How to Remove Iron from Pool Water! Easy Methods

Nobody would want to swim in a pool that will get his/her hair, nails, and all parts of the body stained. That is because there is a high level of Iron in the pool that causes this discoloration. The imbalance of Iron and other mineral quantities in water is the primary reason behind your pool looking rusty brown. Thus, it becomes an iron pool. 

Before we discuss the processes involved in how to remove iron from pool water, let us examine how Iron gets into the pool water, the impacts, and how to identify if pool water has a high level of iron concentration.

How Iron Gets Into a Pool Water

Iron is the fourth most abundant metal on earth. The silver shining metal exists naturally in water, but when it's in high concentrations, it affects the quality of your pool water and becomes toxic. It becomes corrosive as a result of the reaction with water and overtime.

How Iron Gets Into a Pool Water

The water begins to appear cloudy. High concentration levels of chlorine accelerate this corrosion. So, adding chlorine will worsen the brown coloration of the water.

Iron isn’t the only metal that discolors pool water. Copper in high concentrations will lower pH and affect the quality of water.

Also, the use of low-quality water equipment will alter the quality of the water. The metal parts are made of iron, and when they dissolve in water, the pool water becomes corrodible.


Water discoloration is a significant impact. This discolored water will stain the pool at the base, up until the top and then, stain the hairs and nails of the swimmer.

The discoloration is a very unpleasant sight. The pool water becomes unattractive, dirty, and a harbor for germs and bacteria. 

How to Identify the Presence of Iron In Water

The most common form of identification is the rusty brown color of your pool water. However, you may not readily notice the presence of iron if the concentration is at normal levels. That is why you should take your pool water sample to a regional pool shop to get it analyzed.

How to Identify the Presence of Iron In Water

Note that your pool water may not appear as rusty brown for a long time if it’s not removed. Over time, the rusty brown will change to black and then to green. At this stage, it means that your pool water has copper. It will become increasingly difficult to treat the pool water, but there is always a solution for it.

How to Remove Iron in Swimming Pool Water - Step by Step Process

There are many solutions to removing iron from water, but you have to apply the right one. To use the proper method, you need to get your pool analyzed first to confirm the levels of iron in your water.

After you must have gotten a confirmation, take the following steps. 

Method 1: Shock Treat the Pool

You can shock treat your swimming pool water in two ways; It’s either you use a chlorine-based shock or the non-chlorine based shock.

That is why it’s crucial to meet a pool expert to know which type of shock treatment is most suitable for your pool.

Shock Treat the Pool

When you are done choosing the type of shock treatment for your pool, you must follow it up with a clarifier treatment. Your pool expert will likely tell you this follow up when you consult him. The purpose of using this clarifier treatment is so that you free from the build-up of iron.

You may not be able to use the shock treatment first hand. You must read the instructions for use that are written on the label. The instructions are as follows;

You must shock treat the pool. Shock treating it will oxidize the iron metal in the pool water.

Once it has been oxidized, the metal separates from water and settles in one place as rust.

Now that the rust has been separated itself in one place remove it out of the pool water.

While you are still using the shock treatment,  the pool water is running for about six to eight hours.

Scrub the walls of your pool if there is any stain of iron so that they will drop off and get mixed with the rest of the water that is undergoing treatment.

Method 2: Flocculent Method

The flocculent method is a very effective method that you can use to rid your pool of excess iron completely. This method works by adding flocculent, a woolly substance to the water to collect the iron and settle it at the bottom of the water.

Follow the processes below to use this method.

First of all, you must change the direction of the filter to allow backward flow.

Estimate the quantity of flocculent you should add to the water. It is recommended that you add one-quarter of a gallon of flocculent per 6500 gallons of water.

Add flocculent to the water. The flocculent will mix with the water and collect the iron. It pulls the iron to the bottom of the water so that they both settle there.

Once they settle on the floor, collect them.

Method 3: Prevent from Oxidizing

This method ensures that metal is not oxidized. Add a chelating agent to the water. The agent forms a compound with the iron in the pool water. Once they form, you have prevented the metal from being oxidized.

Method 4: Iron Remover Method

When implementing this method, make sure the filter pump is on.

Avoid chlorinating the water so that the water level will start to drop.

Once the chlorine level is dropped to zero, lower the pH of the pool water, and add pH Reducer. Wait till the pH reading is 6.8 ppm.

