Reddish Orange Water Could Indicate Iron in the Water

Iron Water

Similarly to hard water, iron water develops when it passes through rock that contains iron deposits. Some minerals picked up in the water (such as iron) end up dissolving, while others turn into particles once they meet oxygen. If the water isn’t properly treated, it can lead to reddish orange water that causes stains in sinks, tubs and even clothing and produces an undesirable smell and taste.

Solution: Treating iron in your water is not a simple process. One reason is that there are several different types of iron that could be causing your issues. For example, ferric iron, ferrous iron, colloidal iron, and bacterial iron. The most popular however are ferric and ferrous iron. Ferric iron is iron that is not dissolved in the water, so it can be removed by a cartridge filter or a backwashing sediment filter. Ferrous iron is iron that is dissolved in the water so it would pass through a cartridge filter. Carroll Water recommends a water conditioner to address ferrous iron.

Signs that you have a problem with iron in your water:

Most people do have iron in there water and most homeowners within the United States experience some sort of water quality problem. The top two issues tend to be hard water and having too much iron in your water.

Signs that you have a problem with iron in your water or a high mineral content:

  • Your water has a metallic taste or unpleasant smell
  • Your water seems to be discolored, either right out of the tap or after sitting for a few minutes
  • If your water comes out discolored (red or yellow) right when it comes out of the tap, you probably have ferric iron present. This usually happens after the iron has come in contact with oxygen and is started to rust somewhere in your water supply. Water that comes out clear could have a presence of ferrous iron. You will notice that the water turns a red or brown after sitting.
  • You have orange or rust colored rings around your bathtub or sink
  • You have brown or yellow stains on your clothing and dishes


Want to know what is in your water?

If you want to check to see if you have iron in your water or would like to have your water tested for contaminants, request a free water test below or contact a water treatment specialist here at Carroll Water.

Request a Free Water Test

Water-Related Diseases: Arsenicosis – World Health Organization
Basic Information about Arsenic in Drinking Water – Environmental Protection Agency – 9/17/13
Arsenic in Drinking Water – Natural Resource Defense Council – 2/12/09
Radium and Your Drinking Water – The Department of the Environment, State of Maryland – 7/9/15
Basic Information about the Radionuclides Rule – Environmental Protection Agency – 3/6/12
MTBE – American Cancer Society – 7/17/14
Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether (MTBE) – Environmental Protection Agency – 11/15/14