Written by: Gene Fitzgerald // Last Updated:
Please note: This page may contain affiliate links. If you buy a product or service through such a link we earn a commission at no additional cost to you. Learn more about our product review process or check our FTC affiliate disclosure.
One of the drawbacks of getting your water supply from a well is that you may have to deal with sand getting in the way.
Sometimes the sand blocks your water filter’s pores and prevents it from functioning as it should.
Luckily, having sand in your well water filter is a minor issue you can resolve quickly. In this article, we’ll discuss why you may find sand in your well water filter and how to get rid of it quickly.
Here are things you can try to resolve the sand-in-your-well-water-filter issue:
Several factors may be responsible for sand in your well water filter. These are:
Here are a few problems originating from your well that may cause sand to get into your well water and consequently the filter system in use:
The quality of materials and practices used in your well’s construction can significantly affect it. For example, when a well is not drilled, cemented, or cased correctly, the walls may start crumbling gradually, causing sand and sediments to enter the water.
The problem can also come from the well development process (it is a process carried out after a well is drilled to remove sand, silt, and foreign materials). If a well is not developed properly, sand can easily get into the well water.
There’s also the issue of how old or deep the well is. If your well shaft is old, it may be more vulnerable to being worn out by the elements, which will cause debris to fall into the well.
You may also experience the sand issue if there’s a leak in the well’s drop pipe. The leak may cause your well pump to randomly turn itself off and on. The implication is that sand gets pulled into your water system during every restart.
A well casing is a tubular structure made of PVC, iron, or steel and used to keep a well from disintegrating. In addition, there is what’s called a well screen.
Both well casing and screen are supposed to keep out any sand or debris from entering a well. However, over time, they may deteriorate. When this happens, sand can leak into the well along with the groundwater. And when you pump water from the well, the sand follows the water to get into your plumbing system and possibly blocks your well water filter.
Many things can go wrong with your well pump and lead to sand entering your water system and filter.
Last but not least and although it’s inconvenient, having a bit of sand in a well water filter can be perfectly normal (because wells are drilled in the ground). There may be nothing wrong with your well’s structure at all.
There’s a list of things you can do to resolve the sand-in-your-filter issue, so like we’ve said, don’t give up hope that you can enjoy good quality water.
Once you’ve determined the exact source of the sand problem in your well, get it fixed right away. You may not be able to find the problem on your own, so it’s advisable to contact a water treatment professional or well contractor to assist you.
Before trying to figure out how to get the sand out of your well water, try to have a sample of the sand tested to find out which type it is. Testing it will help you find the best way to filter the sand in your water. You’ll also get information about the approximate amount of sand in your well and if it may be harmful to your health.
One way to avoid having sand in your filter is to get another filter strictly to remove sand. That way, your existing filter can do the work you bought for it without any obstructions.
Here are some of the best types of sand filters:
Centrifugal sand separators are devices that combine gravitational, centrifugal, and inertial forces to divide substances.
When water with sand gets into the separator, it is spun at high speed. This allows gravity to drag down all the sediments and sand while the water stays on top. Once the water reaches a certain height in the separator, it is pushed back into the plumbing system.
Meanwhile, any sand collected can be flushed out using a ball valve at the bottom of the system. Some machines require you to flush manually, others are fully automated.
Centrifugal separators are highly effective removing up to 98% of sand from wells. All you have to do is install one between your well and the pressure tank so that they filter the water before it enters your plumbing system.
Spin down filters are sand removal systems often used as an alternative to centrifugal sand separators. Their principle of operation is similar because they both spin the water before separating it. In addition, spin down filters use a screen to trap chunks of sediment, sand, or debris.
Spin down filters are quite effective but aren’t adequate in cases with too much sand in well water. This is mainly because they require regular maintenance and must be flushed frequently.
Sand or sediment filter cartridges are also great options.
Backwashing filters, also known as tank-style filters, are another alternative. Backwashing filters reverse the water flow to clean their filter bed.
As unpleasant as it can be to taste or feel sand in your water, it doesn’t seriously threaten your health. It’s more of a nuisance because it changes your water’s color, taste, and odor.
However, sometimes sediments may come with microorganisms that can affect your health. So it’s still necessary to get your water tested to be on the safe side.
When in doubt, talk to the pros. You may have some experience dealing with the plumbing in your home, but every issue is unique, especially those involving complex structures such as a well. If you try to fix things yourself, you may end up causing more damage and incurring more expenses for yourself.
A professional will help you pinpoint the exact problem and a solution while saving time and money.
If you have any questions about sand in well water filters please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below!