According to the 2017 US Census, more than thirteen million households rely on private wells for their drinking water across the country, none of which are regulated by the federal Environmental Protection Agency.

Because of this, private wells and groundwater supplies often require more care and attention than public or city water. Homeowners may need to install their own water treatment systems, which do more than simply improve the taste of their tap supply.

Today’s home water filtration systems are more than capable of turning suspect sources into crystal clear drinking water, through a combination of new and traditional technologies. If you’re looking to upgrade your well filtration, we’ve put together this list of the best water filtration systems for well water:

3M Aqua-Pure Whole House Large Diameter Stainless Steel Water Filter Housing SS12 EPE-316L, 4808715
  • Reduces sediment and chlorine taste and odor (cartridge dependent)
  • Accepts 12 double open ended style cartridges, such as AP110, AP124, AP117 and AP420
  • Flow rate up to 96 gallons per minute (gpm)/363.4 lpm flow rate meets the water pressure demands of most homes and light commercial applications
  • 316L electro-polished stainless steel head and sump helps provide corrosion resistance
  • Band clamp and heavy duty gasket provides excellent durability
iSpring WGB32BM 3-Stage Whole House Water Filtration System w/ 20-Inch Sediment, Carbon Block, and Iron & Manganese Reducing Filter
  • Protect your family and household appliance from iron, manganese and more; our 3rd stage filter (FM25B) is specially designed for iron and manganese removal, reducing iron (MAX 3.0 ppm down to 0.01 ppm) and manganese (MAX 1.0 ppm down to 0.01 ppm); our filter lasts up to 3 times longer than greensand due to the catalytic media not being consumed in the process; the system also removes sediment, chlorine, rust, pesticides, herbicides, industrial solvents, VOCs and various other contaminants
  • DIY installation and maintenance - refer to our manual and our helpful YouTube videos for easy DIY installation. With 1 in. NPT inlet / outlet and 20 in. x 4.5 in. filter cartridges, the system has minimum impact on water flow (up to 15 GPM) and requires minimum maintenance
  • Top-notch quality - the first stage high capacity polypropylene sediment filter achieves filtration down to 5 microns. The second stage Carbon Block filter is made of high quality coconut shell carbon for maximum filtration efficiency and filter life. Both are tested by an independent third-party to meet NSF/ANSI standards. Both filters have a capacity of 100,000 Gal. of water, enough to supply a family of four with clean water for a full year.
  • Peace of mind customer service - register online to activate your 1-year manufacturer warranty and life-time free tech support from U.S. local support team; we stand behind our products and if you encounter any problems with any of our products please reach out to us immediately; we are happy to help
  • Please note - this system is installed at the main water supply line in order to treat all the water in your home; unlike an RO system, this system will NOT reduce Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) and instead keeps healthy minerals in your water; if you are interested in a filter that removes TDS consider our iSpring Reverse Osmosis (RO) systems. The cartridges are individually wrapped to ensure freshness. Please unwrap the cartridges before use.

Well safety: quick facts

  • With the proper care and maintenance, ground and well water can provide as safe and as good-tasting drinking water as any other kind of water source.

  • Private well owners are responsible for testing their own well water for safe levels of contaminants.

  • Groundwater is at high risk of contamination during and after local floods. Be sure to follow EPA and local recommendations for disinfection if you find yourself with a flooded well.

  • Drilled wells, which can run thousands of feet deep, have the lowest overall risk of contamination. This is due to both their depth and the use of continuous casing.

  • There are basic requirements for safe well water, even prior to filtration. These include annual testing and maintenance, as well as installing a well water system away from rain flow, at least 50 feet from a septic tank, and 8 inches above the ground. Well caps and screens should be tightly secured to keep out pests and contaminants.

