Everything You Need to Know About Tannins in Water

Water is essential to our daily lives, but it’s not always pure and safe to consume. Tannins are a type of organic compound that can be found in water and are known to affect its quality as a contaminant. In this blog post, we will explore what tannins are, their associated hazards, and how to eliminate them using the suggested methods.

Figure 1 Tannins

The Science of Tannins: How They Form and Their Impact on Water Standard

Figure 2 Tannins impact on water standard

Tannins, naturally occurring organic compounds found in plants such as trees, leaves, and bark, can have negative effects on water quality when they dissolve in water. They can give water a yellow or brown tint, and an unpleasant taste and odor. Although not harmful to human health, tannins can cause discoloration and stains on clothes, dishes, and appliances, and affect the overall quality of water.

The Unknown Threats of Tannins in Your Water

Although tannins do not pose any health risks to humans, they can have adverse impacts on water quality. Tannins can make water taste and smell bad, which can be unappealing to drink or use for cooking. Tannins can also cause stains on clothes and appliances and clog pipes and fixtures. In addition, tannins can react with chlorine and other disinfectants, reducing their effectiveness in killing bacteria and other microorganisms.

Tannin Removal: Alternatives for Cleaner, Better-Tasting Water

Figure 3 Water treatment system

There are several methods for removing tannins from water. One of the most effective ways is to use a water treatment system that uses ion exchange or activated carbon filtration. By utilizing various technologies, these systems are capable of effectively eliminating tannins and other organic contaminants from water, which can significantly improve its appearance, taste, and odor.

Another method for removing tannins is to use aeration. The process of introducing air into water, commonly known as aeration, is utilized to oxidize tannins, making it possible to filter them out effectively. However, this method is less effective than ion exchange or activated carbon filtration and may not remove all of the tannins.

Tannins in Water: Recommended Systems for Improved Water Quality and Safety

Various water treatment systems are capable of successfully eliminating tannins from water. These include:

1. Reverse osmosis (RO) systems: This works by utilizing a semipermeable membrane to effectively eliminate tannins and other unwanted contaminants from water. RO systems effectively remove even small molecules and ions and produce high-quality drinking water.

2. Ion exchange systems: They utilize resin beads to effectively eliminate tannins and other undesirable impurities from water. Ion exchange systems are effective at removing both organic and inorganic contaminants and can be customized to remove specific contaminants based on the resin used.

3. Activated carbon filtration systems: Activated carbon filters are effective at removing tannins, as well as other organic compounds, from water. These systems are relatively low-cost and easy to maintain and can be used in conjunction with other treatment methods to improve water quality.

Figure 4 Activated carbon filtration systems

4. Combination systems: Certain water treatment systems combine various methods to successfully eliminate tannins and other undesirable contaminants from water. For example, a system might use activated carbon filtering for the removal of bigger particles and then an ion exchange system to remove smaller molecules, including tannins.


Tannins are a type of organic compound that has the potential to negatively impact the taste, odor, and visual clarity of the water. While they are not harmful to human health, they can cause stains and clogs and reduce disinfectant effectiveness.

Eliminating tannins from water can be achieved through the utilization of water treatment systems that incorporate ion exchange or activated carbon filtration. Contacting NEWater to custom systems can improve the quality of your water, making it safe and enjoyable to drink.

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