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Iron and Manganese Staining

Why does my water leave rust stains?

If it seems as if your water is creating brown, orange, or even red rust stains, you may have iron. If your water is creating black or purple stains, you may have manganese. Iron and manganese are usually non-hazardous, but both elements are an aesthetic nuisance causing gross-looking stains. Iron is the most frequent of the two contaminants in water supplies; manganese is typically found in iron-bearing water. Iron can also be used as a food source for iron-eating bacteria. A build up of iron bacteria can cause very bad taste, odors and sometimes health risks. Central PA Soft Water can install a water purification system in your home to resolve these issues.


Common signs of iron or manganese in your water.

Common issues include...  rusty-orange, brown or black staining that can often be seen on clothes, fixtures, sinks, tubs, water-using appliances and toilets.

rusty water stains

Is iron or manganese in my water harmful?

Iron and manganese occur naturally in groundwater. Neither element causes adverse health effects in low concentrations and are essential to the human diet.  But, there has been supporting evidence that continued exposure to higher concentrations can lead to more serious health issues such as birth defects and undesirable effects on brain development, including changes in behavior and decreases in the ability to learn and remember.

Aesthetically, water containing excessive amounts of iron and manganese can stain clothes, discolor plumbing fixtures, and sometimes add a metallic taste and rusty look to the water. Surface water generally does not contain large amounts of iron or manganese, but iron and manganese are found frequently in water systems that use groundwater.

Before determining the treatment technique, a technician from Central PA Soft Water must test the source water to see what type of iron is causing the problem. In most cases, iron and manganese is treated by oxidizing the water with air, ozone, potassium permanganate, or chlorine to bring soluble iron & manganese out of solution and then filtering the water using special media (BIRM, Greensand, or even a carbon filter). Low levels below 5 ppm of soluble iron or manganese can be removed using a water softener. Source water with high concentrations of iron and manganese above 5 ppm will require continued maintenance and extra cleaning or replacement of the filter media.

Contact us today for an instant free water test and let the experts at Central PA Soft Water help keep your water clean.

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