How to Choose A Sediment Filter

by Jamin Arvig on February 26, 2014

Sediment Filter Questions Can Leave You Feeling BuriedIf you are a first-time sediment filter system buyer, and you reached out to one of our competitors, you may find yourself overwhelmed and buried by the types of questions below:


  1. What type of sediment is in your water?
  2. What size micron filter do you need?
  3. What type of water quality issues are you trying to prevent?

Please don’t be offended, as my guess is that if you are just beginning to consider a sediment filter, your answer to the first two questions may range from ‘not sure’ to ‘I don’t know.’  Your answer to the third question may be just a bit inaccurate.  Again – these are just my guesses, based on the theme of the post you’ve landed on, and my experience in this industry.

My experience in this industry also lends me to believe that our competitors will likely not ask you a critical fourth question: ‘are you sure you need a sediment filter?’ I’ll offer you answers to the three questions above, but I’ll also ensure that an answer to that critical fourth question is peppered throughout.

Let’s work backwards with question number three.  There are some issues commonly mistaken as water sediment problems – most readily – hard water.  Hard water contains high amounts of minerals that form scale buildups, flaking off and clogging faucet screens.  Mistaking hard water problems as sediment problems is very easy and extremely common.

If you are seeking a solution to your hard water problem, a sediment filter is not ideal.  I would encourage you to skip the rest of this post and review some of the water softener options we offer, instead.  Depending on where you are having hard water issues, you may also be able to get by with a good shower filter, like the Sprite Shower Filter System to the left.

Sprite SL-CM-M Slim Line Universal Shower Filter SystemSediment filled water that makes its way through your faucet will not necessarily be hard – but rather sandy or silty. Rather than scaling and flaking after coming through your faucet, this type of water will cause greater issues before it comes through your faucet at all – causing damage to your pipes and reducing the life expectancy of your appliances.

A sediment filter system will reduce a significant percentage of these contaminants, but it is important that you choose a system for your type of water.  This is why you may be asked what size micron filter you need.  I prefer, however, to ask a far simpler question: ‘where does your water come from?’

If your water is pulling from a well, you may have both sand (large sediment) and silt (small sediment) pouring through your faucet.  Water coming from a river may pour large and small organic sediment, depending on which river.  Heavier sediment from either of these sources will practically demand that you begin your search with a system designed for heavy contaminants, such as the Rusco Sediment Trapper System, pictured below.

If your water is pulling from a municipality, you may have little to no sediment, in which case I would encourage you to consider an under sink water filter, instead.

With regard to a sediment filter, the smaller the micron number, the smaller the pores.  Selecting the right micron size is entirely about your unique sediment size. If you have sand that’s grainy and big enough to visually identify the granules, then you certainly don’t need a 1 micron filter.  In fact, going too low may cause even more problems from clogs and pressure loss.

A grain of sand is anywhere from 75 to 150 microns, so a 50 micron water filter should be good enough to handle your sediment issue. If, however, you have extremely fine sediment that feels slimy to the touch and is so small that you can’t visually identify a single speck, you probably need something much tighter. As a general rule, I always recommend starting loose and working your way tighter until you get the performance you want and need.Rusco Sediment Filter - Trapper System

Of course, what I recommend most for those looking to install a new sediment filter system is that they first connect with our customer service department.  Our department is highly trained and led by a Water Quality Association (WQA) certified water professional.  They can not only help you determine the sediment filter system most suited for your needs, they will be quick to point out if you need an entirely different type of water filter system.  Fortunately, whatever water filter or system you need, we probably either have it in stock or can work with you to find it.

If you are looking to install a sediment water filter system, I would highly encourage you to call our customer service department at 1-888-801-PURE so they can ensure you select the right products for your needs.

I invite you to subscribe to this blog or our YouTube channel, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter to stay up to date on all the latest water news and hydration tips.  I also invite you to +1 us on Google+ to be the first to learn about exclusive deals and new products.

Jamin Arvig

Jamin Arvig

In 2002, Jamin Arvig founded WaterFilters.NET from his small college apartment. Just over ten years later, his company has doubled in revenue each year, grown into a multi-year honoree on the Inc. 5000, and become the online consumer’s first choice for water filters and water filtration technology. Jamin's success with WaterFilters.NET can be seen through coverage in publications ranging from the Minneapolis Star Tribune to the Wall Street Journal, its consistent ‘Excellent’ status from customer service ratings provider STELLAService, frequent appearances in Best Places to Work lists and in the pages of Upsize Minnesota who recently named the company Business Builder of the Year. Jamin also helps to ensure that WaterFilters.NET supports its core value of charitable giving by making significant contributions from its profits to various water-related charities. Posts from Jamin are contributed regularly to this blog.

