If you have well water and see red, brown or yellow water flowing from your tap, it could be a sign that you have iron in your water. While this excess iron is not hazardous to your health, it is off-putting and can cause damage to your plumbing, appliances, fixtures. Here’s a quick look at where red water comes from and what you can do to put a stop to it.
Where does red water come from?
Iron is one of the most plentiful elements on Earth. A small amount of iron is usually present in all drinking water, but doesn’t typically change the taste, smell or appearance of the water. Sometimes, when there is excess rainfall, rain water runs through soil and dissolves the existing iron found there. It then seeps into groundwater sources connected to individual wells causing increased levels of iron in well water.
When homeowners experience red water, it usually shows up in one of two ways.
- Water comes out of the faucet clear, but then turns red or brown after standing. This is known as “clear-water iron” or ferrous iron. This means that the iron is completely dissolved in the water, but when exposed to air (or oxidized) after flowing through the faucet, forms a reddish brown substance.
- Water comes out of the faucet as red or yellow. This is known as “red water” iron or ferric iron. This iron is already oxidized and therefore, the reddish brown substance is present immediately.
Either way, iron in your water can be annoying.
How does excess iron affect my home?
While red water is not harmful to your health, it does have an off-putting metallic taste, making it unpalatable to drink or cook with. Water with excess water will also stain pipes, appliances, fixtures, and any clothes washed in it. If left untreated, red water can leave iron deposits inside your home’s plumbing, leading to mineral build-up, lower water pressure, inefficient appliances, and costly damage to your home’s plumbing.
Untreated iron buildup can also introduce iron bacteria into your home’s plumbing. These bacteria feed on iron to survive and leave behind a slimy biofilm. This creates a musty or moldy smell and a safe haven for other bacteria to grow.
How do I fix red water?
Wolverine Water offers a number of water systems that can help you combat red water in your home.
Our Iron Breaker with Ozone whole home water treatment combats iron, iron bacteria, manganese and sulfur (two other smelly, troublesome water contaminants).
Our Blue Line whole home water system battles iron and other minerals that lead to hard water, like calcium and limescale.
Our Arsenic Removal w/Ozone whole home water system battles troublesome red water alongside arsenic, another common contaminant of wells.
Our Wolverine Water experts can perform a quick 20-minute water test to help you determine how bad your red water problem is and what other contaminants are impacting your home’s water quality. From there, they can recommend the whole home water system that will best fit your needs.
Ready to get started? Schedule your free in-home water test today.