How Can Water Filters Remove Iron?

Well, water has iron. Corrosion of pipes and iron-containing soil or rock formations can cause it.

Redwater is caused by oxygen oxidizing ferric iron (red-water iron). An iron filter is needed to remove it.

Short Answer

As a water filter technician, I can say several effective iron removal methods exist. Oxidation iron removal filters are popular. A catalyst for oxidation—an air pocket, media, chemical, or combination—is used in this filter. The catalyst tank converts ferrous iron into ferric iron as water flows through the oxidizing filter. Before entering your home and damaging your pipes, ferric iron is removed.

Manganese greens and removes high iron levels from water. This filter reduces iron and manganese by oxidizing ferrous iron into ferric iron. Before the ferric iron can enter your home and damage your pipes, it is removed. These filters are sometimes used with aeration or chlorine to treat water better.

To prevent bleach taste, carbon filters remove ferric iron and chlorine. Chlorination converts manganese into manganese oxide, which mechanical filtration can remove. Potassium permanganate can also oxidize iron and manganese, which can be filtered out.

In my experience, iron removal filters benefit many customers. High iron levels in well water caused my client’s water to discolor and stain their clothes. After installing an iron removal filter, their water tasted better and stained less. The filter’s effectiveness depends on the water’s iron concentration and the filter. To choose a filter, consult a water treatment professional.

Activated carbon

Activated carbon filters water by removing chlorine and other impurities. In addition, activated carbon can mask bad tastes and odors and is NSF-certified for various contaminants.

Activated carbon filters can remove iron from water through catalytic reduction or adsorption. In both cases, positively charged carbon surfaces attract negatively charged ions.

Carbon comes from wood, coconut shells, and bituminous coal. After being heated and oxidized, carbon becomes extra porous, making it a good carbon adsorbent.

Activated carbon can adsorb and oxidize iron and manganese from groundwater, making it an attractive option for small communities seeking to lower iron levels in their drinking water. In addition, activated carbon prevents borehole abandonment and treats industrial pollution and wastewater.

Reverse osmosis

Reverse osmosis efficiently removes iron from drinking water. This process pushes water through a membrane that traps contaminants as small as one atom, giving you clean tap water.

Per- and polyfluorinated compounds (PFASs) are artificial chemicals in water supplies that may harm humans. Reverse osmosis can remove them from drinking water.

Iron, another drinking water contaminant, can stain plumbing fixtures and clothes, irritate eyes and throats, and emit unpleasant odors.

A reverse osmosis system can remove iron from drinking water if it has been tested and certified to treat contaminants. This ensures maximum filtration system performance.

Ultraviolet light

UV light is part of sunlight and can be absorbed or scattered by organic materials in water like iron, manganese, silica, and others.

UV filtration systems can kill bacteria and other microorganisms but cannot remove all pollutants. It makes the water safe to drink.

It prevents flu, typhoid, and other waterborne diseases. It also prevents biofilm buildup in plumbing systems, which can cause brown or rusty stains.

Make sure your UV filter has multi-coatings on both sides. These coatings eliminate reflections from both glass sides that cause double images and ghosting.

NSF certification

The National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) sets strict standards and certifications for water treatment systems to ensure consumers can find the right system for their needs. These requirements ensure consumers can find a system that works for them, even if it costs more than expected.

The filtration process requires NSF certification to ensure a filter meets or exceeds manufacturer contaminant reduction claims. It verifies that the filter works as advertised under normal household conditions.

In addition to materials safety and structural integrity, NSF tests the filtration system’s chemical reduction performance. Chlorine (taste and odor), chloramines, iron, manganese, hydrogen sulfide, pH neutralization, and zinc reduction are tested for each filter system.

NSF/ANSI Standard 53 certification requires performance testing with performance indication devices that flash or alarm when rated capacity is reached. This testing method is more thorough than Standard 42.