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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Jayesh September 4, 2013 at 8:13 am

Dear Sir,

How to check micron of PP sediment water filter cartridge,

We just heard about 1 to 100 micron but nobody know about micron so its difficult for us to identify the micron,

Awaiting for answer


Jamin Arvig September 4, 2013 at 9:39 am

The micron rating is typically listed on the filter’s original packaging, because the cartridges themselves do not have any clearly identifying labels on them.


mike round January 9, 2014 at 1:07 pm

I have a cistern that collects rain water from my metal
Roof. Would a one micron filter be adequate for drinking water from the tank? The cistern is closed to any light source and I have never seen algae or insects in the filter housing. Surely chemicals are not much of an issue, since I live on a small island in the Caribbean. I came from Alaska where we lived prior to moving here and filtered our roof collected water through a ten micron filter and never had any issues with water contamination in the 30 years I lived there. I’m unsure as to what I am trying to filter out of this water. There is a coarse screen filter that keeps leaves and large particles out. I’m sure bird and bat droppings land on the roof (not a pleasant thought!) But what are the real issues that would cause one micron to be inadequate? Thanks for any info you can enlighten me with,


Jamin Arvig January 9, 2014 at 4:54 pm

Hi Mike –

That’s a great question!

A 1 micron sediment filter could be suitable to filter sediment in a rain water capture system as you’ve described, depending on the volume of water the cistern holds and how much demand the cistern will have at one time.

Before pairing your system with a sediment filter, especially in the application you’ve described, I would suggest first testing your water with a basic well water test kit, such as this kit that we offer from WaterSafe:

Though the contaminants and levels present in your rain water because of the source will change and vary throughout time, a test will give you a basic understanding of what is in your cistern on a general basis.

Even in remote locations, rain water is capable of collecting a wide range of contaminants, making your comment about bacteria contaminants from animal droppings spot on.

Not only can parasites be introduced to the rain water collected this way, but the water can also pick up chemicals from the building materials on your roof or from airborne pollutants that attach themselves to the rain before it falls or as it falls.

A standard sediment filter, even at 1 micron, will not be sufficient to remove or reduce these sorts of concerns as these types of filters are meant specifically for free floating contaminants in the water – ie dirt, rust, hair, etc.

If you have the ability to use a pressurized system for your set up, I would strongly encourage you to consider a Rio2000:

The Rio2000 is a ceramic water filter system by Doulton designed to provide maximum protection from a huge range of contaminants – including the contaminants highlighted above, bacteria, cysts and all sorts of other nasties – at an affordable price.

Ceramic water filters are also fantastic because of their longevity and re-usability. As you are located in a more remote area, I cannot stress the value of re-usability strongly enough.

We’d be happy to provide you with information or answer any additional questions you may have. Please feel free to call us directly at 1-888-801-PURE(7873) or email us at

When connecting with us, please reference the comment string on this blog post to bring the customer service agent you speak with up to speed.

Thanks again for connecting!


Roz September 19, 2015 at 3:21 pm

I currently have a small cartridge for sediment but it needs to be changed frequently and it looks like iron clay when it is removed. The water pressure is not good and I have recently changed ALL the plumbing fixtures in the house. I am on a drilled well. I am being told that I need a bigger filter and one that is transparent so that I can monitor it. It is presently located in a VERY difficult location for me to change it and one of the recommendations is to have it relocated and mounted on the wall for easy access. Can you give me some advice before I go any further with this issue?


wfnblog September 22, 2015 at 8:40 am

Dear Roz,
Thank you for conmtacting WaterFilters.NET!
Our customer service would be more than happy to locate a few options for you.
Please contact them directly at!
Thank you!


Rudaiya March 24, 2016 at 6:17 am

Wow…This is a very useful post.I was really worried about my skin and hair due to hard water supply in the house.I will surely install the shower head water softener.Thank you so much for this wonderful post. I am sure it would help everyone out here to select the best shower head water softener.


David Gaines May 1, 2016 at 5:03 pm

Hello, my water comes from our private well. The water has been thoroughly tested by an independent lab and is quite clean. Our only issue is sediment. It is always present. I tried a 5 micron filter and it clogged up in a week. A 20 micron filter does a decent job but still lets too much sediment through. What I would like is a two stage filter – one stage to get the big chunks and a second stage to get the finer stuff. Is that possible?


George Dearringer May 11, 2016 at 8:24 am

Just installed a 2nd new well pump. First one failed in 48 months. I have silty sandy well water. Cloudy, small sand in toilet tanks, silt seems smaller than normal sand. Pleated 10″x 4.5″ filters clog within 48 hours. Multiple pleated filter change is expensive and annoying. I would like a more permanent, less filter changing system if possible. Sometimes silt is slimy, like wet play dough. I have a water kinetic water softener. I think our well is a low volume, the well pump is a 1HP. Can you suggest a system to help this situation? Can I get rid of filters altogether with another system?


Tilden DeWitt June 17, 2016 at 7:21 am

Is this filtration system available with 1″ inlet / outlet connections?


wfnblog July 13, 2016 at 10:44 am

Thank you for contacting WaterFilters.NET. If you are referring to the Rusco Filtration system then yes, we do have a 1′ inlet/outlet in that size. Depending on what you are looking for here is a link to the Rusco 1″ inlet/out systems on our site; feel free to look at all of the systems on our site. If you would like further assistance, feel free to contact our customer service at 888-801-7873. Thank you and have a good day.


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