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?
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
is always going to be found in water; it's an overabundance
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.
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
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.
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