Does Red Water Mean I Have Iron In My Well Water?

red iron well water

Yes. Red water IS usually caused by iron – specifically ferric iron.

What is ferric iron? Stay with me for a fun, fast lesson on the three most common forms of iron in Connecticut well waters. And this will totally impress your friends!

1. Clear Water Iron

Iron dissolved into water – so the water runs clear – is ferrous iron. Like salt dissolved in water. The salt is definitely there, but you can’t see it.

2. Red Water Iron

Iron that was dissolved in water but has precipitated out – meaning it’s now visible in the water – is ferric iron. This is water that runs with a red tint or runs brownish red.

3. Iron Bacteria

Living bacteria, which thrives in iron-enriched water. Gross? Yes! It’s not harmful to drink, but it can clog your pipes and make your water run red.

Funny thing about iron is that it wants to be visible. It wants your attention and will look for any opportunity to go from Clear Water Iron to Red Water Iron.

How does this happen? Well, it is a chemical process, which you may find a little boring but what makes the iron change – THAT – is the real interesting part.

The Top Three Reasons Why Iron Changes From Being Invisible To Turning Your Water, Your Clothes And Toilet Red Are:

1. Oxygen

Literally the air around you turns clear iron water into red iron water. That is why your toilet bowl stains at the water line. That’s where the magic happens, between air – oxygen – and iron.

2. Heat

Such as the hot water you use to shower, wash your dishes, do your laundry. That heat also causes a reaction and turns the invisible iron into staining iron.

3. Chlorine

Yes, the chlorine that you use to make your whites whiter actually makes the iron ironer. (Ok, ironer isn’t a real word, but chlorine does change clear iron to pain in the neck iron, which – lovingly – stains your clothes red.)

How Did Iron Get Into My Water In The First Place?

Mother Nature put it in the ground. And she put a LOT in the ground. As your water moves underground it passes through iron ore and dissolves some iron.

It’s that simple.

How Do You Get Rid Of The Iron?

In Connecticut, water treatment professionals will recommend a water softener because it also removes iron, or an iron filter.

Most water treatment companies will perform a free water test in your home to determine what type of iron you have and the best course of action.

To save some time, give H2O Equipment Company a call for your free water test. To view the towns we service, click here.