If you use a private well as your drinking water source, you’re probably aware that you might be exposed to a few hazardous contaminants.
When it comes to water filter media, private well owners are on their own for their water supply when compared with residents of public water systems or city water.
The best whole house water filter for well water is the one that removes contaminants specific to your region because you and your home will have distinct demands.
Having said that, let’s get to our list of the top well water filters that can help you attain the purest water quality possible.
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Best Whole House Water Filtration System for Well water Compared
#1 Springwell Well Filter
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#2 Aquasana Rhino Well Water
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#3 Soft Pro Iron Master
#4 Home Master HMF3SDGFE
#5 Express Water Heavy Metal
#6 iSpring 3-Stage Filter
#7 Culligan WH-HD-200
Things to Consider Before Buying a Whole House Well Water Filtration System
These are the main factors and criteria that will affect how well a whole-house well filtration system is going to work:
Well water often contains harmful contaminants, sediment, minerals, heavy metals, chemicals, and even microorganisms and radionuclides depending on where you live and how your well’s water is sourced.
Three of the most common contaminants are iron, manganese, and hydrogen sulfide, but you can find home water testing kits that will tell you exactly what impurities and total dissolved solids are in your well.
The contaminants your well water filter is going to be able to remove depend primarily on the filter media it uses, and these are the most common filters used in well water filtration systems:
|Filter Type||Contaminants Removed|
|Air injection oxidizing (AIO) filter||Iron, manganese, hydrogen sulfide|
|KDF filter||Heavy metals|
|Carbon block filter||Organic chemicals, foul tastes and odors|
|Sediment filter||Silt, suspended particles, rust|
|UV filter||Bacteria, viruses, protozoa|
Multiple house water filters on our list are going to come with the ability to upgrade or add other components, which means you can tailor these filter media systems to your home’s specific water quality needs.
For example, many whole house water filters will let you add a UV light stage to the process, which offers extra protection against microorganisms. Others will let you add a water softener if you live in an area with very hard water.
This is a measure of your water’s pressure and is usually notated in gallons per minute (GPM).
Most water filters are going to have at least some impact on flow volume, and if it drops too low you might not have enough pressure to shower, do laundry, wash dishes, etc. without hassle. Make sure your well water filtration system is going to meet your home’s GPM needs.
Filter Durability and Maintenance
Whole house filtration systems for well water are an investment, so you want to get a system with good longevity that also isn’t going to be too hard to maintain. Most systems are rated for a specific number of gallons, which roughly translates into the years you can expect it to last. For example, a 500,000-gallon filter will last around five years.
As for maintenance, if you get a water filter for a well that also has a built-in water softener, you’re likely going to have more maintenance than you would with a regular filter. Likewise, most carbon and sediment filters will need to be replaced every 6-8 months, so knowing ahead of time what maintenance your filtration system will require will help you plan accordingly.
The two main independent non-profits that certify water filters are the NSF and the WQA. Their labs test manufacturers’ claims about their products and certify them for the standards they meet the criteria for.
Common well water filtration system standards are the NSF P231 for microorganism removal, the NSF/ANSI 42 for aesthetic taste and smell, the NSF/ANSI 53 for the removal of contaminants with health effects, and the WQA Gold Seal certification for materials safety, contaminant reduction, and business integrity.
Price is almost always going to be a factor in your purchasing decision, but the initial cost may not always reflect what you’re going to pay for a whole house water filtration system.
You also have to factor in the costs of replacement filters in multiple filtration stages and other maintenance as well as the added water expense from systems that require backwashing.
Reviews of the Best Whole Home Well Water Filtration Systems for Well Water
After conducting extensive research and using the criteria above, we created this review of the top 8 whole house water filtration systems for well water.
1. Springwell Well Filter System (Best Overall)
Our top choice for the best whole house water filters for well water is this WS system from Springwell.
Using AIO technology, this filtration system is extremely effective at removing the top three well contaminants: iron, manganese, and hydrogen sulfide – and it does it all without hurting your water supply flow volume.
The system is also equipped with Bluetooth programming and it comes with a DIY-friendly installation kit plus a lifetime warranty from one of the best companies around.
Main Features & Benefits
Contaminants removed: You won’t find a whole house water filter system that works better on the top three well contaminants. This filtration system removes nearly 100% of iron up to 7ppm, hydrogen sulfide up to 8ppm, and manganese up to 1ppm of total dissolved solids. This corrects the taste and smell of your water while preventing unsightly stains, and the built-in sediment filter also removes larger suspended particles.
