The effects of water chemistry such as pH temperature total dissolved solids polyvalent metal ions on particulate iron oxide dispersion by a variety of polymeric and non-polymeric additives have been investigated. The deposit control agent (DCAs) evaluated include natural and synthetic polymers (of varying composition and molecular weight) phosphonates and surfactants. Results reveal that DCA iron oxide dispersion performance strongly depends on dosage and architecture (e.g. type and amount of monomers monomer functional group ionic charge molecular weight). Data show that pH changes cause varying but relatively small changes in DCA dispersant performance. Results also suggest that low levels of divalent and trivalent metal ions reduce DCA dispersant performance. Investigations with phosphonates and homopolymers indicate varying degrees of reduced iron oxide dispersion performance.