How to Remove Iron from Your Private Well Water

For many people, private wells are an excellent alternative to local public water sources. In most cases, private wells provide great-tasting, chemical-free water with vital minerals and nutrients. These groundwater sources are also cost-effective and environmentally-friendly.

If you are among the estimated 43 million Americans who rely on private wells for drinking water, there is a good chance that your water contains high levels of iron.

And since the EPA does not regulate private wells or impose mandatory standards or criteria for individual wells, you are solely responsible for the safety of your water.

Iron is a naturally-occurring element that makes up about five percent of the earth’s crust. When it rains, the rainwater soaks into the ground and moves through rocks and soil. Some of the iron then dissolve and accumulate in aquifers that serve as groundwater sources for water wells.

Hence, it is important to know whether or not your well water is contaminated with iron, how it affects your home, and what steps you can take to protect your drinking water.

Signs of Iron Contamination and How It Affects Your Home on Well Water

While there is no evidence that consuming iron-contaminated water is harmful to your health, it can wreak all kinds of havoc in your household. Here are some common effects of iron in your drinking water:

1.     Metallic taste and odor

Iron can give your water an unpleasant, metallic taste and odor, which can make it difficult to drink. When the iron combines with tea, coffee, and other beverages, it produces a dark, ink-like appearance and a dreadful taste. Besides, if you cook vegetables in water that contains iron, they might take on a darker and unappealing look.

2.   Iron Bacteria

“Iron bacteria” naturally occur in shallow soils and groundwater and can invade your well water when it is constructed or repaired. The iron in your well water fosters the growth of this and other types of bacteria. So, if you notice any dark-colored reddish, brown or yellow slime in your sinks, bathtub, or toilet tank, there might be “iron bacteria” present in your water. This slime can also clog pipes and plumbing fixtures and make your drains smelly. Although most of the smell might be coming from sulfur.

3.   Stains on laundry and dishes

When you use iron-contaminated water in your washing machine, your clothes, sheets, and towels can become discolored with orange-colored stains. The same thing goes for the dishes that go through your dishwasher.

4.   Stains on plumbing fixtures and surfaces

Even in low concentrations, iron can leave similar stains on fixtures, tableware, countertops, etc. Not only are these stains nasty and unpleasant, but they can be difficult to remove.

Combating Iron Contamination: The Most Effective Solution

There are several options available for removing iron from your water, but the ideal treatment method for your situation will depend on the type of iron in your water, along with other factors. If you have not already done so, get your water tested so you can determine the type and amount of iron present in your drinking water as well as the water’s pH and the dissolved oxygen. A laboratory analysis can help determine the extent of the problem and the possible treatment solutions.

But regardless of the test results, a premium whole house water filtration system (with UV technology) is probably the most effective and economical way to remove iron from your drinking water. These systems will remove up to 95% of the iron in your home’s water supply and will protect your plumbing fixtures and water-using appliances from stains, rust, and slime. That means no more stains, discoloration, and scale on your laundry and dishes and in your sinks, tubs and toilet tanks. Furthermore, most quality whole house water filters can eliminate the bad taste and smell, and help prevent bacteria growth.

Among the best private well systems on the market, the Springwell ULTRA Whole House Well Water Filter System Combo is possibly the most powerful. This specific model combines a whole house well system, a whole house carbon filtration system and a salt-free water softener to give you a system that doesn’t only remove iron and other common contaminants, but prevents the buildup of limescale in your pipes, plumbing fixtures, and more.

Beyond that, this well water system uses the SpringWell Air Injection Oxidizing Filter, UV technology (optional), Template Assisted Crystallization (TAC) and other innovative technology to combat iron in your water. Check it out here!


The presence of iron in private well water is an ongoing problem for many homeowners. To determine the best treatment option, it’s best to get the water tested. If you want a complete system that targets and removes iron and other common contaminants like lead, Sulfur, bacteria, etc., from your drinking water, a whole house water filtration system is the way to go.