Iron in drinking water - where there is danger


Iron is also found in nature and is an important substance for the human body. Iron in drinking water can also be harmful if it is too high. What limits there are for iron, how iron is removed from drinking water, and why it can still occur and when health problems can occur, is explained in detail here.

Properties of iron

Iron is the most important metal of the iron group. It also occurs in nature as a mineral, but very rarely. Iron compounds are more common. It rusts in conjunction with water and oxygen.

Health effects of iron

Iron is an important trace element for the human organism. The daily requirement for men is about 10 mg per day, for women about 15 mg per day. Iron deficiency is a commonly diagnosed deficiency disease. The frequent use of dairy products, coffee and black tea inhibits iron absorption in the body.

If iron intake is too high due to certain diseases (hemochromatosis) or because of increased intake, iron can accumulate in the liver and trigger a variety of illnesses. Iron storage disorders are also called siderosis medically.

The high storage of iron salts in the body can cause organ damage. Furthermore, a higher risk of tuberculosis (promoting the pathogens) and possibly Alzheimer's and Parkinson's are possible consequences, as it also comes in these diseases to iron deposits in the brain.

Iron in drinking water treatment

During drinking water treatment in the waterworks iron and manganese are removed by precipitation. The removal can also be done by the so-called ozonation.

The limit value for iron in drinking water is 0.2 mg / l in the Drinking Water Ordinance. The WHO recommends a lower limit of 0.1 mg / l.

Higher grades often come from galvanized iron pipes inside the house installation when the zinc layer is worn down and iron is released into the water. Above the limit value of the German Drinking Water Ordinance flocculation, metallic taste and rust deposits in the water can occur. A health hazard is generally believed to be above 200 mg / l.

But for people who suffer from siderosis, increased levels can quickly become dangerous.

Tips & Tricks

If rust appears in the drinking water or metallic taste, the iron content should be tested and, if necessary, the piping exchanged, if necessary.


Video Board: Is too much iron in drinking water harmful