Not everybody gets their water from public or city systems. In fact, over thirteen million American households source at least some of their drinking supply from a private well. These wells can be solely for personal use, located on the property itself, or they might form part of a larger network managed by private suppliers.
While the EPA closely monitors public sources of water for over 90 contaminants and health risks, there is no equivalent oversight for private well or groundwater. Because of this, private well users have an increased responsibility to ensure the protection of their drinking water from potential hazards such as bacteria, sediments, and heavy metals.
Among the most common well water contaminants is iron. Iron leaches into well supplies from mineral-rich soil or corroding piping. This can give water a brown or rust coloration, as well as a bitter, metallic taste.
Iron in water is not considered a health risk. In fact, small amounts can have nutritional benefits. The EPA rates iron among its secondary or ‘nuisance’ category of drinking water contaminants, which includes materials that cause aesthetic, cosmetic, or technical issues. However, this doesn’t stop iron making water appear off-putting when it pours from the faucet, which is why you’ll find many well users filtering their water for excess contamination.
If you’re one of those people, we’re here to help. We’ve reviewed the top iron filers on the market right now, and put together this list of the best iron filters for well water:
Is groundwater more contaminated than other water sources?
Public water systems use careful monitoring and treatment methods to ensure water purity. While the same might be true for some private wells, there’s no general guarantee when it comes to water treatment.
This lack of quality control is exacerbated by the fact that wells are far more likely to be affected by contamination from both naturally occurring sources and human activity. Sitting rain or snow-melt can seep into private wells, bringing with it microorganisms and products of stagnation. Leakages from septic tanks and stored chemicals can also find their into the proximity of wells, encouraging higher than average levels of bacteria.
In addition, heavy metals and solvents from mining, refineries, and industrial centers are often difficult to contain, leaving trace amounts in the soil. Groundwater movement can then bring these and other commercial byproducts into wells.
While many of these potential contaminants can be worrying, there are filter mechanisms capable of removing each type from your water supply. Be sure to check up on the most common contaminants for your area, and maintain a multi-stage treatment process that tackles the particular pollutants most relevant to you.