Iron and manganese are both known to stain the water supply. Because of them water can be red or yellow color. It creates brown or black stains in the sink and in the bath. You can easily recognize it by metallic taste. Although these can all be aesthetically displeasing, iron and manganese are not so dangerous for human health. It does not contain high risk. Fortunately, they can be removed from the water easily. First though, the type of iron that is contaminating the water supply must be determined.

  1. Iron bacteria. Plumbing fixtures have a slimy brown, red or green film, or there is a gelatinous sludge in the pipes. Occasionally chunks of this slime can be dislodged from pipes yielding colored water. These bacteria feed on iron found in pipes or fittings.
  2. Ferrous iron. The water appears to be clear, but after standing, black or rust colored particles settle to the bottom.
  3. Ferric iron. Water straight from the faucet has a red, yellow, or rusty color to it. This type will also easily settle to the bottom.

Treatment for iron is traditionally done by using various forms of filtration and/or chlorination. However, water analysis and professional consulting is recommended. Not only does the form of the iron and manganese matter, but the amount of the metal present as well as hardness, temperature and pH are also key factors. In the case of iron bacteria, a sample should be taken to your local health department or water department for observation. If iron bacteria are present, chlorination may help, but to what extent should be determined by a professional.