Upgrades: You have the option of adding a UV light filter to this filter for well water if your water has a higher number of microorganisms, or if you’d just like some extra peace of mind. This system also comes equipped with a Bluetooth interface that lets you view your water usage and program the backwash schedule and other settings from your phone.
Flow rate: One of the best features of this model, especially compared to some of the other water filtration systems on this list, is the flow volume. At 12 GPM there’s virtually no change in your water pressure, so you can rest assured that you’ll have enough flow to meet all of your home’s needs.
Filter durability and maintenance: Springwell offers a lifetime warranty on this well whole house water filter system, which means you don’t have to worry about any costly replacements down the line. As for maintenance, SpringWell boasts that this product is virtually maintenance-free thanks to the ability to set a backwash schedule. There are no pre-or post-filters that require changing out, and this system is the definition of set-it-and-forget-it.
Certifications: While this product hasn’t been NSF certified, SpringWell has been in the business of providing quality water solutions for over 20 years and you can trust in the brand backing the technology.
Price: Even though there may be some sticker shock with the $1,965 price tag, the no-maintenance design means you won’t be spending money on replacement filters or other recurring costs. The only other expense is the water used for the daily backwash, which is minimal.
Who Should Buy the Springwell Filter System?
If you want the complete removal of major contaminants without compromising on flow, then this is the system for you. If you like hassle-free control of the settings with the ability to DIY the installation and no ongoing maintenance, then you will love the SpringWell Filter System.
The Bottom Line
Between the filtration capacity and the 12 GPM flow volume, the value of this whole house water filtration system is readily apparent. Throw in the Bluetooth interface and the lifetime warranty, and it’s easy to see why this model tops almost every well water filtration system review out there.
- Near-total clearance of iron, manganese, and hydrogen sulfide
- 12 GPM flow rate
- Lifetime warranty and a 6-month money-back guarantee
- Bluetooth settings and display
- Optional UV filter
- Trusted brand
2. Aquasana Well Water Rhino
The runner-up for the best whole house water filter is this carbon well water filtration system from Aquasana.
Rather than AIO, this system uses a carbon block filter as well as copper-zinc and mineral stone to purify your water – and the result is water that tastes better, smells better, and is all-around better for you.
The best feature about this whole house filtration system is that it gives you the option to modify your system by adding a UV purifier or water softener in addition to the carbon-based whole house water filter.
Main Features & Benefits
Contaminants removed: The activated carbon sediment filter reduces chemicals like herbicides, pesticides, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) as well as nitrates, 97% of chlorine, and other compounds that cause foul tastes and odors.
The sediment pre-filter removes rust, silt, and suspended particles, while the carbon post-filter further reduces anything that makes it through the main carbon stage. There’s also a copper-zinc and mineral stone sediment filter (KDF-55) that reduces heavy metals like iron and lead to take care of the total dissolved solids. It also works to prevent bacteria and algae from growing.
Upgrades: This system comes equipped with a UV filter already, but you can also make it a combo system by adding a salt-free water softener. The second carbon post-filter is also optional, and Aquasana offers a Pro-Grade Install Kit upgrade that incorporates better-quality parts as well.
Flow rate: One drawback to this model is that with a flow volume of 7 GPM, it’s better suited to smaller households. If you do have a larger home, you can still make a lower flow work as long as you’re mindful not to have too many fixtures and appliances drawing water at the same time.
Filter durability and maintenance: The UV lamps will generally last around a year before needing to be replaced, and it’s recommended that you clean the housing yearly and the carbon pre-filters and sediment filters every 2 months. The whole house water filtration system is rated for 500,000 gallons or 5 years. That’s also the length of this model’s warranty.
Certifications: This product’s filtration capacity has not been NSF certified, but the components have been certified for safety under standard 61.
Price: For including a UV filter and both a pre-and post-filter, you get a lot of value from this system for $1,149. Having said that, there are more ongoing costs with the bi-monthly sediment filter maintenance. The good news: you can get a 4-pack of filter replacements for $20, so it’s not going to break the bank.
Who Should Buy the Aquasana Well Water Rhino?
This filter is a great option for those who want fantastic contamination reduction at a good price. The KDF-55 and activated carbon filters combine to remove more impurities than just an AIO sediment filter alone but keep in mind that if you have a large home and/or heavy water usage, the flow volume may be a little low. Also, if you don’t mind a little extra upkeep for the pre-and post-filters, then your water quality will reflect it.
The Bottom Line
Between the built-in UV light and the multi-stage filtration, this product is a great option to consider – as long as you’re willing to trade a little bit of water pressure and a few minutes of your time every couple of months.