Estimate the amount of iron remover you should add. Add a quarter of iron remover per 5000 gallons of water.

Leave the pool water overnight.

Once the pool water is clear, increase the pH levels between 7.2 and 7.8 ppm.

Your pool water should be back to normal now.

Keep in mind that there is a difference between your pool water rich in calcium and rich in iron. If your pool water is rich in calcium, it will be challenging to treat the water, unless you drain the water completely. After you have removed the water, you can fill your pool water from a different source. In the case of iron pool water, you can still treat it. 

How to Prevent From Recurring

How to Prevent From Recurring

Usually, the situation may recur, and when it does, you may not be in the position to find a way to fill up your pool. In that case, you shouldn’t panic. Regularly add a chelating agent to the water. These agents will remove metal ions from water by collecting the metal at the bottom of the water. A chelating agent will inactivate this metal.

Where Does Iron Originate From?

The metal beams in a gorgeous silver color but if reacting with water and atmosphere, it destroys.

Iron is usually found in the water. If the origin is a well, then the nicely may comprise iron alloy in its ionic state. If you purify this water, the metals become accumulated from the pipe or pipes network until it reaches the swimming.

If you believe second pool gear is going to do your job, then you may not be thinking right. The less expensive ones are made from iron, which will readily corrode down the street.

Is iron In Well Water Harmful?

Human anatomy needs iron to operate correctly, but metal, such as many materials, is poisonous in high doses. But you couldn’t drink enough water to absorb toxic levels of iron.

The Environmental Protection Agency believes iron in water as a secondary contaminant, so it doesn’t have an immediate effect on health. The Secondary Maximum Contaminant Level set out from the EPA is 0.3 mg per liter, but that is just a guideline rather than a national benchmark.

Ordinarily around 15 mg/L, Idaho’s well water will not include quite substantial quantities of iron. However, the amount is still inadequate to cause physical injury.

Is the iron in hot water dangerous? Truthfully, it won’t make a difference to your wellbeing, but it is going to cause expensive damage and other difficulties.

How To Remove Iron From Pool Water FAQs

Is iron toxic in high concentration levels?

Iron, like most metals, are extremely toxic in high concentration levels. 

Is iron the only metal that can affect the quality of water in high concentration levels?

Copper is another metal that can change the color of pool water. If excess, the water changes to green.

Can you test for copper the same way you test for iron in the water?

Yes, you can test both metals the same way. You can check if these metals are excess in pool water by their water coloration. Rusty brown signifies the presence of excess iron, while green signifies the presence of copper.

Is iron in well water dangerous? 

Iron exists naturally in well water. As it’s with most metals, high levels of concentration can be poisonous.

As it stands, there is no enough iron in well water that can affect human health. The EPA believes the low level of iron in well water is unlikely to affect health because iron is classified as a secondary contaminant.

I treat my pool water with chlorine every time. I have treated it, but the color remains rusty brown. What should I do?

First of all, stop chlorinating the water. Adding more chlorine will worsen the coloration. Pool water will stay rusty brown until you remove the iron. Go to a pool shop with your water sample, and they will recommend the best approach to treat your water.

Alternatively, you can get an iron remover to reduce the level of iron in the pool water.

Watch How to get iron out of pool water. Effective and cheap

Final Words & Recommendations

Swimming in pool water that has less iron is pleasurable. You are confident that you are swimming in safe and clean water and have no reason whatsoever to be scared of getting stained.

If you ever suspect that your pool water has a high level of iron, get it tested in a pool store. The pool experts will tell you the processes involved and will guide you appropriately once it’s confirmed. 

This article has carefully described the steps on how to remove iron from pool water. So, whenever you see that your pool water is no longer the greenish-blue color it once was, you should use these methods to remove the metal that is causing the discoloration.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 1 comments
Erik Enderson

According to the Environmental Protection Agency considers iron in supply water as a secondary contaminant. That means iron contamination in water does not have a direct impact on our health.

The Secondary Maximum Contaminant Level set out by the EPA is 0.3 milligrams per liter for household use. But this limit is merely a guideline and not a federal standard. Typically, around 15 mg/L, Idaho’s well water does contain quite high amounts of iron, but the level is still not enough to cause physical harm.

So, we need to rethink about iron contamination in supply water and presence in daily water use. Iron can be also stored in our pool water. I have found this article informative and helpful to take further steps.


Leave a Reply: