Iron (Wiki) is the most common transitional metal element and a second most common metal at all. Iron exists on Earth, in space and it is a part of human organism. Iron itself is harmless to people. But still ions of iron have to be removed from drinking water. That is because it affects badly the sensoric properties of water – its taste, odor, even color which gets a reddish tint.

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Overly irony water should not be used even as a service water. Compounds of iron settle in pipes, boilers, tubs or sinks and cause a corrosion to the device. The corrosion then shortens a lifespan of that device significantly.

Border limits of iron in water are:

  • drinking and packaged water: 200 μg/l
  • spring and infant water: 300 μg/l
  • well water: up to 500 μg/l

Problems of iron

Iron that is dissolved in water as iron ions can’t be seen. We only notice it when it reacts with air and a insoluble and layer creating iron hydroxide arises.

Even relatively small concentrations of iron can cause problems such as increased bacteria colonies count, which causes an unpleasant odor of the water. Such water is not adviced to be used even for service purposes.

High content of iron is manifested by rusty and reddish layers. Fittings often get clogged and have to be exchanged.

Iron causes problems most often to those who use their own drill or well as a source of drinking water.


Where iron is, there is often manganese, too. It gets into the water same way as iron, that is from the rocks contained in soil through which the water flows. A typical manifestation of manganese are oily spots on the surface, black water or black sediments.

Border limits of manganese in water are:

  • 50 μg/l
  • in the well water maximum 200 μg/l

Manifestations of iron and manganese in water

Rusty water, rust in the water, red water, reddish water, red cover, reddish cover, iron taste.

Removal of iron and manganese.

Even though the compounds of Fe and Mn itself are not harmless to the people and animals, removal of iron and manganese is a significant step when treating water, because otherwise there is a risk of hygienic problems and technological malfunctions.


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