"Rusty" Reddish Brown Water

Does your sink, tub, or toilet have “rusty” stains? This is caused by high levels of iron in your water.

Iron is one of the most common elements in the Earth’s crust and is found groundwater worldwide. The maximum contaminant level (MCL) established by US EPA guidelines is 0.3 parts per million, also known as 0.3 milligrams per liter of water.

At concentrations higher than 0.3 ppm, iron in well water can cause staining of fixtures and clothes and produce a bitter or rusty taste. High-iron may actually appear crystal clear whenever first used. However, exposure to oxygen or adding oxidants (such as chlorine bleach or hydrogen peroxide), will convert ferrous iron to an insoluble ferric form. Water then looks reddish, orange-colored or even yellow, or in the case of manganese, black or brown. Discoloring may occur in toilet flush tanks, inside washing machines and in dishwashers. An iron analysis will reveal if high iron is causing staining and water color changes and exact iron levels, allowing our pro installers to propose a solution specific to your needs.

Iron can be filtered in multiple ways based upon the amount of iron present in water. Salt-based water softener systems are often used to treat iron as well as hardness and magnesium, if applicable. If a customer does not desire a softener as part of their water treatment solution or if iron issues are more extreme, we utilize aeration systems which oxidizes water, causing problem iron to “rust”. The resulting material is then filtered away before entering water supplies.

Brown/Red Staining in Sinks & Tubs

What’s In My Water?