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Iron contamination can look clear, reddish, rusty, or brown when it exits the faucets in your Maryland home.

Iron tastes metallic and smells like rotten eggs. It can stain your clean laundry and clog your plumbing fixtures. It even can help bacteria grow in your pipes, leaving a slimy substance in your toilet tank.

Iron in water is more prevalent in households that use wells. However, even those connected to a public water system may experience elevated iron levels. The mineral can leach into drinking water from corroded underground iron pipes.

Testing Your Water for Iron

Eliminating contaminants requires an understanding of water chemistry. At Mid-Atlantic Water Services, we know how pollutants interact with water and its pH level, oxygen, and other chemicals, metals, and bacteria.

Our experts consider the unique composition of your water when suggesting a treatment method for your Edgewater home. We maintain, repair, and install drinking water systems that reduce contaminants in well water and public water systems.

Our assessment begins with testing.

Testing is essential. Although iron can make tap water look bad, it also appears clean or clear at some concentration levels, making detection by visual cues difficult. If you test your well water annually—and we recommend you do—include iron testing in the process.

Our qualified pros at Mid-Atlantic Water Services always test for iron directly from the tap. Your tap water could contain a high iron level, even though a test at your well shows a low level. That may happen as water flows from your well through iron pipes.

The Downsides of Iron in Your Water

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets standards for the maximum amount of contaminants allowed in public water systems. Primary drinking water requirements limit pollutants, such as lead, uranium, and E. Coli, that jeopardize your health.

The EPA includes iron in its secondary drinking water standards and recommends that public water systems limit iron to 0.3 mg per liter of water. Secondary standards are non-enforceable guidelines involving contaminants that cause unwanted cosmetic effects or that change the aesthetics of drinking water.

Iron checks both boxes. It gives water a metallic taste and can compromise food flavors in cooking. It stains clothing, dishware, utensils, sinks, tubs, and toilets. It may exit the faucet looking clear but turns a rusty color after oxidizing.

Hard water containing iron and other metals such as calcium and magnesium does not lather well with soap. It may clog pores and leave your skin feeling dry.

Treating Iron in Water

Our experts at Mid-Atlantic Water Services suggest a water softener and sediment filter for lowering iron levels. Water filtering and softening are whole-house solutions because the treatment devices install at the point where water enters your Edgewater home.

Softened water also benefits your appliances by curtailing scale buildup and clogs. A 2009 Water Quality Research Foundation study found that appliances work more efficiently with softened water. Water heaters that used softened water maintained their original factory efficiency rating for as long as 15 years. Hard water can cut their efficiency by 48 percent.

If testing indicates bacteria, viruses, nitrates, arsenic, and other dangerous contaminants, we also suggest installing a reverse osmosis system to filter drinking water at the tap.

Reduce Iron in Your Water Today

Mid-Atlantic Water Services can eliminate unwanted odors, tastes, and colors in your drinking water. Let us restore water quality in your Edgewater, Maryland, home. Call us at (443) 808-0420, or request service online.