What Are Iron Bacteria? What Are They Doing In Your Water Supply?

Water is a vital life force. However, unclean bacteria-ridden water will do you more harm than good. The majority of us know about deadly bacteria that can pollute the water, and we are trying our best to keep these infestations at bay. Nonetheless, while you are pretty aware of bacteria found in your water supply, do you know about the iron bacteria? Well, if you don’t, then let’s discuss iron bacteria in your water supply.

Iron And Iron Bacteria:

On this earth, you can find bacteria in all shapes, sizes, and with varying appetites. Hence, a particular group of bacteria decided to devour iron for their energy. Scientifically speaking, these bacteria oxidize iron as their source of energy.

Iron is a common mineral found within the earth’s crust. Therefore, without doubt, specks of this mineral dissolve in the water. Fortunately, our body needs a small dose of iron, so the dissolved iron can cater to this need.

However, the effects of excess iron range from mildly ruining the taste of your coffee to causing skin problems. Moreover, an iron overload also presents an additional obstacle in the form of iron bacteria. These bacteria yearn for iron, so they gladly nestle in your iron-ridden water supply where they can feast on the iron present.

From Soil To Your Water:

Iron bacteria primarily reside in soil, so you can easily find them in the water body in contact with the ground. Consequently, your well-water can become a good target. Often this pest is introduced through the use of contaminated instruments at the time of well digging. For example, the driller might use their drill, which had previously picked on some contaminated soil. Therefore, when the driller continues with his work, some dirt may drop in the water, and with the dirt comes iron bacteria.

Recognition of Iron Bacteria In Your Water Supply:

Iron bacteria marks its presence with some telltale visual signs that you cannot miss. The water starts to show red color, and this water can stain pipes or vessels that hold it. In addition, when the bacteria population thrives, you can pick up earthy odor from your water. Primarily, the odor is categorized as a musty, swampy, or rotten smell. Lastly, the bacteria excrete some oil byproduct that flows to the top. Hence, you can notice shiny and oily sheens gathered atop of calm water, for example, in toilet tanks.

Effects Of Iron Bacteria:

Gladly, this bacteria colony is not harmful to human health, as they are content with eating iron. However, after they alter the color and smell of water, you wouldn’t want to drink that water.

Although these don’t harm you, they do go heavy on your plumbing. This is because the flakes they produce after digesting iron can settle in and clog up pipes.

In addition, they do modify the water in a way that makes it feasible for other bacterial populations to thrive. The new bacterial colony that starts to develop can either be harmful or harmless.


Nobody can deny the importance of pure and filtered water. Clean Liquid Systems is here to cater to all your filtration needs, and for more information, call us at 713-253-0100.

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