Iron in water (well)

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by miclew, Sep 21, 2005.

  1. miclew

    miclew Well-Known Member

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    We have a 800 ft deep well. The water is excellent other than a high iron and magnesium content which turns our laundry orange. We do not want to hook up to county water (they sent out a paper to customers that said there there a substance in the water that if you had prolonged exposure you could get cancer!) Anyway, we want an iron filter but I need some advice. There are a lot of choices out there and I am confused. Our water is SOFT so we do not need a water SOFTENER. We have no sulfer in the water. All we want is something to take the iron out so our laundry doesn't turn orange. We own no white clothes whatsoever.
     
  2. Paranoid

    Paranoid Homebrewed Happiness

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    always thought iron was good for you.

    maybe you can put a really strong magnet on the bottom of the resevoir in your water heater and control a large portion of it that way?

    as it sits the magnet should capture most of the iron, then during your normal maintenance you can clean it out.


    maybe you can melt the scum down and make a pretty sweet knife while you're at it too :D
     

  3. sisterpine

    sisterpine Goshen Farm Supporter

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    boy i dont know the answer to this one but i bet someone on here does and will be in contact with you shortly!~ i would think that just about any whole house filter, even from wally world would filter out iron.
     
  4. Shepherd

    Shepherd Well-Known Member

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    We have a whole house filtration system, but that wasn't enough - we were still getting orange everything from bathtubs, sinks and even our laundry.

    We called out a local plumber and explained our problem. He said he'd get back to us after doing some research. He ended up adding 2 more filtration systems... one's a berm filter and another one which I can't recall the name of. It wasn't cheap but sure did do the trick for us. One spins the crud out of the water, the other... who knows. All I know is it cycles once a week and dumps the junk out thru our floor drain. It all cost about $750 or so, but in the long run, it's really been worth it.

    Good luck!
     
  5. Texas Red

    Texas Red Member

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    You should start off with getting your water tested to find out how much iron is in the water. Water softners are much cheaper than iron filters and they will remove some iron. If you can say NO many water treatment companies will test your water for free, but expect the "hard sell" to purchase their products, and generally at a much higher price than you can find the same equipment elsewhere.
    The better iron filter injects oxygen into the water and basicly cause the iron to rust before it gets to your laundry. Of course this is the most expensive system. The other type is called a "green sand filter" and uses a very samll amount of potassium permanganate to regegenerate the unit once in a while. These are the only 2 iron filters that work. Don't spend money on anything else. Magnets of any sort will not remove the iron, and regular filters will not remove iron but there are people that will try an sell you this type of cure. As I said softners do remove some iron and are far cheaper to purchase than the two types of Iron filters, but you need to know first how much iron is in your water. If you do use a softner then you will need the rust remover salt to regenerate your softner with. Wear your orange tee shirts with pride, and then the rest of use that suffer with iron in our water will know you are one of us! TR
     
  6. stirfamily

    stirfamily Well-Known Member Supporter

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    We have a kinetico water softner and a separate iron filter. Works great. We have to add hydrogen peroxide to it once in a while but no smell (we also have sulpher) and no discoloration!
    karen
     
  7. egads1

    egads1 Member

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    We had the same probelm and solved it with a Water Boss Iron Filter from Lowes. It was about $500.00, but it did solve the problem.
     
  8. lacyj

    lacyj Well-Known Member

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    I would get to the county and find out what the cancer causing substance is. It probably isn't the iron. You may have other things going on. You need to find out what else is in your water...
     
  9. Haynes

    Haynes Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, you just saved me some money.
    Culligan quoted 3300 for treatment and the
    only mechanical filter I found was 1800.
    I'm hittin Lowes' this weekend.

    Donnie--I like showering in the water but it's hell on the fixtures and laundry
     
  10. Jan Doling

    Jan Doling Well-Known Member

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    I always get compliments on my hair color....I intend for it to be golden blonde, but our water adds rust to that & it comes out a very unique reddish-blonde instead. No one believes it is because of the shallow (30ft) well. They think I'm just not sharing the name of the unique hair product!
     
  11. Little Quacker in OR

    Little Quacker in OR Well-Known Member

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    Check out this site: http://www.dnr.state.wi.us/org/water/dwg/febact.htm

    I have "Iron Bacteria" which is usually the problem. While a filter system is a great thing you can make do with just Oxyclean for the "whites" and it does keep whites white even with iron in the water. But it's hard on clothing and they don't last as long.

