#2 Select the right filtration stages for your well water
Once you know what kind of materials you want to remove from your well water, it’s easy to select the right type of well water filtration system with the relevant filter stages.
Different whole-house systems use different methods to filter well water. The most common filtration methods are air injection (oxidization), activated carbon, sediment screening, reverse osmosis, and ultraviolet purification.
Air injection filter – for iron, sulfur, and manganese
SpringWell’s Air Injection system targets iron and sulfur
Iron, sulfur, and manganese are some of the most common well water contaminants.
If your well is contaminated with dissolved iron, an air injection filter will oxidize the iron into a non-dissolved form, which is then captured in a filter bed.
In our 2022 review, the only filtration systems with air-injection tanks for powerful iron filtering are the SpringWell Well Filter and the SpringWell Ultra Combo.
Carbon filter – for chemicals, bad tastes, and bad smells
The Aquasana Rhino UpFlow carbon filter stage
Some well water contains weird smells and bad tastes. This may be due to contamination from organic and industrial chemicals like VOCs, benzene, or trihalomethanes.
In these cases, use a filter with an activated carbon stage.
Carbon cartridges are the most common type of media found in home filters. They’re highly effective at capturing organic compounds that affect the taste, smell, and appearance of water.
The Aquasana Rhino system has one of the most popular and effective activated carbon filter media on the market.
Sediment filter – for silt, sand, dirt, and rust
The Culligan supports multiple cartridges to target different types of sediment.
To remove undissolved particles and debris from your well water, choose a filtration system with a pre-filter or sediment micron filter.
Pre-filters or sediment screens are designed to remove larger contaminants from a water supply, and will usually filter down to the 5, 10, or 30-micron level.
The SpringWell Ultra, Aquasana Rhino, and Pentair systems all come with a 5-micron sediment filter as standard.
Removing sediment from a water supply helps reduce cloudiness and increases the lifespan of other filter stages and pipes. Many sediment screens are washable and reusable.
Water softener – for hard water minerals
If your well contains hard minerals that cause scale build-up in your dishwasher or clouding on your glassware, choose a filtration system with an integrated water softener or water conditioner.
Traditional water softeners use a pure salt solution to draw scale-causing minerals like magnesium and calcium from the water supply. This changes the feel of water, giving it the characteristically ‘soft’ sensation.
The SpringWell Salt-Based Softener in action
On this page, the SpringWell Ultra is the only system that comes with a salt-based water softener.
Water conditioners are salt-free devices that don’t remove hard minerals from the water supply. Instead, they reformat the minerals so they don’t stick to surfaces.
For wells where hard minerals are the only troublesome contaminant, read our page on the best water softener for well water.
UV purifier – for bacteria, viruses, and cysts
Pentair’s UV Purifier
If your well water is unsafe to drink due to the presence of microorganisms, use a UV purifier or a reverse osmosis filter to remove pathogens.
UV purifiers use high-intensity bulbs to shine ultraviolet through water, inactivating any microorganisms living inside. The UV rays disrupt the DNA of viruses and disease-causing cells, making them safe to drink.
In the Pentair system, a UV stage comes as standard. If you’re interested in the Aquasana Rhino or either SpringWell system, you can get an optional UV add-on (for a price increase).