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Sand and Sediment: Problems and Solutions

Keep debris and particulates out of your drinking water. Learn about sediment filtration and solutions for keeping your water clear.

Particulate Filtration – Why is it important?

If you get your water from a well, you may notice particles of sand or silt in your water, and see a cloudiness called “turbidity”. You can reduce the turbidity and protect your plumbing and appliances from sediment damage with a water filter. A sediment filter traps the particulates as water flows through it, so that you end up with clean, great tasting water.


What is sediment and how does it get in your water?

Sediment is made up of small grains of organic materials like silt, sand, rust or clay. In your water supply, this kind of sediment is referred to as “suspended solids”.

Sediment can enter water supplies from a number of sources. Sediment from the drilling process can stay in recently drilled wells. It takes about 30 days after a well is drilled and the water is used on a daily basis before the sediment has settled. Older wells may have sediment piling up at the bottom, which could eventually be pumped into the plumbing system. Damaged well components, including casing, screens, and seals are potential pathways that allow sediment to enter.

Why reduce sediment

In addition to the unpleasant aesthetics of turbidity, sediment can cause wear to plumbing, pumps, and water appliances or even create clogs in the water system that decrease the flow of water. Pollutants and pathogens can also attach themselves to sediment particles entering water supplies.

How to reduce sediment

Sediment filters act as a physical barrier to trap particulates as water flows through them. Measured by microns, sediment filters denote the size of particles the filters allow through. The smaller the micron, the smaller the particles trapped. You may end up trying different micron sizes and types of filters in order to remove contaminant efficiently.

Filter Materials

Sediment filters can be manufactured with one of two materials: cellulose and polypropylene. Untreated water requires a polypropylene filter media. Polypropylene is made of plastic which makes it bacteriostatic. This means that microorganisms will not live or grow on this filter. Sediment filters may be string-wound, pleated or spun-wound.

Filter Systems

When sediment causes problems with appliances like washing machines, dishwashers, and water heaters, point-of-entry sediment filters are an effective choice for water treatment. Whole house water filtration systems should be installed as close to the point of entry of the water supply as possible. This is typically by the water heater.

For drinking water filtration, point of use systems can be used under the sink or added to a tap to address drinking water.

Sediment filters are usually used as a pre-filter for other water treatments to protect and sustain them. Sediment filters treat larger particles before they pass through other filters, preventing other filters from wearing out too quickly. Sediment filters may be used with other treatment procedures such as activated carbon filtration, reverse osmosis, aeration, water softening, or ozonation.

For more information, contact our Customer Service Team.

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