Help - Rust stains from watering garden with hard (well) water

I've been using a sprinkler to keep my plantings watered, and the rock around the plantings and the nearby concrete is turning rust colored.
Is there anything I can buy and put in-line to prevent this from happening? Ie. some kind of filter or whatever to remove the iron/rust before it puddles on the rock and concrete?
I see the variety of soaker hoses from Fiskars and Orbit, but I'm afraid those might not provide enough water since I have so much rock-based mulch.
Any advice would be appreciated!
Thanks
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Try lemon juice on the rust.
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Is there anything that can be done to treat the water in-line before it goes to the sprinkler and creates the rust stains by oxidizing on the surfaces?
Thanks
snipped-for-privacy@localnet.com wrote:

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Perhaps if you have more money than god you could pretreat the water to remove the iron. Might be better to not water the cconcrete.
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http://www.ext.nodak.edu/extpubs/h2oqual/watsys/ae1030w.htm
But it would be a whole lot easier and cheaper to go to drip irrigation and water the plantings instead of the sidewalk.

Rock based mulch has nothing to do with using drip irrigation. I'd use pressure-compensating drippers and/or the laser-drilled 1/4" tubing rather than the foamy-looking hoses that sort of "sweat". Examples: http://www.unce.unr.edu/publications/FS93/FS9382.pdf http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?action=howTo&p=LawnGarden/DripIrrigation.html or click on "micro watering handbook" in the left column here: http://www.raindrip.com/contact/catalogrequest.asp
Put the drippers in the root zone, under the mulch.
If you've got a sprinkler system in place, the sprinkler heads can be converted to a drip watering manifold fairly simply -- raindrip is one such manufacturer of these.
Don't forget a backflow prevention device if you're hooking drip irrigation to a standard hosebibb.
Raindrip is a product line that I'm most familiar with and have found satisfactory for smallish scale home use; I'm sure there are other good manufacturers of similar supplies.
kay
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I have the same problem, as many other do. It is a tough one. It can get to be so bad that, if sprinklers are used frequenly on plants with low rate of green growth, the leaves turn redish. For example a Saint Agustin lawn is no problem because gets cut and grows a lot, but I had fescue and it did turn red in the summer because of the water, not brown because of the heat...
I have tried the drippers for some areas, but they tend to clogh from the well water sediments that go with the iron. From my experience, if drippers are used, look for the higher flow ones, install them in pairs on a T instead of single drops, so if one fails the other probably still works and you dont have to be watching the thing continuosly. Be ready to replace them periodically. DO NOT BURY THE DRIPPERS as suggested by the previous post. With the high chance of clogging, you want to be able to see the drippers dripping.
To try to avoid the red coloring of plants and the problem with drippers, I have started to experiment with simple high volume dripping, where I have a multi-port manifold with 1/4 tubing that splits with a T into two other segments of tubing with just a splicing connector (if anything at all) as a terminator to provide some limitation to the flow. A few feet lenght tubes and the T help to reduce the flow per drop to a manageable level. They put out a significant amount of water, but not too much, it is just a matter of shorter cycle times. You have to play with the tube lenghs and relative drop levels to have equivalent flow... I am experimenting with a bed of 12 or so trailing lantanas, with a drop per plant. A single zone with a 12 GPM pump can handle a lot of this open drops. I am sure that over time the tubes will build internal sediment and eventually will have to be replaced, but I hope it may may last a couple of years or more.
It is not a matter of dripping savings, but of preventing wetting the leaves with the thin spray that tends to sediment over the plant. I am sure it will save water, which is great, but that is not the main reason...
By the way, I also use some bubblers but in general they are hard to adjust and for low flows they are also affected by the deposits.
Kay Lancaster wrote:

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Oxalic acid removes rust stains. I have used it to remove rust stains from my pool plaster. You can buy it in most pool supply stores.
--
Walter
www.rationality.net
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says...

A water softener will take out the minerals, but may add traces of salt which is bad for most plants.
As other posters have suggested, various mild acids will clean the stains from rock and concrete, but may turn the soil acid, so you may need to add lime.
Some folks collect rain water in barrels to use for plants.
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