Iron is one of the essential nutrients needed by the body. Iron helps produce hemoglobin, an important component of the red blood cell, which contains oxygen that that is transported throughout the whole body.
By doing so, iron helps in warding off anemia and fatigue because of the increased production of hemoglobin, thus increasing the blood count. When consumed in higher doses though, that is more than the body’s therapeutic level, iron overload occurs.
Medically known as Hemochromatosis, significant signs and symptoms that occur are weight loss, joint pain and fatigue. The same signs and symptoms occur when iron in the body is lower than the therapeutic level and is commonly known as Iron Deficiency Anemia or IDA. When left untreated, hemochromatosis can lead to heart diseases, diabetes and liver disorders. Only blood tests can reveal hemochromatosis.
The Different Types of Iron in Drinking Water and Where It Can Be Found
Iron can be found in food and can be synthetically produced to be taken as a supplement for those who have iron deficiency anemia that needed to produce more red blood cells. Since synthetic iron is used as an essential health supplement, there are certain irons that are present in water too.
Iron can make water turn from clear to brown or red, and when consumed, has a metallic taste. Iron also is one of the causes of turbidity and sediments found in water caused by rusted water pipes.
Iron reduction is a success when proper iron identification starts, where in iron is differentiated from water and all other substances found in drinking water. Iron reduction processes are designed to reduce iron found in water and identify typical symptoms associated with iron.
Little do we know, there are different kinds of iron found in the environment and those are:
- Iron bacteria – are live microorganisms that requires food and oxygen to survive and grow. Though not harmful to man and animals, the presence and growth of iron bacteria in the water supplies is mainly the reason of clogged water pipes, foul odor and metallic taste in the drinking water.
- Sequestrated iron – mostly found in municipal water supplies where in sequestering agent is added to water to keep iron in ferrous state ( the condition of iron while its dissolved in water and makes the water clear) that hinders iron to undergo ferric state ( the condition where iron is dissolved and water turns to red)
- Heme iron – is usually formed with organic compounds that are present in water
What is Iron Reduction and How is Iron Removed from Drinking Water
With a little background of the different types of iron in drinking water, it seems like sequestrated iron is the only iron that is almost safe to be consumed. Though iron bacteria can actually be treated through the chlorination process; however, chlorine is still a chemical and can be toxic to health.
Since heme iron is a compound formed with organics in water, it doesn’t react with iron-reducing treatment thus needed to be treated with additional technologies by mainly using chemical reagents. Same as chlorine, the chemicals used in treating heme iron is also toxic, especially when pure chemical is used.
Iron-reduction is usually the process to removed iron in drinking water. In order for iron-reduction to be successful, the type of iron in drinking water should be identified first and differentiated from other substances found in water. There are two types of technologies that are used in iron-reduction, which is Ion Exchange and Oxidization.
With ion exchange, ferrous iron (a cation) can be easily removed through a process where like ion charges where interchanged between an aqueous solution and a solid. With the oxidation process, oxygen is introduced to the water supply and turns the clear water to red water thus by simply converting irons ferrous state to a solid ferric state.
Once converted to a solid particle, iron is then simply filtrated and removed from the water supply. Nowadays, with the advancing technology, an automatic back-washing filter is use to generally filter out the converted iron particles. Making sure that the filter is backwashed regularly thus preventing a foul smelling filters beds that can cause health problems.
How safe is drinking water?
Iron, though oxidized and underwent ion exchange in water supplies, can still be found in drinking water especially at home. After all the processes that water is being treated back at the public water system, it still isn’t potable when a foul smelling and brownish water is coming out of the water pipes due to a clogged water line that is caused by iron bacteria. It could only mean that iron is still present in drinking water causing turbidity, metallic taste and sometimes there is the presence of sediments
How can we make sure drinking water is safe at home?
With all these types of iron found in water and the processes water goes through before it reaches home, it still is isn’t potable and clean to drink. While some are finding ways to removed iron aside from using chemicals and iron-reduction processes, researchers found a way to make drinking water pure and safe for the family to drink. With the use of Berkey, you can now be at ease that you and your family are drinking pure and clean water.
Berkey has been tested to filter impurities naturally found in water such as disease-causing microorganism like bacteria, protozoans and viruses, but can also filter out sediments and foul smelling odor.
Not only that, Berkey also purifies water without the use of any chemicals that can be toxic to health. With the use of this innovative product, there will be no foul odor in your drinking water.