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  • Writer's pictureDavid Bennett

Iron in ground water

Iron is one of the most common elements found in the earth's crust and is present in soil and rocks. It can dissolve into groundwater from natural deposits in the earth or from human activities such as mining or corrosion of iron pipes¹.


Iron in groundwater can cause discoloration of laundry and has an unpleasant taste, which is apparent in drinking and food preparation¹.


Iron contamination can present a number of problems for water filtration systems for agricultural, industrial and municipal applications³. There are three major forms of iron in water: clear water iron, ferric iron and ferrous iron³. Clear water iron is a non-visible ferrous (Fe2+) form of dissolved iron found in water that is not exposed to oxygen, such as in wells and springs.


Ferric iron is visible and oxidized (Fe3+) form of dissolved iron that is found in surface water that has been exposed to oxygen. Ferrous iron is a visible and oxidized (Fe3+) form of dissolved iron that is found in surface water that has been exposed to oxygen³.



(1) Iron in groundwater - Lenntech. https://www.lenntech.com/groundwater/iron.htm.

(2) Ground water: Dealing with iron contamination - Filtration and Separation. https://www.filtsep.com/content/features/ground-water-dealing-with-iron-contamination/.

(3) Getting to the bottom of the problem. https://depws.nt.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0005/590945/iron-fouling-bores-fact-sheet.pdf.

(4) Groundwater | Dissolved mineral sources and significance. https://www.ngwa.org/what-is-groundwater/About-groundwater/dissolved-mineral-sources-and-significance.

(5) Elevated concentration of iron (Fe) in groundwater?. https://www.researchgate.net/post/Elevated-concentration-of-iron-Fe-in-groundwater.



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