- Removes more types of contaminants than other filters
- UV filter included
- Can turn into a combo system by adding a softener
- Can upgrade the installation kit
- 5-year warranty
- Less expensive price point
- NSF-certified components
- Low flow rate
- Regular maintenance required
3. Pelican Iron & Manganese Well Water Filter
Taking home the Bronze is this Pelican 4-stage whole house water filter. It has been both NSF and WQA certified, and it incorporates both activated carbon filtration and a powerful iron sediment filter.
It uses a 4 stage system to filter out sediment and remove iron up to 10 ppm while maintaining a flow volume of 10 GPM. It also comes complete and ready to easily install.
Main Features & Benefits
Contaminants removed: The GreenSandPlus iron filter removes virtually 100% of manganese as well as iron up to 10ppm. The sediment pre-filter catches any contaminants larger than 5 microns, and a chlorination system uses chlorine to disinfect and remove any microorganisms.
This chlorine as well as sediment, chemicals, and other things that make your water taste and smell bad are then removed by the carbon filter.
Upgrades: This 4-stage whole house water filter system is an upgrade – Pelican also offers just their GreenSandPlus iron filter on its own. That filtration system is significantly less expensive, but it also only works on iron that has already been oxidized (red iron). In order to remove the other forms of iron in your water, you need the complete whole house water filter system to oxidize it first.
Like some of the other models, you can also add a salt-free water conditioner to this system if you want to reduce the hardness of your well’s water as well.
Flow rate: One of the best things about this system is that with the 10 GPM flow volume, you’re not losing anything in exchange for pure water.
Filter durability and maintenance: This filter is rated for 600,000 gallons and comes with a 5-year warranty. The chlorine injector pump seals will need to be replaced every 3-6 months, while the sediment pre-filter will need to be swapped out every 6-9 months.
Aside from that, there’s no other maintenance required – though it is recommended that you check the chlorine levels at your tap periodically with test strips, and you can adjust the injector if you’re still seeing chlorine get through. The system comes auto-programmed to do a backwash daily at 3 am.
Certifications: This filtration system has been NSF/ANSI certified for standard 61 – which means the components of the sediment filter have been approved, as well as standard 42 – which means that it removes aesthetic contaminants. It also has the WQA Gold Seal certification.
Price: The Achilles heel of this water filtration system is its price. The 4-stage system runs $3,300 normally, though it does sometimes go on sale for $2,812. The sediment pre-filter replacements cost about $15 each, while the pump seals are $75.
Who Should Buy the Pelican Iron & Manganese Filter
If your well water comes with crazy amounts of iron, then this water filter is the one for you. Also, if you have a large number of microorganisms in your water then this house well water filter system is great for killing bacteria, protozoa, etc. For those who want to ditch the red water rings without losing water pressure, you’ll love this Pelican product.
The Bottom Line
This well water filter system is a miniature water treatment plant – and you get all the benefits for your home. It’s also one of the priciest house water filter systems on the list, but it’s well worth the anti-iron and antimicrobial effects.
- Removes iron up to 10ppm
- 4-stage filtration functions like a water treatment plant
- 10 GPM flow rate
- Can get either the full system or just the iron and manganese filter depending on your home’s needs
- NSF certified for standards 42 and 61 and WQA certified
- 5-year warranty
- Very expensive
- The pump can be loud when in use
4. SoftPro Iron Master
The SoftPro Iron Master is an efficient high-quality iron sediment filter for well water.
They don’t call it the Iron Master for anything – these filter cartridges remove iron, manganese, and hydrogen sulfide at levels higher than almost any other filter on the market with its AIO technology.
It comes with a lifetime warranty on the control valve and tank plus it’s very reasonably priced compared to other brands.
Main Features & Benefits
Contaminant removal: You won’t have to worry about heavy metal contaminants in your water with this whole house filtration system – the SoftPro Iron Maser clears iron up to 30ppm, Manganese up to 7ppm, and hydrogen sulfide up to 5ppm with its AIO Katalox media.
Upgrades: If you’re also concerned about microorganisms in your water, SoftPro has a UV filter that can be added to the house system. You can also add a water softener, or upgrade the install kit to a quick-connect system that makes DIY installation a breeze. As for the base model, a digital touch-screen display makes changing the system’s settings quick and easy.
Flow rate: At 6 GPM this system is generally going to be better for smaller households with lower water usage.
Durability and maintenance: With no pre-or post-filters, this is another set-it-and-forget-it system like the Springwell model. This house filter system is rated to last for 5-10 years, and comes with a limited lifetime warranty on the parts.
Certifications: This model has been certified for the NSF/ANSI standard 61 as well as for IAMPO and ISO standards – two other independent organizations.
