What Happens When My Well Water Has Tested Positive For Organic and Tannins?

October 23, 2023

House,Water,Filtration,System,To,Drinkable,Condition.,New,Clean,WaterTannins in well water are natural organic compounds that come from decaying vegetation and can be found in shallow wells or in areas with high levels of organic matter in the ground. These compounds give well water a yellowish or brownish color and can also cause a bitter or astringent taste. Tannins can also stain fixtures and clothing and leave residue on dishes and glasses.

Effects on Water Quality

Although tannins in well water do not pose any health risks, they can have a significant impact on water quality. The discoloration caused by tannins can make water appear unappetizing, especially when used for drinking or cooking. Additionally, the bitter or astringent taste can make it unpleasant to consume.

Another issue with tannins is their ability to bind with other chemicals present in well water, such as iron and manganese. This can lead to highly stained laundry, bathtubs, and toilets, as well as the accumulation of scale in plumbing fixtures and appliances. Tannins can also interfere with the effectiveness of certain water treatment methods, such as chlorine disinfection, further exacerbating the problem.

Addressing Tannin Issues

If your well water has tested positive for tannins, there are several steps you can take to address the issue and improve the quality of your water.

1. Water Filtration: Installing a water filtration system specifically designed to remove tannins can significantly reduce their presence. Different filtration methods, such as activated carbon filters or reverse osmosis systems, can effectively remove tannins from your water supply.

2. Water Softeners: Although water softeners do not specifically target tannins, they can help minimize the staining caused by the binding of tannins with iron and manganese. By reducing the levels of these minerals, water softeners can alleviate the discoloration and staining associated with tannins.

3. pH Adjustment: Adjusting the pH level of your water can also help mitigate tannin-related issues. Tannins are more soluble in alkaline conditions, so maintaining a slightly acidic pH can prevent the color and taste problems associated with tannins.

4. Contact a Professional: If you are unsure about the best solution for your tannin problem or if your well water has additional issues, it is recommended to consult a water treatment professional. They can analyze your specific situation and recommend the most suitable course of action.

Preventing Future Tannin Issues

While tannins can be a nuisance, there are preventive measures you can take to minimize their occurrence in your well water.

1. Regular Maintenance: Periodically inspect and maintain your well system to ensure it is properly sealed and protected from surface water contamination. Taking preventive steps, such as checking for cracks, cleaning the well casing, and maintaining a safe distance between the wellhead and potential sources of contamination, can help reduce the presence of tannins in your water.

2. Protect Surface Water: If you live in a low-lying or coastal area where tannins are more likely to be present, it is important to take measures to protect surface water from contamination. Avoiding the use of fertilizers near water sources, properly disposing of chemicals, and preventing runoff can all help maintain the quality of your well water.

3. Regular Testing: Regularly testing your well water for tannins and other potential contaminants can help identify any issues early on. This allows you to take prompt action and implement appropriate treatment methods to improve your water quality.


If your well water has tested positive for tannins, it is important to address the issue to prevent any potential inconveniences or damage caused by stained fixtures and unpleasant tastes. By implementing appropriate water treatment methods and taking preventive measures, you can ensure the quality of your well water and maintain a safe and enjoyable water supply for your household.

Got Questions? Let Us Help!

Action Electric Motor & Pump Repair provides well pump repair service and water treatment systems to the city of Wewahitchka and the surrounding areas. We are a local family owned and operated business dedicated to providing our clients with exceptional service as well as high-quality workmanship since 1978. Our experts specialize in residential, commercial, and industrial pump repair. Other services Action Electric Motor & Pump Repair offers include well repair and replacement, water treatment as well as conditioning, electric motor rewinding, and more. We pride ourselves in offering the safest and most reliable water systems for our customers. Contact us today to learn more about what we can do for you!

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