Wednesday, August 6, 2014

What To Do First When You Have Rust in Your Well Water


A neighbor showed me your webpage.  I have bad well water.  The water smells and leaves stains on our sinks and laundry.  We just bought this place and the former owners said we have a well water filter, but it doesn’t seem to work.  We are looking into various types of water treatment for our well water but don’t know where to start.  Help!

- Phil and Judy, Oklahoma

Dear Phil and Judy,

The best place to start is with an accurate water test.  Have you had your well water tested?   It sounds like you have a classic case of rust in your water, (dissolved and/or oxidized iron) along with “rotten-egg” odor (hydrogen sulfide gas).  

It is a good idea to test the water first, to see exactly how much iron there is, what the pH of the water is, and if there is any manganese or tannins.  We have some good free and low cost options here:

It is also important to know how many gallons per minute your well pump can pump.  This just means how many gallons, in one minute, can your well pump out at the maximum flow rate.  This is important, because iron filters need a certain minimum amount of flow, in order for them to work properly. 

It's really easy to determine pump flow rate on systems with pressure tanks, just follow this easy step: 

Once we know the basic well water chemistry and how many gallons per minute the well can pump, we can recommend some iron filter system options that will work great to fix your problem.  In the meantime see our iron filters for well water page: