Iron is a chemical element that occurs naturally in soil. It can dissolve in groundwater. Along with drinking water, some foods, such as red meat and dark-green vegetables, as well as food supplements, also contain iron.
In Québec, there is no standard for the maximum amount of iron in drinking water.
However, when its concentration exceeds 0.3 mg/L, iron can:
- Change the taste and colour of water
- Stain clothing and household appliances washed with the water
The concentration of iron in water is generally not harmful to health.
Protection and Prevention
Have your water tested if it has an unusual taste or smell or if it is brown or reddish. You can then have it treated to improve quality.
Boiling water is pointless because iron does not evaporate. In fact, doing so can increase the concentration of iron in the water.
You can install a residential water treatment system to reduce the concentration of iron in water to an acceptable level. Be sure to install a certified system conforming to NSF/ANSI standards and follow the manufacturer’s maintenance recommendations.
Last update: August 22, 2016