Price: At $999, this system provides top-shelf quality without hurting your wallet. Since there’s no ongoing maintenance, you won’t have to spend money on filter replacement either.
Who Should Buy the SoftPro Iron Master?
If you want exceptional whole house water filtration of iron, and manganese at a great price – and your house can accommodate the 6 GPM flow – then this is the system for you.
If you don’t want the hassle of managing replacement filters and doing other upkeep, then that also makes this a good option.
The Bottom Line
For a smaller household with an iron problem, this is one of the best house water filter systems you can get. No extra filters mean no maintenance, but it also means no extra filtration. If you have other contaminants in your water that you want to remove besides the big three, then you should consider getting a sediment pre-filter or carbon post-filter.
- Exceptional iron, manganese, and hydrogen sulfide removal
- Great price
- Limited lifetime warranty on parts and 60-day money-back guarantee
- Digital display and touch screen
- Can add a UV filter or water softener
- NSF, WQA, IAMPO, and ISO certified
- 6 GPM flow
- No sediment filtration
5. Home Master HMF3SDGFEC
With this house filter system from Home Master, you get 3-stage filtration that removes a wide range of contaminants – all while maintaining excellent flow.
The triple whole house sediment filter system removes 95% of sediment and chemicals, plus iron, sulfur, and manganese up to 3 ppm.
This well water filter system also contains extra-large filter cartridges for durability and it offers up to 15 GPM in water flow.
It comes with a 2-year warranty and everything you need to DIY install pretty easily.
Main Features & Benefits
Contaminants removed: The first stage of this well water filtration system is a sediment filter that removes particles down to 1 micron, and the second stage is a radial flow filter that reduces iron up to 3ppm and manganese up to 1ppm. The final stage is a carbon filter that reduces 95% of chemicals and compounds causing bad tastes and odors.
Upgrades: While there isn’t the option to add a UV filter or water softener system, the base model still does a great job. It does have the option to add pressure gauges so you can monitor the flow of your well water filter system.
Flow rate: You won’t beat the 15 GPM flow volume of this house filter, which can easily accommodate the majority of households.
Durability and maintenance: The three filter stages will need to be replaced yearly or after 100,000 gallons, and the housing comes with a 2-year warranty. Filter replacement is quick and easy, and there’s an instruction manual included for DIY installation.
Certifications: The components of this house filter system have been certified for NSF/ANSI standard 61.
Price: At $579, this is a great price for the quality of water it puts out. Having said that, the cost of all three filters to replace yearly comes out to about $267, so there are going to be ongoing costs with this system.
Who Should Buy the Home Master HMF3SDGFEC?
If you don’t mind a bit of extra maintenance and would rather spread out the costs yearly instead of paying more upfront, then you should consider this well whole house water filtration system. The flow volume is also great for larger households, and you’re still getting high-quality filtration.
The Bottom Line
The iron filtration capacity isn’t as high as some of the other models, but if your water tests for under 3ppm then the wide range of other contaminants removed makes this filter a good contender. The high flow volume also can’t be overstated.
- Removes 95% of most contaminants and clears iron up to 3ppm
- 15 GPM flow rate
- Low-cost upfront
- 2-year warranty
- Optional pressure gauges
- NSF/ANSI certified parts
- Higher maintenance costs and requirements
- Can’t add a UV filter or softener system
6. Express Water Heavy Metal Well Filter
Up next is this 3-stage system from Express.
Combined sediment, KDF, and carbon block filters take out the majority of a wide range of contaminants, and this product has over 93% 4- and 5-star reviews.
This unit has a high flow rate capability so you won’t need to worry about your water flow but the filters only last for 100,000 gallons or 1-year which makes them not quite as durable as other top house water filter systems we’ve reviewed.
Main Features & Benefits
Contaminants removed: While the exact amount that the house filter reduces, each contaminant isn’t published, Express boasts that their 3-stage system removes contaminants larger than 5 microns and reduces iron, mercury, lead, copper, chromium, aluminum, hydrogen sulfide, rust, sediments, arsenic, chloramine, chlorine, pharmaceuticals, VOCs, and compounds causing bad tastes and odors in tap water.
Upgrades: There are no UV filtration or water softener upgrades available for this system.
Flow rate: The flow rate for this filter is a stellar 15 GPM, which should be more than sufficient for most household filtration systems.
Durability and maintenance: Like the Home Master house filter system, the filters for each stage should be replaced every 100,000 gallons or 6-12 months for optimal performance. The filter system itself comes with a 1-year manufacturer’s warranty.
Certifications: This product has been NSF/ANSI certified for standard 61.
