Iron Stains

How many times have I been asked “How to remove iron stains from the bath and shower?” That conversation usually leads into “How not to do all this hard work again?” You will find answers to those questions here.

faucet badly stained brown with corrosion

Iron stains, often seen in the shower and bath, are the most problematic of the aesthetic water issues. Even a small amount of iron in water causes staining, discolouration, and taste problems. As such, iron removal is a common concern for water treatment companies.

Different types of iron.

The first consideration when removing iron from water is determining the type of iron present. Red-water iron is visible in the water and causes iron stains and discolouration, while clear-water iron is not visible but can still cause stains, taste and odour issues. The type of iron present will impact the selection of treatment equipment, as different types of iron may require different methods of removal.

white sink shows orange niron staining

Oxidization – bringing iron out of solution

iron and hard water on shower nozzle

The oxidization process of iron is another important consideration in eliminating iron stains. Some iron drawn from wells oxidizes easily. Other times it may resist filtration and require more aggressive treatment approaches. The oxidization process can impact the effectiveness of different treatment methods, such as air injection or chemical oxidation. It is important to consider the oxidization process when selecting treatment equipment to ensure that it is effective in removing the specific type of iron present.

De-ionizing resins-backwashing resin filters

De-ionizing resins may also be effective in removing some types of iron, but this will depend not only on the type of iron present in the water, but also the other constituents present in the water. De-ionizing resins work by exchanging ions in the water with ions on the resin bed. This can effectively remove some types of iron stains from occurring, when the proper conditions are present. But deionizing resins may not be effective for all types of iron.

brown iron stains on a yellow towel and a white linen

pH-Potential of Hydrogen

The pH of the water is also an important factor in all water treatment applications. The pH can impact the effectiveness of different treatment methods, such as chemical oxidation or coagulation. A pH of 7 is ideal for iron treatment, but this can vary depending on the specific treatment method used. A ph of 6.0 is 10 times more acidic than a pH of 7.0. and correspondingly, a pH of 8.0 is 10 times more alkaline.

Pressure and Flow

dark brown iron spots on a white dress shirt

The flow rate and pressure of the water must also be considered when selecting treatment equipment. Sufficient flow is required to clean resin beds and backwash filters, and adequate pressure is necessary for air injection. If the flow rate or pressure is too low, the treatment equipment may not be effective in removing iron stains from the water.

If the water source is a well or on a septic system, there are other considerations to be taken into account. For example, if the water source is a well, there must be enough water available to backwash filters. If the water is used with a septic system, the quantity of salt used for cleaning resins and the amount of water used is very important to the septic bacteria in the system.

Most municipalities use some form of chlorination to protect households against bacterial contamination of the drinking water. However, chlorine is also a strong oxidiser. This results in the precipitation of iron from solution to a solid. It then accumulates inside of delivery pipes and causes multiple problems in the household.

In conclusion, iron removal is a common application for water treatment companies, and there are several factors that must be considered when selecting treatment equipment.
-the type of iron
-the oxidization process
-the response to de-ionizing resins,
-the pH of the water
-the flow rate and
-the pressure are all important considerations that must be taken into account to ensure effective removal of iron from the water.

By carefully considering these factors, water treatment companies can select the most appropriate treatment equipment for each individual water source, and ensure that homeowners are provided with clean, clear water that is free from iron impurities.


Do It Right! Don’t waste your money on stories. Research and compare. Take 24 hours before you purchase and compare. I realize that you just want to get the job done. But if your money disappears faster than the problem disappears you will not be happy.

Iron, manganese and sulphur have the potential to avoid many applications and result in a significant expenditure of funds to yield a very unsatisfactory result. Sales staff are often afraid to quote a price for an adequate iron/sulphur system because the cost problem water systems can be expensive.

I won’t apologize to you for the price of good equipment, and as a result, I never have to apologize for equipment that is not working. The applications that I promote on this website are technologies and manufacturers that I have used, many times in the past. The resins and various medias that are in this equipment, I have worked with for years. My assurance to you is 30 years of experience in this industry.

Air Diffusion Iron -Sulphur Plus

Air diffusion creates oxidization which allows filtration. Removes iron, sulphur, and lots more. Get sizing, pricing, and specifications HERE.

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