IRON IN WATER
The EPA maximum allowable level for iron in water as a secondary contaminant is .3 parts per million and for manganese is .05 parts per million. These contaminants often show up together. Small amounts of these minerals can create very noticeable, even devastating affects on your home’s water quality. Iron, manganese and hard water interferes with many cleaning tasks, from doing the laundry to washing dishes to taking a shower. Washing your hair in iron laden water may leave it feeling sticky and dull or even discolor it. Dishes and glasses get spotted and a film may build up on shower doors, bathtubs, sinks and faucets. Clothes can look dingy and feel rough and scratchy. Iron can also cause a residue to build-up in pipes that can lower water pressure.
OTHER AFFECTS OF IRON IN WATER, MANGANESE & HARD WATER
Iron (see photo below) can build-up inside your water using appliances. Some other affects include corrosion and scaling inside pipes and major staining throughout the home’s showers, bathtubs, and sinks. For those using their water for outside lawn irrigation, iron and manganese can cause major staining of outside walkways, house siding and anyplace the water touches. See the link at http://h2ocare.com/lawn-irrigation/.
WATER SOFTENER TO REMOVE IRON IN WATER
A water softener is effective in removing dissolved forms of iron & manganese and hardness minerals. To remove particulate iron or manganese, water filtration utilizing a cartridge filter with proper micron rating will be effective. Depending on the specific situation, this could require a series of filters with different size micron ratings to handle heavier levels in the water. Selecting the appropriate micron rating and style of filter can be determined by a water treatment professional based on water test results and other symptoms. Water softeners vary, including up-flow versus down-flow which can make a big difference, particularly if there are elevated levels of iron or manganese in the water. In some cases where the water chemistry is more complicated, a different type of water filtration system may be more effective in removing iron from water or manganese. For more information on manganese and iron in water, see our published articles in Water Technology Magazine at the following link: http://h2ocare.com/publications/.
WHAT WILL A WATER SOFTENER NOT REMOVE?
A water softener will not remove the health threat contaminants Radon and Arsenic which may be found in water and will require different water filtration methods. Arsenic in water can be removed at the point of entry into the home with tanks filled with arsenic specific resin that captures the arsenic before it can get into the home’s water supply. Point of use systems for drinking water can use reverse osmosis technology to effectively remove arsenic. Radon can be safely removed with an aeration system that agitates the incoming well water, collects the gas from the water in a sealed chamber, then safely vents it to the outside ambient air. Speak to a water treatment professional to decide which system is right for you.