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:

Iron/Manganese Whole House Water Filter & Salt-Free Softener (4-6 Bathrooms)
  • Iron removal up to 10 PPM
  • Non-Electric Self-Priming Chemical Pump
  • No more stains on sidewalks, driveways or houses
  • System comes complete and ready to install
  • Safe for use with septic systems
WECO Whole House Backwash Filter/Softener with EcoMix Advanced Softener Media and Big Blue Sediment Pre-Filter for the Reduction of Hardness, Iron, Manganese and Tannins (16" x 65" - 46,000 Grains)
  • State-of-the-art water filter + softener combination using EcoMix proprietary advanced softening media for the reduction of hardness, iron, manganese and tannins from problematic water sources. Say goodbye to mineral scale build-up on sinks, faucets, shower doors and other plumbing fixtures.
  • Prevents mineral scale from clogging shower heads, faucet aerators and reduces scrubbing and cleaning of bathtubs and shower stalls. Reduces white deposits on silverware and glassware.
  • Put an end to red and orange stains in sinks, bathtubs, showers and toilets. Safeguards coffee makers, ice machines and dishwashers from iron oxide damage.
  • Includes a big blue sediment pre-filter that removes sand, grit, precipitated mineral particles, insoluble iron oxide and other debris down to 5 microns. Automatically backwashes and rinses the filter/softener media and recharges with regular softener salt.
  • Easy to use touchpad controls allow quick control over all features and settings. Optional attractive and durable stainless steel resin tank jacket available. Low operational cost. Can be used for both residential and commercial / industrial applications. Assembled in U.S.A.
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Home Master Whole House Three Stage Water Filtration System with Fine Sediment, Iron and Carbon, Blue
  • Great for well water; for city water, consider model #HMF2SmgCC
  • Massive filter housings with 1-inch ports for the strongest water pressure possible - up to 15-gallon per minute
  • Multi gradient density replaceable sediment filter produces finer filtration and greater dirt holding capacity; filtration down to 1 micron
  • Excellent purification removes up to 95% of iron, manganese, sediment, chemicals and other contaminants that create foul tastes and odors up to 3 PPM combined load
  • Oversize filters improve flow rate and reduce maintenance frequency
Express Water Heavy Metal Whole House Water Filter – 3 Stage Home Water Filtration System – Sediment, KDF, Carbon Filters – includes Pressure Gauges, Easy Release, and 1” Inch Connections
  • Take the Contaminants Out of Your Home - Drink from any faucet without fear when we remove Chlorine, Iron, Rust, Lead, Pesticides, Mercury, Dirt, Sand, Viruses, Fungi, Sulfur, Insecticides, Chloramine, Silt, Turbidity, Aluminum, Copper, Volatile Organic Chemicals (VOC), Herbicides, Cadmium, Copper, Hydrogen Sulfate, Nickel, Chromium, Cloudiness, and Odors
  • Exactly what you need - Get clean water from any faucet. All our filters are specially engineered to work together, producing the safest water for home use
  • Clearly Easy - A clear first stage housing lets you easily monitor your system and see when you need to replace your filters
  • Don’t Waste Time on Maintenance - Our quick and easy to understand design means you can swap out filters quick and easy
  • Quality Guaranteed - Rest easy with our 1 year warranty on all Express Water Systems and free lifetime support
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iSpring WGB32B-PB 3-Stage Whole House Water Filtration System w/ 20-Inch Big Blue Sediment, Carbon Block, and Lead Reducing Filter
  • Protect your family from lead and more: Specially designed for reducing lead. our 3rd stage FCRC25B lead removal filter features a high capacity of 15,000 ppm for lead, effectively reducing lead to below 15 ppb (the EPA standard for drinking water)
  • DIY installation and maintenance: Refer to our manual and YouTube videos for easy DIY installation. With 1" NPT inlet outlet and big blue 20" x 4.5" cartridges, the system has minimum impact on water flow (up to 15 GPM) and requires minimum maintenance
  • Peace of mind customer service: Register online to activate your 1-year manufacturer warranty and lifetime free tech support from U.S. local team. We stand behind our products and if you encounter any problems please reach out to us. We are happy to help
  • Please note: Unlike an RO system, this system will NOT reduce Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) and instead keeps healthy minerals in your water. If you are interested in a filter that removes TDS consider our iSpring Reverse Osmosis systems
  • Top-notch quality: Our filters are tested by an independent third-party to meet NSF and ANSI standards. The system also removes sediment, chlorine, rust, pesticides, herbicides, industrial solvents, and various other contaminants

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.