If homeowners suspect that they have iron in their well water, then well water testing should be done at their Loudoun County, VA home to measure the amount of iron in the well water.
Iron in Water
There are two ways that iron gets into well water:
- Corrosion – when iron casings and pipes are exposed to water and oxygen, they become corroded and iron flakes off into your well water, and out the water taps.
- Seepage – Rainwater or melted snow seeps down through the soil and into the water table. If the soil has a good deal of iron in it, the iron dissolves into the water, and into the water supply that your well draws from.
Problems Caused by Iron in Well Water
The Environmental Protection Agency considers iron in well water as a secondary contaminant, which means it does not have a direct impact on health. However, iron does cause:
- Beverages and food to look and taste bad; iron causes the water to have a metallic taste, and that taste carries into coffee, tea and other beverages made with iron-laden water. Aside from bad taste, iron adds an unpleasant, inky blackness to beverages. Food, especially vegetables, cooked in well water containing iron turns an unappealing dark color, and absorbs the taste of the water.
- Stains on laundry, dishes, sinks, tubs, and toilets; and the red, yellow or brown stains are nearly impossible to remove. Ever wonder why there are so many iron removal products on the shelves of the local grocery store? That’s because folks will try anything to get those stains out, and very few products work.
- Clogs; iron can accumulate and clog dishwashers, washing machines, sprinklers, wells, water pumps and other pipes and appliances.
- Bacteria that feed off iron and leave behind iron waste deposits. Similar to straight iron in water, they cause unpleasant stains, tastes and odors; additionally, they leave behind slime that sticks to pipes and fixtures, which can cause other more harmful bacteria to grow.
Well Water Testing and Treatment
If there isn’t another water source for your well (or you can’t afford to have a new well dug) there are four ways water can be treated to remove iron: a water softener, aeration, an oxidizing filter, or chemical oxidation. Before you decide how to treat your iron problem, it’s important that you have well testing done at your Loudoun County, VA home to determine the amount of iron and bacteria caused by iron in your well water.
For more information about well water testing and treatment, please contact SES Mid Atlantic, LLC. Serving Loudoun County, VA and the rest of Northern Virginia and Washington DC residential and commercial markets since 1987, SES Mid Atlantic LLC specializes in soil, petroleum, septic, and water services, as well as environmental assessments.