The Water Well Filtration System Guide for Well Owners
As a well owner myself, I understand the amazing benefits that come along with owning your own water well. You save money on water expenses, and you know exactly where your water is coming from. But have you made the proper efforts to ensure you’re getting pure, contaminant-free soft water? I’m talking about a proper water well filtration system.
Well water can smell or taste different because it sits in a tank, especially if it’s coming from an older well. The smell and taste can vary depending on the location of well and surrounding environmental factors (commercial or agricultural facilities, climate, etc.). That smell comes from bacteria, sediment, inorganic material and other contaminants.
Even well water that looks clear can still carry bacteria, which is why a proper water well filtration system is necessary for the quality of your water and the health of your household. As long as you have a proper water filtration system, there is nothing to worry about.
How to Determine the Best Water Well Filtration System For You
Before you can determine which water well filtration system is right for you, you need to test the water with a test kit. Water well test kits test for parasites, bacteria, sediment and heavy metals that may be lurking in your water. You can test the water yourself or hire a professional water well maintenance person to test your water for you.
Whole House Set-Up Or Individual Set-Up?
Do you need a whole house set-up, or will the individual set up do? This really depends on your personal circumstance and preference.
An individual set-up system (also known as a point-of-use system) is installed to remove contaminants in individual areas of the home, namely the kitchen and bathroom. These are systems you’re probably most familiar with, as you can find them in refrigerators and attached to faucets.
You can also opt for a whole house filtration system, also known as the point-of-entry system. This type of filtration system is installed on the pressurized holding tank, which sits beneath your home. While whole house filtration systems take a bit more time to install, the effort is worth it. If you don’t feel comfortable installing the system yourself, your water well professional should be able to take care of that in an afternoon.
Primary Types of Filters
Aeration Filters – These are a cost-friendly “green” option that is most commonly used to remove dissolved gases from you water. Aerations systems work by passing air through water, attaching to the dissolved gases and guiding them out through ventilation. (Some gases like iron and manganese will precipitate out, because they have a different chemical makeup). Aeration has an added benefit of raising the pH level of your water, making it less acidic. There are three main types of aeration filters: bubble aerators, spray aerators , and packed tower aerators.
- Bubble aerators are equipped with several chambers and a diffuser to introduce air. As the air from the diffuser blows in, bubbles form and move between the chambers. These bubbles carry the contaminants out through the ventilation system.
- Spray aerators require the water to come in through the top of the aeration device, which eventually exits as a mist from the spray heads. The clean water collects in a tank that is equipped with vents located above the spray heads. If you choose to use this type of filtration system, make sure the vents are located well away from people or pets, as this is where the contaminants exit.
- Packed tower aerators use a tower packed with packing material and air to filter the water. The water enters from the top of the tower while air blows in from the bottom of the tower in the opposite direction as the water flow, venting out contaminants
Reverse Osmosis Filters – Quality whole house water filtration systems use reverse osmosis technology. Reverse osmosis filters the solvent using a thin, semi-permeable membrane. The water moves through the membrane from a low solute concentration area to an area of high solute concentration. This filter is typically used to remove salt from the water, and you will often see this type of filter installed along with an activated carbon filter. While reverse osmosis filters are extremely effective, they can be costly and you may notice an increase in your energy bill.
Activated Carbon Filter – An activated carbon filter uses a layer of carbon to filter out contaminants through the process of chemical absorption. Contaminants become trapped by the activated carbon chemicals so they don’t show up in your water. Activated carbon filters are most effective at removing chlorine, sediment, foul taste and odor, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). These filters are typically used in combination with filters like the reverse osmosis filters that can remove salt and other minerals.
Resin Filter – Resin filters are typically called water softeners, as they remove dissolved minerals like calcium and magnesium. Because the resin filter can only remove minerals, it is always used in combination with other filtration devices like the activated carbon filter and the reverse osmosis filters.
Choosing The Right Water Filter For Your Whole-House System
The ideal whole house water filter system will be customized to your specific water test results. Your point-of-entry filtration system will most likely include a combination of filters, but it must include the following:
- A reverse osmosis filter to remove salt
- A sediment filter to remove larger particles
- An activated carbon filter to remove bad taste and chlorine
If you are concerned about bacteria content, then you could also include a chlorinator. If you are concerned about water softness, ask your water well professional to include a resin filter in your system.
In need of a new water filtration system? Contact your water well experts at Double R to take a look.