Price: The initial cost of the whole house filter system is only $450, which should appeal to those who are looking to get great water for a better price. The replacement filters are also only $149 for all three, so you’re not spending too much for yearly maintenance either.
Who Should Buy the Express Heavy Metal Filter?
If you want a reliable water filter system with excellent flow and the ability to spread out the costs, then this may be the well water filter for you. Without knowing the exact specifications for iron removal, however, it may be better to look at other systems if your water tests for over 2-3ppm.
The Bottom Line
This whole house filter is very similar to the Home Master in its filtration capabilities, flow, and maintenance required. You’ll save a bit more money on this well water system but you’ll lose a year of warranty, and there are no extra upgrades or features with this model. Even so, it’s still a great option for those who want clean water on a budget.
- Removes a wide variety of contaminants
- 15 GPM flow rate
- Low-cost upfront
- 1-year warranty
- NSF/ANSI certified parts
- Exact specifications for iron and other contaminants not published
- More maintenance and costs down the line
- No upgrades available
7. iSpring 3-Stage Filter
While this whole house water filter isn’t designed specifically for well water, it can still remove a wide range of contaminants using polypropylene and activated carbon filters.
It removes 99% of chlorine, 95% of sediment including rust, and other chemicals like herbicides, pesticides, VOCs, and industrial solvents.
This whole house water filtration system can be used for homes with municipal city water, and well water sources.
Main Features & Benefits
Contaminants removed: You can expect this iSpring filter to remove 95% of sediment, rust, pesticides, herbicides, VOCs, industrial solvents, and particles over 5 microns. This water filtration system can also clear up to 99% of chlorine, which isn’t usually a problem with well water but doesn’t hurt to have.
The downside to this specific whole house filter system is that it doesn’t remove iron or manganese, so it’s best suited for those whose water has more aesthetic impurities than heavy-metal contaminants.
Upgrades: You can add a UV filter, a saltless water softener, a central water filtration system, or a post-sediment filter to your setup, depending on your home’s needs.
Flow rate: Like the other 3-stage filters, there’s no compromise on flow at 15 GPM.
Durability and maintenance: All 3 stages will need to be replaced after 100,00 gallons, or every 6-12 months. The well water filter itself is able to be installed DIY, but there is no associated manufacturer’s warranty.
Certifications: While this product isn’t actually NSF certified, iSpring did pay to have this product tested by a different independent lab and it was found to meet their standards.
Price: For just $390 upfront, you can get water that tastes better and is free of most chemicals. The replacement cartridges are only $90.50 for all three each year, and this is in the low-mid range for whole-house filtration systems with carbon filters.
Who Should Buy the iSpring 3-Stage filter?
If your well water has minimal heavy metal impurities but still comes out foul-smelling and tasting, then this is the perfect filtration system for you. You’ll see immediate improvements in your tap water quality without any detriment to flow, and all for a relatively low price.
The Bottom Line
If you need to filter out iron, manganese, hydrogen sulfide, and other heavy metal contaminants, then this isn’t the system for you. But if your drinking water needs improvement and chemical reduction, then this is a great option for the price and you can customize it with upgrades and add-ons to meet your home’s other needs.
- Removes 95% of sediment, organic chemicals, and impurities that affect taste and odor
- 15 GPM flow rate
- Relatively inexpensive
- DIY installation
- Many customization options
- Does not filter out iron, manganese, or hydrogen sulfide
- No warranty
- More maintenance and costs down the line
8. Culligan WH-HD200-C
Our final contender in the whole house filtration system is this HD200 system from Culligan.
This all-in-one well water filtration system is compact and streamlined, and you have several different options for the filter cartridge so that you can choose the one that best fits your home.
The main focus of this whole house filter is its ability to remove sediments such as dirt, sand, rust, and silt from 1-50 microns.
Main Features & Benefits
Contaminants removed: Culligan has 9 different filtration media that are rated for well water that will fit this system, and each one removes a slightly different subset of contaminants. The most comprehensive filter is the RFC-BBSA, which is a granular activated carbon filter.
This whole house filter is rated for sediment, rust, scale, extra-fine sand, silt, chlorine, and bad tastes and odors. It filters out all other particles larger than 25 microns, and this system is certified to remove lead as well. It is not rated for iron, manganese, or hydrogen sulfide, however.
Flow rate: The flow rate depends on which filter you select and the inlet water pressure of your water. Culligan’s published range is 3-10 GPM, but many customers have left reviews saying it stays close to 10 and they have not noticed a significant decrease in pressure even with some of the finer filters. For the RFC-BBSA filter, however, the published flow rate is 3 GPM.
Upgrades: The main upgrade potential is in choosing your granular activated carbon filter. Culligan does not have a UV or softening system that is made to go in line with this whole house filter.
