The 5 Cheapest Ways to Remove Iron from Well Water

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Iron is bad for you. It causes cancer, and heart disease, and even impairs brain development in children. But most importantly, it makes your drinking water taste terrible.

There are many cheap and effective ways to get rid of iron from your drinking water. In fact, you may already be using one of these methods without even knowing it.

I’m going to share with you some cheapest ways to remove iron from your drinking water. And I’ll also tell you why each method works and which ones work best.

cheapest way to remove iron from well water

What is Iron in Well Water?

Iron is a mineral that occurs naturally in groundwater. Iron is necessary for healthy growth and development in humans and animals. However, too much iron can cause health problems such as anemia and liver damage.

To prevent these issues, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recommends that drinking water contain no more than 15 parts per billion (ppb) of total dissolved solids (TDS). TDS refers to the number of minerals present in water, including iron.

Some states require that public water systems test for iron levels and many private wells already meet state standards. If your well water contains high amounts of iron, you may want to consider having it tested.

Types of Iron Found in Well Water

Well water contains many different kinds of iron, depending on the source of the water. Some sources contain high levels of iron, such as groundwater, springs, and rainwater. Other sources may contain low levels of iron, like surface water and seawater.

There are two forms of iron that occur naturally in water: ferrous iron and nonferrous iron. Ferrous iron occurs in both fresh and salt water, whereas nonferrous iron only occurs in freshwater.

Nonferrous iron includes manganese, calcium, magnesium, aluminum, and silicon. These elements combine to form rust, which is why iron is commonly associated with corrosion.

However, iron isn’t always bad; it’s actually beneficial to our bodies. Iron is needed for oxygen transport in red blood cells, and it plays a role in bone formation.

How Iron Gets into Well Water

Iron gets into drinking water in many different ways. One of the biggest sources of iron in drinking water is rusting pipes. Rusting pipes can cause iron particles to leach into the water supply.

Another source of iron in drinking water comes from the soil around wells. Soil naturally contains iron, and when rainwater runs off the land and flows down into the ground, it picks up iron along the way. Once the water reaches underground aquifers, it mixes with groundwater and becomes contaminated with iron.

Is Iron in Water Dangerous to Drink?

Iron in water is dangerous to consume. Iron is toxic to humans and animals. It causes damage to organs such as the liver, kidneys, heart, spleen, pancreas, and brain.

Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, fatigue, weakness, headache, dizziness, confusion, loss of appetite, and jaundice. Iron poisoning may lead to death.

People should avoid drinking water containing high levels of iron. To reduce the risk of iron poisoning, boil water for 10 minutes before consuming it.

Side Effects of Iron in Drinking Water

Iron is a mineral that’s necessary for many bodily functions, such as blood production, oxygen transport, and energy metabolism. However, too much iron can cause serious health problems, especially in children.

One of these side effects is iron poisoning, which occurs when excess iron accumulates in the body. Symptoms include fatigue, weakness, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, headache, dizziness, confusion, irritability, and depression.

Fortunately, iron poisoning is easily treated with medication. To prevent iron poisoning, limit the consumption of foods high in iron, such as red meat, poultry, fish, shellfish, dried beans, nuts, seeds, whole grains, and fortified cereals. Also, avoid taking supplements containing iron unless recommended by a doctor.

Cheapest Way to Remove Iron from Well Water

Wells are great sources of clean drinking water, but sometimes they contain high levels of iron. Iron is naturally occurring in groundwater, and it can cause problems like discoloration and taste issues.

Fortunately, there are some cheapest ways to remove iron from well water. Here are some options for removing iron from well water.

1. Oxidation And Filtration

The process of removing iron from drinking water involves two steps: oxidation and filtration. Oxidizing removes the iron by converting it to ferrous oxide. Ferrous oxide is insoluble in water, so it settles out of the solution. Filtering removes any remaining particles of iron.

In order to oxidize iron, we need oxygen. We add hydrogen peroxide to our water supply. Hydrogen peroxide is a powerful oxidizer. It breaks down into water and oxygen gas. Oxygen gas bubbles away from the surface of the water, carrying the iron along with it. Once the iron is removed from the water, it falls to the bottom of the container.

Once the iron is gone, we need to remove any remaining particles of iron from the water. To do this, we put the water through a filter. A filter is like a sieve. It lets water pass through, but keeps solid objects such as sand, dirt, rust, and iron out.

2. Aeration

Aeration is the process of removing iron from well water. There are two ways to do this: mechanical aeration and chemical aeration.

Mechanical aerators are powered devices that force air into the well. Chemical aerators use chemicals to break down iron compounds in the water.

Both methods are effective, but mechanical aeration is generally cheaper and faster. However, both methods require maintenance. Mechanical aerators should be cleaned regularly, and chemical aerators should be replaced periodically.

3. Reverse Osmosis

Iron is naturally present in many forms of water, such as rainwater, groundwater, and surface water. However, the amount of iron in drinking water varies depending on the source. Some sources may contain high levels of iron, while others may contain low amounts.

To ensure that you’re getting the best possible water for drinking, cooking, and bathing, you should consider installing a reverse osmosis system. A reverse osmosis system removes iron by passing water through a membrane filter. This process creates purer water that contains fewer impurities.

4. Ion Exchange Water Softeners

An ion exchange water softener works by exchanging ions with the minerals in the water. Once the ions are removed, the water becomes softer and safer to drink. Here’s how it works.

First, the water passes through a resin bed filled with positively charged particles. These particles attract negatively charged ions such as calcium and magnesium.

Next, the water flows through a second resin bed containing negatively charged particles. These particles bind to the positively charged ions, removing them from the water.

Finally, the water goes through a third resin bed, which removes any remaining contaminants.

By using an ion exchange water softening system, you can reduce the amount of iron in your drinking water by up to 99%.

5. Chemical Oxidation

Chemical oxidations are commonly used to reduce the amount of iron in drinking water. These processes involve mixing chemicals together in a tank, allowing them to react with the iron and form a solid precipitate. Once the reaction is complete, the mixture is filtered out and the remaining solution is ready to drink.

There are many different kinds of chemical oxidations available, depending on the type of iron that needs to be removed. Some methods include ferric chloride, sodium hydroxide, potassium permanganate, hydrogen peroxide, and chlorine dioxide.

Each method has advantages and disadvantages, so it’s best to consult with a professional to ensure that the right process is chosen for your situation.


Will a Sediment Filter Remove Iron?

Sediment filters reduce the amount of iron that gets into drinking water.

Will a Carbon Filter Remove Iron from Water?

A carbon filter removes iron from water by passing air through a bed of activated charcoal.

Does a Brita Filter Remove Iron From The Water?

A Brita filter removes iron from water by passing it through a series of filters made from activated carbon. 

Can High Iron Content in Water Make You Sick?

High levels of iron in drinking water can cause problems like diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, headaches, fatigue, and abdominal pain.


In conclusion, iron is essential for our bodies, but too much of it can cause problems. Fortunately, there are several inexpensive methods available to help us keep our levels within safe limits.

One of the easiest ways to ensure we stay healthy is to use a ferrous sulfate filter. These filters are easy to install and maintain, and they won’t break the bank.

Another option is to invest in a reverse osmosis system. This type of filtration uses pressure to push water through membranes, which allows us to drink clean water without having to worry about harmful chemicals leaching into our systems.

Joanna G. Lackey

Hi, I'm Joanna, a writer freelance writer who specializes in topics about health and nutrition. I live in the Pacific Northwest with my husband and three children. I'm a mom to two dogs and a cat. I love reading, writing, and taking photos.