Currently, the water smells very strong of Iron (Water softener is currently broke, going to be fixed shortly). The neighbors in the area said the softener will get some of the iron but they had to install Iron Breakers or Iron Curtains.

We had our water tested and we had a very high iron/magnesium/manganese values. Iron - 4.43 mg/L Magnesium - 38.6 mg/L Manganese - 289 ug/L

  • What are a few methods and how do they work to remove that from water? (Softener, Iron Breaker, Iron Curtain, Chlorinator, Cartridge Filter?)
  • What are the benefits of each method?
  • What are the typical costs?

How much iron will a water softener remove from the water? We purchased Rust Pellet salt to help when the softener is fixed.

Any suggestions are appreciated.

Update New softener was installed and the iron smell doesn't seem to be there like it used to so that definitly helps. They mentioned that the typical lifespan of a softener is 20 years but with the water we have (very high iron), the lifespan would be 10 to 12 years. He mentioned a iron curtain that uses ozone which ranges from 1700 to 3000 with annual maintenance of 200. Still need to research that and any other alternatives to iron removal though.

Update Research Iron Removal - http://www.purewaterproducts.com/articles/iron-removal Sizing your well - http://www.budgetwater.com/proper_system_sizing.htm

  • My summer home neighbor's softener in lower Michigan needs yearly maintenance (new salt) so he just gave up on it "You get used to it" he says. Gross. We bring drinking water with us from Chicago.
    – Mazura
    Sep 24, 2014 at 17:49
  • It's frustrating how much information out there is just about selling a specific system and not about general water issue remediation. May 15, 2016 at 17:59

1 Answer 1


After enough research and talking with a few different companies, this is what I have found out.

Water Softener - this is good for removing Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, etc out of the water. It mainly used for getting a small degree of minerals out of the water. Using it primarily for high iron removal will decrease the life of the softener.

Chlorination - this will technically work for iron. You can get a pellet dispenser directly on the well. This would also help for bacteria. However, it would increase the arsenic levels which we are bordering high already. Its also not the greatest to be drinking chlorine.

Ozone Iron Filter - the benefit from what I researched with this is that the ozone will kill off bacteria. The maintenance can be somewhat costly from what I hear. Its once a year but costs 100 to 200.

Air Iron Filter - this is what we ended up going with. Maintenance is going to be around 20 for a new part each year, otherwise don't have to do much with it. Its going to cost about 1700 to 2100 which is close to the same price for ozone filter.

The average life of each system seems to be about the same, 10 - 15 - 20 years depending on the amount of iron or other minerals its filtering.

Update - we purchased an air iron filter because we had very high iron content. The water softener didn't remove enough of the iron. The new iron filter works very well, can't smell the iron anymore and the faucets don't get red. It does cycle through water quite frequently (2 to 3 days) and is pretty loud when it does. Overall though, it works well.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.