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Tannins in Florida Waterways

Does the water flowing out of your faucets look like sweet tea? If your water has a brownish, yellowish, or amber tint, tannins may be the cause. Many Floridians have water tainted by tannins. Groundwater is a dominant source of water in the Sunshine State. Tannins are plentiful in the freshwater rivers, lakes, and creeks feeding our groundwater.

Tannin-contaminated water isn’t usually dangerous, but it can be a breeding ground for bacteria. Even the safest tannin-saturated water stains clothing, hair, and home appliances. Along with the unpleasant color, it may also give your water a musty odor and bitter taste.

tannins in water, winterhaven flWhat are Tannins?

Tannins are an organic byproduct of fermentation or decay. The rich color of red wine and the lighter shades of tea are caused by tannins. Less savory sources stain Florida’s water. The tannins in our groundwater are from swampy soil, decaying leaves, and other decomposing vegetation.

Why Should I Remove Tannins? 

While tannins aren’t necessarily a health hazard, they can cause many problems. Top reasons water experts recommend treating tannin-contaminated water include the following:

  1. Bacteria growth can flourish in water with tannins, risking the family’s health.

  2. Tannins can make water disinfectants, like chlorine, less effective.

  3. Tannins can permanently stain clothing, dishes, and porcelain fixtures.


  4. When water with tannins mixes with chlorine, it can create a toxic byproduct: trichloromethane,
    a suspected carcinogen.

  5. Tannin-contaminated water can harm aquatic pets.

water purification, lakeland flHow Can I Purify Tannin-Contaminated Water? 

Tannins can be tough to remove from water! The way tannins bind to water makes it impossible to remove with a typical water filter. In many cases, a whole-home water treatment system like a water softener is needed to purify tannin-contaminated water. It is crucial to have your water tested before you order a water softener. The best solution to your tannin problem will depend on:

  • The type of vegetation the tannins are from.
  • How long the water was exposed to it.
  • The concentration of tannins in your water.

Before hunting for a new water treatment system, the first step is determining if your water is discolored from tannins, iron, or another contaminate. Call a water treatment expert to perform an in-home water analysis! Tri-Florida Water Treatment offers free in-home water analysis for residents in Lakeland, Florida, and the surrounding area.

We will share with you what we find when we get the results for our water analysis. Then, we will recommend the best water treatment solutions to meet your needs and fit your budget based on the results.

Over 30 years serving the Lakeland community, we’ve become known for our integrity, excellent communication, quality workmanship, and reliability. So if you want to find out why your water is discolored, give us a call! We’ve helped residents throughout this region remove tannins from their water and enjoy crystal clear, great-tasting water that doesn’t leave stains behind.