Causes and Solutions for Water Softener Iron Issues, Part 1

At Mike Zimmerman Well Service LLC, we’re proud to offer several distinct services as complements or in addition to our primary water well drilling, installation and treatment solutions. One such service is water well softening, where we install a softening device to remove magnesium, calcium and various other contaminants that might have made their way into your water supply.

Unfortunately, traditional water softening solutions have a couple areas they aren’t as effective for, and one such area is in any water supply with high iron content. For several reasons we’ll detail here, typical water softeners do not adequately prevent this high iron content from remaining in your water supply – but luckily, there are some simple solutions to get around this if your well is having issues with iron content. In this two-part blog series, we’ll go over everything you need to know here, from the issues with iron in your water to begin with to why water softeners don’t solve these issues, plus what you can do for a proper remedy.

causes solutions water softener iron

Issues With High-Iron Water

Iron in water is a tricky area when it comes to human health. Small levels of iron are not considered much of a risk, but larger quantities are considered contaminants – but it can be tough to tell exactly how high your levels are, as they may vary based on different samples.

Generally, however, high iron content in water can lead to several negatives. Some of these are aesthetic, such as stains in sinks and pots or the presence of iron bacteria in the toilet tank. Others are health-related, including bacteria overload that can lead to stomach issues, nausea, vomiting, or even diabetes and hemochromatosis in some cases.

Why Water Softeners Don’t Solve It

So why can’t your water softener, which handles many other similar contaminants with ease, deal with iron content in water? It has to do with their capacity. Water softeners are capable of removing some iron from water, just not as much as is often present.

Generally speaking, water softeners remove iron at a rate of roughly one part per million (abbreviated ppm, roughly equal to one milligram of iron dissolved in a liter of water). But there are numerous regions of the country, including many in Utah, where iron content reaches as high as 10 or even 15 ppm – the resin beads present in water softeners are not equipped to handle this level of iron. So if your property’s water iron content is anywhere near this range, you will have to consider other solutions for removing it.

In part two, we’ll go over those solutions and some other important factors. To learn more about this or any of our water well treatment or rehabilitation services, speak to the staff at Mike Zimmerman Well Service LLC.