Red Water: Could Iron Be Making Your Home's Water Dangerous?

Water pouring

If the water in your home occasionally runs orange or red, you could have an issue with iron. Well water is most likely to experience this problem, which usually includes a metallic taste to the water in addition to the unpleasant hue.
But because this problem tends to be recurring — and doesn't always cause obvious issues — many homeowners may seek to avoid the issue entirely. So how harmful, exactly, is iron?

How Does Iron Get Into Your Water?

Iron is a natural component of soil, and consequently, it's a natural component of any well water. But different types of soil have different concentrations of iron. Some iron is always going to be found in water; it's an overabundance of iron that becomes dangerous.

But a sudden increase in iron in your well water could indicate something more serious: rust. Older pipes may rust and iron may be introduced into your water in that way. Not only is this a dangerous amount of iron, but it will also indicate that pipes are likely to begin to leak.

What Happens When Iron Gets Into Water?

One reason that homeowners often hesitate to deal with iron in their water is that it's not directly harmful — at least, as far as health goes. Most people will never experience a health issue related to bathing in or even drinking water with a high iron content, though it may have a very unpleasant appearance and taste.

Iron poisoning can be very dangerous, but it isn't possible to drink enough iron in water to gain iron toxicity. You may, however, experience abdominal pain or bowel issues.

On the other hand, iron-filled water isn't pleasant to drink or cook with, and it will change the taste of anything that it's included in.

Iron will stain clothing, bedding and anything else that it is used to wash with a rusty, reddish tinge. More importantly, iron will eventually begin to coat the insides of pipes and appliances, and may ultimately block them entirely, causing extensive — and expensive — damage. The true harm to iron in the water supply is the harm that comes to your home.

How Can You Get Iron Out of Your Water?

By far the easiest way to manage iron in your water supply is to filter it out. Filtering your water doesn't just remove the iron; it also removes other potentially dangerous contaminants. This makes your water healthier and also improves your water's taste. Filtered water is gentler on appliances and pipes — ensuring that they last longer — and will provide crystal clear water to wash and cook with.

Homeowners may additionally want to address potential problems with their well system, especially if the iron has occurred suddenly. They may need to deal with rust inside of their system and may want to replace parts before they begin to leak. A system that is rusting may begin to cause other issues down the line.

But it's important to note that repairs won't remove all of the iron within the well system because a certain amount of iron is always going to be introduced to the water through the soil.

Ultimately, iron isn't a major health concern — but it is still dangerous to your property. If you have noticeable iron in your water supply, you're likely already experiencing some of the ill effects: clogged up pipes, bad-tasting water and stained clothing. You could even be feeling some gastrointestinal distress.

Luckily, it can be removed with the help of a water filtration system. Contact us at Hague Quality Water today to find out more about what our systems can do for you.

(913) 349-6330

711 N Lindenwood Drive

Olathe, KS 66062

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