Iron in Well Water


  What do these have in common - a taconite mine in northern Minnesota, the color of your blood, a rusty pail, and yellow or red stains on sinks and plumbing fixtures? The answer is - Iron. Iron is the fourth most abundant mineral in the earth’s crust. Soils and rocks in Minnesota may contain minerals very high in iron, so high in fact, that taconite can be mined for its iron content. Iron gives the hemoglobin of blood it’s red color and allows the blood to carry oxygen. The iron in a metal pail turns to rust when exposed to water and oxygen. In a similar way, iron minerals in water turn to rust and stain plumbing fixtures and laundry.


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Drinking water standards

  • The World Health Organization

    The World Health Organization (WHO), set up some guidelines for drinking-water quality which are the international reference point for standards setting and drinking-water safety. The latest guidelines drew up by the WHO are those agreed to in Geneva, 1993.

    Click here for the WHO's drinking-water standards.

    You will notice that there is no guideline for some of the elements and substances which are taken into account. This is because there have not been sufficient studies about the effects of the substance on the organism, and therefore it is not possible to define a guideline limit. In other cases, the reason for a non-existing guideline is the impossibility of that substance to reach a dangerous concentration in water, due to its insolubility or its scarcity.

  • The European Union

    The European Union drew up the Council Directive 98/83/EC on the quality of water intended for human consumption, adopted by the Council on 3 November 1998. This was drawn up by reviewing the parametric values of the old Drinking Water Directive of 1980, and strengthening them where necessary in accordance with the latest available scientific knowledge (WHO guidelines and Scientific Committee on Toxicology and Ecotoxicology). This new Directive provides a sound basis for both the consumers throughout the EU and the suppliers of drinking water.

    Click here for the EU's drinking water standards.

These were the main changes in the parametric values:

- Lead: The guideline was reduced from 50 µg/l to 10 µg/l, and a transition period
of 15 years was defined to allow replacing of lead distribution pipes.

- Pesticides: The values for individual substances and for total pesticides were
retained (0.1µg/l / 0.5µg/l), plus additional, more stringent values were
introduced for certain pesticides (0.03µg/l).

- Copper: The value was reduced from 3 to 2 mg/l.

- Some new standards were introduced for new parameters like trihalomethanes,
trichloroethene and tetracholoroethene, bromate, acrylamide etc.


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Hard vs soft water explained

Hard water... is water that contains an appreciable quantity of dissolved minerals (like calcium and magnesium).

Soft water... is treated water in which the only ion is sodium.

Hard vs SoftAs rainwater falls, it is naturally soft. However, as water makes its way through the ground and into our waterways, it picks up minerals like chalk, lime and mostly calcium and magnesium. Since hard water contains essential minerals, it is sometimes the preferred drinking water. Not only because of the health benefits, but also the flavor. On the other hand, soft water tastes salty and is sometimes not suitable for drinking. So why, then, do we soften our water?

When it boils down, the major difference between hard and soft water can best be seen while doing household chores. Hard water is to blame for dingy looking clothes, dishes with spots and residue, and bathtubs with lots of film and soap scum. Even hair washed in hard water may feel sticky and look dull. Hard water can take a toll on household appliances as well and use up more energy. The elements of hard water are to blame for all of these negative factors, as soap is less effective due to its reaction to the magnesium and calcium. The lather is not as rich and bubbly.

credit : freedrinkingwater


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