Durability and maintenance: Each filter cartridge is slightly different, but they all last between 2-and 6 months. This means more maintenance than most other systems, but the system itself does come with a 2-year warranty.
Certifications: This whole house filter has been NSF/ANSI certified for standards 42, meaning it removes contaminants and 372 for low lead compliance.
Price: There’s no beating the price of this system. The filter housing itself is just $58, and the filter cartridges themselves range from $13 to $26. You won’t get cleaner water for cheaper.
Who Should Buy the Culligan WH-HD200-C?
For those who want to spend as little as possible on their whole-house filter, this is as good as it gets. Who doesn’t want their water to be clear? If you have light-colored and fairly tasty drinking H2O, then this is an excellent choice for sure!
You probably don’t want to change the water pressure flow rate if you have a larger household, but with the different filter options available you can tailor this filtration media system to your needs.
The Bottom Line
This system isn’t going to work quite as well as some of the others at removing chemicals and other This house well water system isn’t going to work quite as well as some of the others at removing chemicals and other impurities, and you definitely want to look at another filter for heavy metals. Having said that, it’s a great, low-cost option to aesthetically improve the drinking water of those who can afford a hit on their flow rate.
- Removes bad odors, tastes, and sediments
- Many different filter options
- 2-year warranty
- NSF certified
- Simple installation
- Not as good for many other contaminants
- Potentially significant flow reduction
- More frequent maintenance required
House Well Water Filter Feature Comparison Table
|Product||Contaminants Removed||Upgrades||Flow Rate||Filter Lifespan||Certifications||Price|
|SpringWell Well Filter||Fe, Mn, H2S, sediments||UV filter||12 GPM||Lifetime||N/A||$$$$|
|Aquasana Well Water Rhino||Heavy metals, organic chemicals, sediments||UV filter, water softener, install kit||7 GPM||5 years||NSF/ANSI||$$$|
|Pelican Iron & Manganese Filter||Fe, Mn, H2S, organic chemicals, sediments||Water softener||10 GPM||5 years||NSF/ANSI, WQA||$$$$$|
|SoftPro Iron Master||Fe, Mn, H2S||UV filter, water softener, install kit||6 GPM||5-10 years||NSF/ANSI, IAMPO, ISO||$$$|
|Home Master HMF3SDGFEC||Fe, Mn, organic chemicals, sediments||Pressure gauges||15 GPM||2 years||NSF/ANSI||$$|
Express Water Heavy Metal Filter
|Heavy metals, organic chemicals, sediments||N/A||15 GPM||1 year||NSF/ANSI||$$|
|iSpring 3-Stage Filter||Sediments, organic chemicals||UV filter, water softener||15 GPM||1 year||N/A||$$|
|Culligan WH-HD-200-C||Sediments, organic chemicals||Filter choice||3-10 GPM||2 years||NSF/ANSI||$|
Well Water Filtration System Buyer’s Guide
Before you can select the best home water filter system for well water, you need to know more about them and well water in general.
You can also see our full guide to well water treatment here.
What Is A Well Water Filtration System?
A water filtering system for well water consists of filters mounted on water lines at entrances to a house. They vary in size, type, and filter techniques according to the contaminants they focus on.
Well water filters focus on filtering out contaminants that are typically found in groundwater such as iron, manganese, hydrogen sulfide, and others.
By working at the incoming water supply line, the contaminants are filtered out before they are allowed to enter your home.
Below is an example of what a well water filter with water softener looks like:
Why You Need a Water Filter for Your Well Water
Well water is a grab bag – there could be just about anything in there depending on where you’re located.
This is because well water is not treated like your city water supply which runs through a treatment plant.
Some of these contaminants are only annoying. They cause mineral stains, make your water smell or taste funky (like sulfur), but don’t pose any real health threat.
Other contaminants have significant risks, even in microscopic amounts (think arsenic).
Filtering out these harmful contaminants is why a well water filter is essential.
Unless you have exceptionally pure water that is free of harmful contaminants, well water filtration systems are an investment in your health as well as a way to make your water look, taste, and smell better.
The Most Common Impurities in Well Water
As mentioned, iron, manganese, and hydrogen sulfide are the three main contaminants you’re most likely to find, but you could also have any combination of arsenic, chromium 6, mercury, lead, nitrates, VOCs, brown residue, sediment, inorganic chemicals, minerals, radon, coliform bacteria and many other harmful contaminants in your water as well.
It all depends on what’s in the ground around you, and what’s contributing to the water below.
How Does a Well Water Filtration System Work?
