Iron or Tannin in the Water – Understanding the Differences

Q. Do you have a product to remove Iron in suspension from a dam as it stains everything in the garden a very strong orange colour?


When it comes to the quality of water in our gardens and outdoor spaces, we want nothing but the best.

The Trouble with Iron: Rust Stains and More

When dealing with iron or tannins in the water can bring about a whole range of issues and leave our gardens stained with a strong orange colour. In this Q&A, we look at the differences between iron and tannins and how they can impact our water quality.

Tackling Iron Issues: From Stains to Metallic Taste

Iron, that metallic element we’re all familiar with, can actually dissolve in water and cause all sorts of trouble. One of the most common problems iron creates is those stubborn rust stains we find on our walls, pathways, and garden structures. They’re a pain to remove! Not only that, but water containing iron can also have a metallic taste and an unpleasant odour, making it less appealing for stock to drink. To make matters worse, iron can create an environment that fosters the growth of certain bacteria, leading to fouling and corrosion in our pipes and plumbing fixtures.

Discoloration and Undesirable Flavors: Effects of Tannins

These are natural organic compounds that can be found in soil, vegetation, and specific water sources. When tannins find their way into our water, they give it a yellowish-brown colour, almost like a cup of tea. Not the most visually pleasing, especially if we’re using the water for decorative purposes in fountains or ponds. Tannins also bring a tea-like taste and odour to the water, which isn’t exactly what we’re looking for.

Different Challenges, Similar Solution: The Role of Water Oxygenation

Understanding the differences between iron and tannins is essential because the ways to treat and remove them are quite different. One key factor comes into play: oxygenation of the water. This is where tools like Aeration Fountains or Lake Bed Aeration systems come in handy. By introducing oxygen into the water, these systems help reduce the effects of both iron and tannins.

Targeted Approach for Tannins: Breaking Down Decaying Matter with Muck Breaker

Now, if you’re specifically dealing with tannins, there’s an additional step you can take to tackle the issue. By reducing the buildup of decaying matter at the bottom of the water body, you can significantly minimize the presence of tannins in the water. That’s where products like Muck Breaker come to the rescue. They’re designed to break down decaying matter, effectively reducing the influx of tannins into the water.

Iron and tannins are two different substances with distinct effects on water quality. Iron leaves us with rust stains, a metallic taste, and promotes bacterial growth, while tannins bring discoloration, an unpleasant taste, and odour. By understanding these differences and taking appropriate measures like aeration and using targeted treatments such as Muck Breaker, we can improve our water quality and ensure our gardens and outdoor spaces are as enjoyable and visually. Whether it’s iron or tannins giving you trouble, addressing water quality issues proactively is the key to maintaining a vibrant and pristine environment that both nature enthusiasts and homeowners will love.

by Aquatic Technologies
If you have any questions regarding looking after your dam or pond and what products are the most suitable for your situation, please read through the helpful articles on our site or feel free to contact our friendly team who can help you maintain proper health in your water body year round.
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