can cause health problems for a healthy person. Some of the after-effects of excessive iron include: 

  • Abdominal pain
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • An upset stomach, especially on an empty stomach
  • Vomiting

When iron is consumed in large amounts, the effects can be more serious. This includes the stomach lining becoming inflamed and the formation of ulcers. 

How often should iron removal equipment be serviced?

The level of iron in your water can affect the frequency of having your iron removal equipment serviced. With a media tank in good condition, the filter should be re-bedded and serviced annually. The technician that provides that service will advise you if you should increase that frequency. For the iron removal process to be thorough, it is important to maintain the recommended service frequency. 

Closing thoughts

Water is an important thing in our lives, we can’t live without it. In fact, three days is the maximum! And because we need water daily, we need to get the best quality of water possible, and if that requires iron removal, it is worthwhile.

However, we need to main a certain level of iron too, which means we need to maintain the iron removal process.  How much do we need? It varies from person to person and it is different between men and women, and our age has a bearing on the amount of daily iron requirement for our health. Some examples of iron requirements are: 

  • For men over 18 years of age, 8.7mg 
  • For women between ages 19 and 50, 14.8mg
  • For women over the age of 50, iron requirements drop to 8.7mg

These are basic lines, everyone should have their medical professional give them accurate guidance in their iron intake. For premier iron removal in Leander, TX, please get in touch with us at 800-633-8469 to get started!