Whole house well water filtration systems are installed at your home’s water point of entry where all the water comes into your home through the main pipe.
The water flowing into your home from the well will then have to pass through the water filter that was installed where it contains a certain type of filtration technology either using standard sediment and carbon filters, KDF media, mechanical filtration, or technology designed specifically for well contaminants like air injection oxidation.
Sometimes whole house water filters also contain an optional UV purifier that uses ultraviolet light to remove microorganisms in your water supply.
Types of Well Water Filtration Systems
There are five main methods deployed to purify well water, and water filtration systems may incorporate one or a combination of the following: air injection oxidization, KDF, activated carbon, UV light, and mechanical filtration.
Air Injection Oxidation Filtration
Air injection (AIO) uses a pump to inject air into the water, which oxidizes iron, manganese, and hydrogen sulfide. The oxidized metals are not water-soluble and are trapped by the media in the tank. These filter systems work on iron consistently, but with manganese and hydrogen sulfide they will only work if your water is at a high enough pH. Some systems incorporate pH correction to counteract this.
As more and more oxidized metals become trapped, the media gets clogged and must backwash – or flush out – the built-up debris. This generates a bit of wastewater, but not as much as some other filtration types.
KDF is a combination of copper and zinc that causes the transfer of electrons between that media and the other elements it contacts. This causes soluble heavy metals like copper, lead, mercury, iron, and others to become oxidized and precipitate out of your water, along with other water contaminants like chlorine.
It’s also bacteriostatic, which means it prevents the growth of bacteria and other microorganisms. Like the AIO filter, it uses a backwash feature to clear away the filtered debris.
Activated carbon, or charcoal, is processed so that each particle has millions of pores that serve to trap impurities in water. As water flows around the carbon particles, suspended solids, sediments, chlorine, VOCs, and other organic water contaminants like pharmaceuticals, pesticides, and herbicides are attracted to the carbon media and stick to it. Other particles that are larger than the pore and channel sizes become trapped as well.
While technically not a filter because nothing is removed, UV light kills microorganisms like bacteria, viruses, and protozoa instead by damaging them with ionizing radiation. The intensity of the light source corresponds to its effectiveness, and UV light systems have the potential to kill over 99.9% of microorganisms in your drinking water.
The most simple filtration method involves simply taking a barrier and making small holes in it that the water can pass through but anything larger than the pore size cannot. Mechanical filters are rated by the size of their pores, and the most common well water filters are 5-micron – meaning they block any contaminants that are larger than 5 microns.
What Filter You Need to Remove Iron from Well Water
AIO and KDF are the two best water filters for removing iron, and KDF has the added benefit of being inhibitory to iron-loving bacteria as well.
Just make sure you know the ppm of iron in your water so that you can find an AIO or KDF iron filter with a high enough capacity.
Iron is a harmful contaminant at high doses so make sure to get a water test for iron if you think you are experiencing iron issues.
What Filter You Need for Coliform Bacteria in Well Water
Coliform bacteria are bacteria that are found naturally in the environment as well as in the intestinal tracts of mammals. They’re common water contaminants, but high numbers can cause significant health problems, especially in immunocompromised individuals.
Chlorine and UV light are commonly-used disinfectants that kill the bacteria in your water, while gravity-fed filters and reverse osmosis filters will remove them completely.
See our review of the best water filters for coliform bacteria for more specific information.
Well Water Systems vs Water Softeners
While traditional water softeners are technically filters because they remove minerals that cause hard water like calcium and magnesium (which are total dissolved solids, or TDS), water softeners are mainly used for aesthetic purposes. A house well water filter on the other hand generally doesn’t remove TDS and works on a wider range of water contaminants to improve the water quality.
What to Keep in Mind When Picking a House Well Water Filter
You can’t get a well water filtration system until you know what’s in your well water, or the water quality because the best house well water filter in the world is going to be useless to you if it doesn’t take out the contaminants that are in your water specifically.
You can purchase testing kits that will give you a breakdown of what metals, minerals, chemicals, and other contaminants are present so that you can find the well water filtration system that will work the best for them.
For example, a high-powered iron filter would be useless to you if your well water isn’t high in iron, whereas a carbon filter won’t do you much good if your well is only full of metals.
Another thing to consider is where you’re going to put your well water filter. You’ll want house filters somewhere you can easily access for maintenance and to change settings, and they should also be installed in line with your main water line. Make sure the well water filter system you select will be able to fit where you want to install it.
How to Choose the Correct Size Well Filter
Most well water systems are going to be rated for 1-3 bathrooms or 4-6, which will give you an idea right off the bat of the size you need. Refining that further, the flow rate will also tell you how large of a house a filter can service.
