Iron is a natural mineral that can be found in well water. At lower levels, iron is not too much of a problem. But as the concentration of iron in water goes up, it can leave brown or red stains on laundry and dishes.

If enough iron builds up over time, the stain might become permanent as the minerals harden into an ugly scale that’s difficult to remove.

The best way to remove iron from your well water is by using an ion exchange system, which reduces the amount of iron in the water and improves its taste.

Iron also creates problems for appliances. If left untreated, water containing heavy amounts of iron can damage your appliances and even corrode metal piping.

If you have iron in your well water but are looking for a cheaper solution, there are some steps you can take without professional help

These methods range from the extremely effective to the less effective depending on how much iron is in the well water.

Ion exchange system

An ion exchange system pulls out iron ions using another chemical that will replace them in your plumbing system.

There are two types of ion exchange systems used for water treatment – cation and anion. An iron reduction system uses an anion resin, which is the more effective method of removing iron from your well water.

You can hire a professional installer of these systems to come to your home, or you can buy one online and have it delivered to your door.

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After installing an ion exchange system, you’ll have to wait for the resin in the system to regenerate before using it again

The resin needs to be flushed with salt water until all of the iron has been replaced by sodium or potassium ions. The exact amount of time this will take is dependent on how much iron is in your well water.

Unfortunately, the amount of time needed to flush the resin varies depending on how much iron is in your well water


Another option for getting rid of iron from well water is precipitation. If you have a large amount of iron in your well water, precipitation can be an effective way to get rid of it.

The precipitation method works because iron is more soluble in water than most other minerals. When dissolved, the iron forms an ion with a positive charge called a ferrous ion

To get rid of these ions, you can treat your well water with lime (calcium hydroxide) or sodium aluminate.

This creates insoluble compounds with lots of tiny pieces that will settle out in large quantities

You can then use a settling tank to filter the iron particles before sending it down the drain. Alternatively, you can let these particles settle on their own and drain them out periodically.

Filter system

A filter system can also remove iron, but it doesn’t work as efficiently or completely as an ion exchanger. You might need to use several different types of filters to get rid of the iron, and even then it might not be 100 percent effective.

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You can also use a filter to get rid of iron particles, which will make it easier to remove the particles by settling or draining them

There are different types of filters you can use for this purpose depending on your specific needs and budget – sediment, carbon and ion exchange.

Sediment (or mechanical) filter systems use activated carbon to remove particles that are visible to the naked eye. A sediment filter will not remove iron, but because it’s inexpensive, it can be an effective choice for removing other minerals in your well water.

Carbon filters work by drawing out dissolved solids through a carbon-based material called activated carbon. This type of filter is typically used to remove iron, as well as other minerals and contaminants, from water.

Magnetic system

A magnetic system can remove iron from water using a powerful exterior magnet, but these can be expensive and less effective than other options. They also don’t have any chemical components to replace the iron ions as an ion exchanger would.

The iron will change its polarity at the magnetic field’s strength, which is added to the water. This type of filter can be effective if you have a smaller amount of iron in your well water because it only reduces the concentration by about 20 percent.

However, it also takes significantly longer to remove iron from your well water with this system , and you’ll have to replace the components on a regular basis.

About the author

I started working as a quality control manager with the Water Authority of Nassau County in 2005. After a few years, I moved into Water Waste Prevention, where I currently work as the production supervisor. I love my job and the people I work with, but most of all I love spending time with my family.