    WaterMasters is who I called and a nice system, care free was installed for $450. Works just fine and the water does taste better too. I can't speak to the cancer causing stuff. Most all waters in the world are contaminated with something that in large doses will cause illness. I think your bodies can cope with the usual suspects. Barring places like the Love Canal. LOL

    Good luck with the problem. LQ
     
  12. turtlehead

    turtlehead Well-Known Member

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  13. Texas Red

    Texas Red Member

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    I think the iron algae is eating the iron in the water. I don't think the algae can be present with out the iron or iron pipe. It shouldn't cause rust stains either, just a nasty smell. A little bleach added to your water system once in a while will kill the algae or bacteria. I have a Water Boss water softner from Lowes and it is first rate. As for the contamination is it in your ground water or is it from the county water system? The City of Cedar Springs Mi contaminted several wells near their sewage treatment plant years ago and those folks get bottled water paid for by the city, however they are able to use the water for most other things without worry. The chemical that contaminated the area wells was probably introduced into the sewage system by some one degreaseing a vehical in one of the towns car washes with a nasty chemical.
     
  14. leaping leon

    leaping leon Well-Known Member

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    When I was pregnant with my first daughter I moved west of Jacksonville, Florida...and the water tasted so strongly of iron that I couldn't drink it. Of course, everything was stained, too.

    I bought a filter "system" from Sears, it was about $20 (about 23 years ago), it was just one of those cartridge filter kits. It worked really well; yeah, I know lousy play on words. I had to replace the filter about every thirty days.

    I'm going to try one of those first when we FINALLY get power to our new mobile home...I think they're only about $30 or $40 dollars at Lowes nowadays. Then I'll see if I have to get something more expensive.
     
  15. miclew

    miclew Well-Known Member

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    I think some of you misunderstood. The cancer causing substance is in the COUNTY water, not my well water! My well water is just fine. We have had it tested at the county extension office and it is high in iron and magnesium which causes the orange staining. That is the ONLY problem with our well water.

    My husband wants to connect to the county water because he is tired of his t-shirts turning orange. I don't want to connect to the county water because I don't want chloronated water, flouride and God only knows what other kinds of nasty things! The people that are on the county water system received a notice in the mail saying there is some sort of substance in the water that can cause cancer with prolonged exposure. I didn't see the letter myself. Someone at church told me about it (they had received it) so I don't know what the substance is (it could very well be the chlorine they use to sanitize the water)

    We do NOT need a water softener. According to our water analysis, our water is soft. All I need is an iron filter that attaches out at the pump so that all the water coming into the house is filtered. I am going to check out that Iron Boss from Lowe's. By the way, to get county water hook up it is $600 UP FRONT. I would rather spend $500 and keep my well.

    michele
     
  16. miclew

    miclew Well-Known Member

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    Does that Iron Boss from Lowe's attach OUTSIDE at the pump? An inside filter would do us no good. It would only filter water at one location.

    michele
     
  17. DW

    DW plains of Colorado Supporter

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    Our well was pretty much the same but hard, too. We bought the set up from Sears...at the time, no Lowes or Home Depot. Our son was small and we did not want stained teeth so we bought water we drank. I could get it from a machine where I worked for 25 cents/gal. No yellow clothes. We did end up getting "city" water...expensive but so worth it when elect. out. We left our big taste and odor filter b/c we can't take the chlorine smell/taste. This taste & odor filter is now 13 years old and it still does what is required. We also bought a dish washer after we got the city water...this is a BIG treat as I had never had one...ever!
     
  18. Shepherd

    Shepherd Well-Known Member

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    We also had/have the option of hooking up to county water, but (A) it would cost a fortune to run it in that far, since our house sits in the middle of 40 acres and (B) our goal is to become as debt free and self-sufficient as possible. It's my understanding from others who are on county water, the minimum monthly charge is $30, even if you use no water at all. Imagine with inflation (as prices for everything continue to rise) what it might be in 15-20 years.
     
  19. rambler

    rambler Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Address the magnesium as well. It is also part of your problem, not just the iron. I don't know what type of filter to use - anything out water comes in contact with stains (iron, mag, & very hard) but we collect roof water in the basement of this 1926 farm house & use that for soft water.

    --->Paul
     
  20. Cabin Fever

    Cabin Fever Life NRA Member since 1976 Supporter

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    Besides iron, I'm guessing your other problem is with manganese.....not magnesium.