Why Are Water Softeners Ineffective Against High Iron Water?

High iron water does not only lead to stained sinks and pots in bathrooms but also the appearance of iron bacteria in the toilet tank. Most homeowners use a water softener to solve the problem of high iron water. However, a water softener proves to be ineffective in most cases because when it comes to high iron water, a standardized solution mostly proves to be inefficient. In this article, we will try to understand what makes standard water softeners ineffective against the iron present in the water and what can homeowners do to get rid of this problem.

Why Are Water Softeners Ineffective Against High Iron Water?

When it comes to iron in water, even an amount as meager as 0.3 parts per million is enough to cause severe staining. While most softeners can get rid of a small amount of iron present in water, water softeners, in general, aren’t designed to treat iron water. Most water softeners, thus, are effective only when the iron is present in concentrations up to 1 part per million. In regions where iron content is on the higher side, water softeners become useless. In many places around the world, the high amount of iron present in the soil trickles into aquifers and water tables, thereby reaching the domestic water supply. In such areas, water softeners primarily designed to remove hardness from water by extracting minerals prove to be ineffective against the high iron content.

Here’s How to Deal with the Problem of High Iron Water

The only way to get rid of the high iron content from water is to upgrade your water treatment system continually. However, to be able to do this effectively, you must first understand how water equipment work against the iron present in water. Water contains two types of iron. Ferric iron, also known as red water iron, is insoluble in water and can be spotted by the naked eye. Ferric ion, on the other hand, can be easily filtered using the right device. The second type of iron is one that is soluble in water and thus, cannot be spotted. This soluble form of iron must first be oxidized before removal. If you are dealing with soluble iron, consider installing an iron filter. Iron filters contain an oxidation chamber where the iron present in water is oxidized to form particulate matter, which is then trapped inside the media.

Here’s How to Deal with the Problem of Iron Bacteria

Iron bacteria are bacteria that feed on the iron present in water. These bacteria usually form a layer at the top of the water tank or the back of your toilet and are quite easy to notice. Iron bacteria cause health concerns and also affect the quality and taste of water. They are also capable of damaging your pump and water softener. Thus, it’s essential to get rid of these bacteria as soon as possible. One of the most effective ways to deal with iron bacteria is to treat well water with chlorine. If iron bacteria constantly bombard your water tank and toilet, consider installing a chlorine generator or an ozone generator.

The Final Word

You scrub and wash your floors all you want, but the best way to remove iron stains from surfaces caused by high iron content is to opt for professional water treatment. A water softener may help, but it’s not the equipment designed for the task.

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