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  • Writer's pictureTeena

Rusty Water Affects Your Health: The Iron-Clad Truth! 🚰💥

rusty water
Yuck! Rusty Water!

There's nothing more relaxing than sitting by the fire with a glass of ice water and some homemade cookies. That is, until you notice your water is an ugly orange color or that it tastes like metal.

You might even think something is wrong with you or your tastebuds—after all, where did that metal taste come from?

Well, let me tell you, many wells pump rusty water every day. The rust in well water comes from many sources and there are several ways to filter out the rust before it reaches your home.

Does rusty well water cause health problems? It depends on how much iron there is and what kind of health problems they cause if there are any at all.

Does Rusty Well Water Cause Health Problems?

Does rusty well water cause health problems?

If you have a well and it's producing rusty water, you may be wondering if this is something to be concerned about.

While it's true that iron can cause health issues if levels are too high or not treated properly, there are plenty of ways to prevent this from happening. Rusty water can even affect the taste of beef if your livestock is drinking it.

To understand why iron causes problems in your home, it helps to know what makes up well water and how much of each component exists in your area. Well water comes from underground sources such as aquifers or springs; these sources often include minerals like calcium carbonate (a major component of limestone), magnesium sulfate ( Epsom salts ), sodium chloride (table salt) and potassium chloride - all of which are good for us!

These compounds dissolve into our drinking supply along with dissolved gases like hydrogen sulfide (rotten egg smell).

well water testing sticks
It's Easy Peasy To Test Your Water

Have Your Water Tested and Treated

If you're worried about the quality of your well water, you can have it tested.

If a private company is doing the testing, they may charge a fee for their services--but this may be worth it if you'er worried about the quality of your well water.

The best way to test whether your well has iron bacteria in it is with a home test kit, the local health department, or a commercial laboratory.

Bacteria in your water can be a huge problem. Laboratory testing for bacteria in your water measures total coliforms (TC), fecal coliforms (FC), and Escherichia coli (E.coli). These tests will let you know whether there are any harmful bacteria present in your water supply because these microorganisms are associated with human waste and sewage contamination.

Home and commercial water testing is typically for many more potential contaminants that just bacteria.

Check out this article about "Home Water Testing Facts." written by the Environmental Protection Agency.

A typical water test would include measurements of the contaminants in this photo created by the EPA.

well water testing
Contaninants in Your Well Water

How Much Iron Is Too Much In A Well?

The short answer is that you need a water test to know for sure.

You can purchase an iron test kit at your local hardware store or online, but keep in mind that these kits are not as reliable as professional testing.

If you have a well and suspect it may contain high levels of iron, get it tested professionally by a certified water tester or your local health department before making any changes to your water system or using any treatment products on your own.

Rusty Water Is An Issue When It Affects Your Health

You may have heard that rusty water is dangerous, but it's only an issue when there's enough iron in your well water to cause health problems or ruin appliances in your home.

The EPA standard for drinking water is 0.3 milligrams per liter (mg/L). This means that if you have a well with an average concentration of 5 mg/L, it would be safe to drink--as long as you don't consume more than 30 liters per day or 15 gallons over three days.

If your home has rusty-colored tap water, is ruining your clothes, shower head, toilet or if you've noticed black stains on fixtures and sink drains after hard rains or flooding events, then it could be time to call a professional plumber who knows how to test for mineral content in wells.

sick woman
Rusty Water Can Cause Anemia

Does rusty well water cause health problems?

Rusty well water can cause health problems.

That's because iron is not good for you. Iron is a mineral that is essential to our bodies, but too much of it can be harmful.

The main symptoms of too much iron in the body include:

  • Anemia (a condition where you have fewer red blood cells than normal)

  • Fatigue and weakness

  • Pale skin color or paleness around your eyes and lips

If you have these symptoms and live in an area with rusty well water, then there's a good chance that your well water has high levels of iron in it!

Can You Get Iron Poisoning From Rusty Well Water?

Iron poisoning is a rare but serious condition. It can happen when you drink water that has too much iron in it, or if you swallow something that contains high levels of iron (such as rusty nails).

If you think your child may have swallowed something that could cause poisoning, call the National Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222 right away and follow their instructions.

What Are The Symptoms Of Iron Poisoning?

If you're experiencing any of these symptoms, there's a good chance that your well water is causing you to feel ill.

Iron poisoning can lead to gastrointestinal distress and discomfort, which will make it hard for you to enjoy life as usual.

Diagnosing iron poisoning may be difficult if you don't know what to look for in terms of symptoms and signs.

If any of these symptoms persist for more than 24 hours after consuming the water, call your doctor immediately: nausea or vomiting; diarrhea; stomach pain (especially upper abdominal pain); headache; fatigue or weakness; dizziness; abdominal cramps/pain/cramping sensation (usually lower abdominal).

Is Iron In Well Water Dangerous To My Health?

Iron is a mineral that occurs naturally in well water. It's not dangerous to your health, but it can cause problems if you have too much of it.

To get rid of the iron in your well water:

How do I Fix My Rusty Water?

Well, it's actually a little more complicated than that.

You see, what matters isn't just whether or not your well water is rusty, it's also how much rust is in the water.

After testing, if there's only a little bit of iron in your well and you're not getting sick from drinking it regularly, then your best bet might be to simply ignore the issue and enjoy your free drinking water (which has been shown to improve mental health).

But if there are high levels of iron in your well and/or if having rusted pipes, stained clothing, toilets, tub, etc, makes you feel uncomfortable and nervous about using them as a source for drinking or cooking purposes... then maybe now would be an appropriate time for action!

activated charcoal
Activated Carbon/Charcoal is Used To Remove Iron From Water

What Are Some Ways To Remove Rust From Well Water?

The first step towards fixing this problem should always involve finding out exactly what type of filter works best for removing rust from wells like yours--and luckily enough we've done all this research already!

If you're lookin' to remove iron or rust from your well water, you'll need the right filter media to get the job done. Here are a few trusty options:

  1. Manganese Greensand: This here media is like a sheriff for iron and manganese. It's coated with manganese dioxide, which helps trap those rust particles and purify your water.

  2. Birm: Birm is another good ol' filter media for tackling iron. It uses a special coating to cause oxidation, which turns iron into solid particles for easy removal.

  3. Activated Carbon: Now, activated carbon ain't just for purifying air; it's handy with water too! It can help remove some types of iron and improve the taste and odor of your water.

  4. Zeolite: This media ain't just a fancy name – it's good at capturing iron and manganese ions and holding onto 'em until they can be filtered out.

  5. Filter Sand: Plain old filter sand can do the trick too. It's like a trusty steed, reliable and efficient at capturing those iron baddies.

  6. Catalytic Carbon: Think of this as activated carbon with a bit of extra oomph. It can handle not just iron but also hydrogen sulfide, making your water cleaner and odor-free.

  7. KDF 85 and 55 may be used alone or may be used in conjunction with other media to protect existing water filtration/purification technologies. Both KDF55 & KDF85 media uses the redox method to remove chlorine, chlorinated hydrocarbons, hydrogen sulfide, iron, and metals like lead, arsenic, aluminum, mercury, and cadmium from water.

Remember, partner, the best media for your well water depends on the type and concentration of iron you're dealin' with. So, take a water sample, test it, and choose your filter media carefully! 💧

Well, we hope that you're convinced that rusty well water is not something to be afraid of.

It's just a fact of life in many parts of the world and it can be treated so that it doesn't cause any harm to your health.

If you have any questions about how to fix your well or how much iron is too much in water, then contact us today! I'll be happy to help out any way I can.

Check out my course to build a DIY Home Water Filter at


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