Iron Removal Water Treatment Systems

Iron makes up about 5% of the earth’s crust. Iron can enter the water supply when water, especially as acid rain, dissolves the iron oxides located in the earth’s crust. Iron exists in various forms such as ferrous, ferric, and as a slimy compound that is known as iron bacteria. When iron is present in the water supply in excess of .3 parts per million (mg/l) it can cause a red or brown staining on everything it comes in contact with like sidewalks, appliances and clothing. This staining is undesirable and is the reason an iron filter should be installed to remove the iron and eliminate the staining. At times there can be more than one type of iron present.

It is important to identify the type of iron you have before attempting to choose the proper method of removal. This can be done with some casual observations. Questions that need to be asked are:

  1. When the water is drawn from the source tap does it appear to be rusty or have a reddish/brownish color or tint?    If so we would classify this as red water iron or ferric iron.
  2. When removing the back of the toilet tank is there a slimy, stringy sludge present?  If you run your finger along the edge of the tank does the iron appear to be stringy and hang from your finger?  If so, this would indicate iron bacteria is present.
  3. When water is drawn from the source tap does it appear to be clear?  As it sits for a few hours exposed to the air such as in a dog dish does it stain the dish around the rim or turn reddish-orange?  If the answer is yes, then it would indicate you have clear water iron or ferrous iron.

Once the type of iron is identified the next step is to identify the quantity of iron present.  For iron bacteria the quantity is not important.  For the red water and clear water types a test must be done to determine the amount of iron present.  Two ways can accomplish this testing.  The first way is to send a sample water bottle to our office for testing.  The water bottle must be completely full with no air bubbles.  We will test it free of charge and contact you with the results.  The second method is to contact our office and we will mail you an iron test strip that will allow you to identify your iron level at home.  Once the iron amount is identified in combination with the type of iron identified from your observation you can choose or we can recommend the proper system for your application.

The best methods available to remove the iron problems as identified above are as follows:

  • When bacterial iron is present, the Flag City Water Systems Peroxide Injection System is needed.
  • When ferrous (clear water) iron is present, the Flag City Water Systems AIO Iron Removal System (up to 5 ppm) or the Flag City Water Systems Aeration System (up to 10 ppm) may be used.
  • If you have ferric (red water) iron, then the Flag City Water Systems Macrolite Filter may be used.