Nu Aqua Platinum Series 3 Stage Whole House Water Filtration System With Pressure Gauges – 20”x4.5” Sediment, Granular Carbon, Carbon Block Filters, 1” NPT Connection
  • CLEAN WATER AT EVERY SOURCE: Experience great tasting water at every faucet, cleaner skin and hair after showers, and peace of mind knowing the water you use daily is safe. Featuring a sediment filter, granular carbon filter, and a carbon block filter this system effectively removes chlorine, rust, dirt, sand, insecticides, silt, turbidity, VOC's, herbicides, cloudiness and odors.
  • PROLONG APPLIANCE LIFESPAN: Protect your expensive washing machine, refrigerator, and dishwasher by installing a whole house water filter. With filters that last 100,000 gallons and extremely affordable replacement filters, investing in a home water filter pays for itself.
  • SUPERIOR QUALITY AND NO DROP IN WATER PRESSURE: Assembled only using top tier components the Nu Aqua 3 Stage Whole Home Water Filter System is designed to leave you worry free. Nothing is more frustrating then experiencing a shower with low water pressure which is why we ensured our system provides no loss in water pressure.
  • SUPERIOR QUALITY AND NO DROP IN WATER PRESSURE: Assembled only using top tier components the Nu Aqua 3 Stage Whole Home Water Filter System is designed to leave you worry free. Nothing is more frustrating then experiencing a shower with low water pressure which is why we ensured our system provides no loss in water pressure. NOTE: Does not include fittings.
  • INDUSTRY LEADING 3 YEAR WARRANTY: Backed by an industry leading 3 year manufacture warranty and lifetime support the NU Aqua 3 Stage Whole House comes with the industries best support and a satisfaction guarantee.
iSpring WGB21B 2-Stage Whole House Water Filtration System with 10" x 4.5" Sediment CTO(Chlorine, Taste, and Odor) Filter, 1" Inlet/Outlet
  • [Two-Stage Effective Filtration] 1st-Stage premium 5-micron polypropylene sediment filter (FP15B) captures dirt, sand, silt, dust, rust, and scale particles and extends the life of CTO carbon block filter. Using high quality coconut shell carbon and highly compact fabrication tech, 2nd-stage CTO filter(FC15B) knocks out cloudiness as well as bad tastes and odors, removes over 90% of chlorine, and is highly effective on VOCs like pesticides, herbicides, and industrial solvents.
  • [Superb Filtration Capacity] 10"x4. 5" replaceable whole house water filters can provide up to a full year of clean water(up to 50, 000 gallons) for a family of four. 1-inch inlet and outlet ports allow fast water flow with less pressure loss. Fine PP sediment filter and premium quality CTO filter not only bring clean and fresh water to every faucet in your house, but also help prolong the lives of your water-using appliances and protect plumbing from sediment and scale buildup.
  • [Easy Installation and Filter Change] The system comes pre-assembled onto the mounting bracket for a streamlined, DIY installation. Filter wrench included to make routine filter changes easy and quick. A pressure release valve allows for the release of built-up pressure when changing filters. Refer to our manual and/or YouTube videos to Install this point-of-entry (POE) filtration system at the main water supply to get clean and healthy water for the entire family.
  • [Top-Notch Customer Service] Backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee. 1-Year manufacturer warranty and extended upon registration at iSpring. Lifetime customer and tech support from Atlanta, GA.
  • [TDS Note] Unlike an RO system, this system will NOT reduce Total Dissolved Solids (TDS), and instead keeps healthy minerals in your water. If you are interested in a filter that removes TDS, consider our iSpring Reverse Osmosis (RO) systems.

How do well water filtration systems work?

The best water filtration systems for well water usually adopt a multi-stage approach to filtering. This is where a water treatment system will include several different filter-types, each one intended to tackle a different category or size of groundwater contaminants.

Here are some of the most common filtration mechanisms found in multi-stage filters:

Sediment filters

Target: large contaminants. Because large particulate matter can clog the fine membranes and cartridges of filters, it can be important to begin the filtering process with a pre-treatment stage, which removes things like rust and larger sediment from the groundwater supply.

Ultraviolet purification

Target: protozoa. Unlike filtration methods, purification refers to the salinization of water without removing and materials. Using a high-powered UV lamp to purify water is a simple and safe way to disrupt microorganisms on a cellular level. While UV radiation doesn’t remove viruses, bacteria, and other living protozoa from groundwater, it does render them inactive, meaning that they’re no longer able to pose a risk to your health.

Reverse osmosis membranes

Target: small and inorganic contaminants. A majority of well water filters use reverse osmosis as a major filtering component, thanks to its impressive filtering power and ability to catch all but the smallest contaminants. RO filters utilize a system’s pressure tank or mains pressure to push water through a series of ultra-fine membranes, filtering down to 0.0005 microns, or basically the size of water molecules themselves!

Carbon block filtration

Target: organic contaminants. Even filtering at the size of water itself may not be sufficient for totally pure water, however. Dissolved carbon compounds—otherwise known as Volatile Organic Chemicals (VOCs)—are often able to pass through a reverse osmosis filter. These contaminants are usually handled in home treatment systems by an activated carbon element such as a carbon block. By boosting the adsorptive capacity of highly-pure carbon material, carbon filters are effective at catching all carbon-based contaminants within the filter cartridge.

Well water: FAQs

While it’s likely that, if properly installed and maintained, private well water will be safe to drink, it’s not possible to confirm the general safety of private water sources. This is because, unlike local public suppliers, private wells are not regulated by EPA.

A lack of federal regulation puts more responsibility on water customers to determine the quality of their own supply, as well as take any extra home treatment steps to ensure a safe and good-tasting supply. Remember, many common contaminants do not have any kind of distinctive look, taste, or smell.

One of the best resources those interested in their water supply have access to is a Consumer Confidence Report. The federal Enivronmental Protection Agency mandates by law that all local public suppliers of water produce and disseminate these yearly reports to customers by July 1st, detailing the type and health of a water source, common water contaminants, and whether or not any contaminants have exceeded recommended levels.

You can find your most recent Consumer Confidence Report via the EPA’s website. If you don’t have a CCR, this means you’ve most likely been sourcing some or all of your water supply from a private supplier (most likely groundwater), as these sources are not regulated by EPA.

Yes, groundwater can be less reliable than water from a lake or reservoir. This is because groundwater is more susceptible to changes in the environment, such as soil degradation, heavy precipitation, and the introduction of new industry.

Especially in times of unusual rainfall, pollutants from the environment may seep into the earth and reach underground water supplies. Most pollutants of this type are organic compounds, often referred to as Volatile Organic Chemicals (VOCs), although improperly disposed sewage is also an issue. VOCs are often produced by industrial and urban products, such as fuels, gases, and solvents in things like paint.

Due to the ubiquity of VOCs, it’s not uncommon to find trace amounts in water supplies at any given time, which is one reason why carbon filters (i.e. Brita filters), the most effective VOC filtration mechanisms, are so popular.