Reddish Brown Stains - Iron
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Rusty Reddish Stains
Iron is one of the most troublesome elements in water supplies. Making up at least 5 percent of the earth's crust, iron is one of the earth's most plentiful resources. Rainwater as it infiltrates the soil and underlying geologic formations dissolves iron, causing it to seep into aquifers that serve as sources of groundwater for wells. It becomes a problem when its concentration reaches 0.3 ppm in a water supply.
Iron can be present in two states: Ferrous - Fe+2 (dissolved) and Ferric - Fe+3 (visible). Dissolved iron is the water soluble form and it is colourless in freshly-pumped water. It will convert to the visible form in the presence of air. This explains why water which at first appears clear will turn colour.
Visible iron is reddish or brownish in colour and will discolour the water. This form of iron will also stain sediment particles. Therefore, water containing clay, silt or sand will show iron discolouration.
Potential problems caused by high iron are discolouration of laundry, stains on plumbing fixtures, stains on dishes and utensils and a formation of a slimy coat inside pipes and hot water tanks. Iron can also reduce the life of a hot water tank.