Dear 100 Hour Board,
My roommate and I are confused about something and we were hoping you could help us out. It's about iron. My roommate is from Arizona and is convinced that iron in water comes in little black things. However, in my home in Minnesota, we have an iron filter on our well, and everytime we change it it's a brownish red color. I thought this was the iron, but my roommate is convinced I'm wrong since when she takes iron pills, they are a blackish color as well. So who is right? We are so very confused so hopefully there is a writer out there who is a geology major who can help us out! Thanks!
- Petie the Bird
Iron compounds will usually, but not always, appear reddish in color, especially iron oxides (rust), which is the usual form of iron in water. There are also forms of iron--like pure iron, the metal--that will appear dark gray or even black. Therefore, you are certainly right; I think your roommate is wrong, but I'm not certain.