3 Cheapest Ways to Remove Iron from Well Water

Thinking of the cheapest ways to remove iron from well water? This article will learn you the most cost-effective ways to go about this process easily.

cheapest way to remove iron from well water

Cheapest Ways to Remove Iron from Well Water

Below are the best ways to get rid of iron water from the well. The solutions listed below are specific to the type of iron involved.

1. Removing Ferric Iron

Ferric or insoluble iron is easier to remove because it isn’t dissolved in water. This type of iron can simply be filtered out of your water with a basic filter.

‣ Sediment Filters

A sub-micron sediment filter lets water pass through its pores while trapping large, solid particles and keeping them out of your home’s plumbing.

Sediment filters are commonly used in the removal of dirt, sand, gravel, and other debris from drinking water. Not all filters have a small enough micron rating to remove iron, so check before you buy.

There are various types of sediment filters available for purchase. If you want to learn more about these filters, you can look at my list of the best sediment filters for well water.

It is important to remember that sediment filters can only remove insoluble iron. A sediment filter will not remove ferrous iron from your water if it is present. 

Treating Ferrous Iron

It’s more difficult to remove iron that’s dissolved in your water. You will usually need to oxidize the iron out of its dissolved form, converting it into a solid form that can be filtered out of water.

Water Softeners

Water softeners aren’t typically used solely for iron removal, but their ability to filter ferrous iron out of water is a definite plus.

The ion exchange process is used by water softeners to exchange hardness minerals such as calcium and magnesium for sodium ions. This softens the water, removing limescale.

Iron is a positively charged cation, like calcium and magnesium. This means it will be attracted to the softening resin and removed from water in the same manner.

The majority of water softeners can remove about 1 ppm of iron. Some units, on the other hand, are designed for greater iron removal and can remove up to 6–8 PPM of iron.

Remember that water softener systems aren’t ideal for high levels of ferrous iron in the water. If your water contains too much iron, you’ll need a special filter to remove it.

Also, if your water also contains insoluble iron, you’ll need to install a sediment filter to remove this first. Otherwise, your water softener runs the risk of getting blocked up with iron sludge.


2. Air Injection Oxidation + Filter

The air injection oxidation and filtration system is perhaps the most popular iron water treatment solution. This type of system is extremely effective, typically removing up to 15 PPM of iron, and sometimes even more.

This system consists of a single tank with an air bubble on top and a media bed (usually manganese greensand or brim) on the bottom. Water flows through the air bubble, oxidizing the dissolved iron into solid matter.

Iron is trapped in the media bed once it has taken this form. When the unit performs a backwash cycle, this media bed is flushed and replenished when it becomes saturated with contaminants.

Air injection oxidation and filtration units do more than just remove iron. These systems also remove manganese and sulfur, two other well water impurities that can affect drinking water taste.

Oxidizing Agent + Filter

An alternative to air injection is to oxidize iron before filtering it out of the system in the same manner (using a manganese greensand media or similar).

To oxidize iron, a chemical oxidizing agent such as ozone or hydrogen peroxide is typically used. This type of filtration is slightly more expensive than air oxidation because top-ups are required.

Chemical Feed

To remove dissolved iron, oxidation is used to increase the redox potential of water. If your well water has a low pH, this process could be aided by increasing the alkalinity of the water.

To remove iron from well water, a variety of chemical feed applications can be used. Sodium hydroxide and sodium carbonate are both effective pH raisers. You can also use a 7 percent hydrogen peroxide/5 percent chlorine solution.

Different methods necessitate different rules, so be sure to carefully follow your system’s manufacturer’s guidelines for proper installation and feed rates.

3. Getting Rid of Bacterial Iron

Eliminating bacterial iron is more of a challenge, as many of the filter processes that remove iron can’t also be used to remove bacteria.

The two best options for eliminating bacterial iron from well water are listed below:

Shock Chlorination

Shock chlorination involves injecting high levels of chlorine into your well, which disinfects both the water supply and the well itself, including the walls, pump, pressure tank, and distribution system.

To shock-chlorinate you’re well, you’ll need around 200 PPM of chlorine. When you shock the well, the bacteria that is bound to the iron dies, allowing you to remove the remaining iron with a water softener or iron water filter.


Certain disinfecting chemicals, such as chlorine, can be used in a chemical feed application to remove iron bacteria. Following a chemical feed application, use a water filter designed to remove iron from well water.

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CSN Team

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