Every appliance and fixture that uses water is going to need flow, and these are the average flow requirements for each appliance:
|Appliance||Flow Rate (GPM)|
|Bathroom Faucet||0.5 GPM|
|Kitchen Faucet||0.5 GPM|
|Clothes Washer||1.5 GPM|
In order to know what size filter you need in terms of flow rate, calculate the flow you would need if you run all of your water-using appliances and fixtures at once without losing water pressure. That’s the maximum amount of flow you need, so any filter with a flow rate over that is more than enough for your house.
Is it Easy to Install & Maintain a Well Water Filtration System?
As with most things, how easy it is to install and maintain your water filter is going to depend on which system you choose. Some may need to be installed by a professional plumber, either by necessity or because not doing so will void the manufacturer’s warranty. Other systems come with DIY installation instructions and kits to make it easier to do on your own.
Similarly, a carbon filter, iron filter, or sediment filter is going to need more frequent maintenance and replacement than those with KDF or AIO media alone.
Well Water System FAQs
Do I Need A Water Filter If I Have A Well?
To protect the consumer, all municipal water goes through a variety of treatment processes. Most private wells are not covered by this statement. This is why well water usually contains a variety of hazardous pollutants that influence water odor and taste.
You are solely responsible for ensuring that the water you and your family consume on a daily basis is safe and nutritious which is why you need a whole house water filter. Furthermore, clean well water does not harm appliances such as water heaters and has a longer service life.
Where Do Well Contaminants Come From?
Well water contamination is a big problem in many parts of the world. It can come from natural sources, but it’s also possible that man-made chemicals have been put into drinking supplies. Below are a few main culprits:
- Agriculture is one of the reasons why more chemicals are ending up on land, with consequences including liver damage and impairment of the reproductive system for males and females respectively.
- Well water may be contaminated with man-made bacteria and viruses that come from animal waste or human sewage. Pathogens can enter the earth through rainwater runoff, and snowmelt in addition to wellsprings at any point during its journey to your house’s plumbing system.
- Well water can be contaminated with a variety of different heavy metals, which are often introduced to the well through mining or oil industry practices. One common source for this type of contamination is your home’s plumbing system; it could even come from natural deposits in rocks near where you live.
How Do I Know What My Well Water Contains?
The best way to determine what contaminants are in your well water is to get it professionally tested with a lab or a high-quality water test kit.
Well water does not get treated. If you do not check the well water regularly, then you can end up using toxic chemicals and microbiological contaminants that cause a lot of discomfort to your body.
Will A Well Water Filter Remove Bacteria?
Most of the time well water filtration systems will not remove bacteria unless they contain an added UV filter on the unit.
This is because whole-house filters for a well filter system focus on removing iron, sulfur, manganese, and other chemicals that are usually in high amounts in well water to improve water quality, but these types of filters they use do not kill bacteria.
If you have a high amount of microorganisms in your well water then consider adding on or installing a UV purification system to your well filter in order to improve water quality.
Is A System Using Filters Or Air Injection Technology Better?
It depends on the contaminants in your well water and the water quality. A system using air injection technology focuses more on removing iron, sulfur, and manganese while a system using filters is more typically used for municipal city water supplies where it removes a broader range of contaminants.
A standard well water filter requires more maintenance because you will have to replace the filters while a system with air injection oxidation requires little maintenance and works great on well contaminants.
Can I Install My Well Water Filter Outside?
It depends on the whole house water filter you purchase. Some whole house filters are designed to be installed outdoors while others should be kept inside during winter weather to maintain function.
Keep in mind that most whole house water filtration systems are designed to be installed at the water point of entry of your home.
Can I Use A Softener System For Well Water?
Most of the time you will need an additional water softening unit to improve well water quality because most water filter systems are not designed to reduce scale and hardness causing minerals.
Check out one of the sediment filters for well water we reviewed that have the option to add on a softener or come with a softening device already.
Can I Use A Reverse Osmosis Filter For My Well Water?
Yes, the reverse osmosis system is an effective filter to improve well water quality. The only downside to reverse osmosis units is they are not as efficient as the whole house well water filters.
Most RO systems are the point of use devices meaning they are installed under the sink and only provide filtered water to one point in your home. On the other hand, the filter for well water we reviewed provides filtered water to your whole house.
A well water filter is important for the health and aesthetics of your water. The Springwell Well Filter System is our choice for the best whole house water filter for well water due to its great flow rate and fantastic filtration of iron, manganese, and hydrogen sulfide.
In order to make sure this well water filter system is best for you, you should have your well water professionally tested to see what contaminants it contains and measure your household’s flow requirements.