Quick Definition:

Iron is a metal that can be found in swimming pool water if the water is out of balance and is too acidic.

What is Iron in swimming pools?

Iron is a metal element, with the symbol Fe, with the atomic number 26. Iron is silver in color, but readily turns a reddish brown color as the element is exposed to oxygen in air or water.  Iron oxide is formed, giving the outer layers the well known rust color.  Electrolytes dissolved in a solution exposed to iron will increase iron corrosion.

For swimming pools, iron in water is undesirable, as excessive iron in water can turn the water reddish-brown, plus stain pool walls and floors.  Water that is acidic can dissolve metal surfaces, which if they contain iron can transfer the iron to the pool water where it dissolves in the water.  Where extreme amounts of iron are present in the water, a metal sequestering agent can be applied such as iron sulphate, which changes the binary iron and changing it to tertiary iron. This process usually causes some flake formation, which can be removed through a sand filter or by use of a DE filter system.

To remove any iron trace, ion exchangers can be installed and used.  However, this only applies to a low level of iron concentration.  Draining the swimming pool water is another way to reduce iron content in swimming pools.  Similar methods to remove iron can also be used to remove other metals that can find their way into swimming pool water such as copper.


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