Learn How to Filter Sand from Well Water

Author: Jason Hollow - Published: 2022/09/28 - Updated: 2022/12/22

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Sand or sediment in your well water supply isn’t a problem that will affect your health, but it will affect the health of your pipes and water system as a whole.

Sediment build-up can cause a lot of wear and tear on your plumbing, not to mention it will probably lead to more frequent filter replacements.

Luckily for you, the process for removing sediment from well water, regardless of whether it’s sand or another type, is generally the same.

In this article, we’ll discuss what causes sand to leak into well water, how to deal with it, and whether you should be concerned about it on a personal level.

So, here is our guide on how to filter sand out of well water!


There are four effective methods to remove sand from well water. These are:

  1. Centrifugal sand separator – A system wherein water is spun at very fast speeds. Centrifugal force separates any sand.
  2. Spin down sand filter – A gravity filter to spin down and separate sand from water.
  3. Sediment filter cartridge – Like a physical barrier, sediment filters block sand-sized particles as the water passes through them.
  4. Backwashing filter – This type of filter features granular media inside a large tank where sand is being trapped as water flows through. The system flushes out all the sediment and sand through backwashing. This also has the effect of increased filter life.

Why is There Sand in My Well Water?

glass of dirty water

Sand could end up in your well water from a variety of different sources, and you might need professional help to determine and fix the root cause.

Below are the most prevalent sources of sand in well water:

The Well Itself

Problems with Well Construction

An inappropriate well development method might sometimes be the source of your sand problem. Well development is a common well installation phase that involves removing sediments and foreign materials following drilling.

However, it is uncommon for improper building procedures to be used when drilling a well, as not following proper protocol can cause the well’s sides to collapse, resulting in sand and debris entering the water supply. Even so, your problem could be because your well wasn’t properly constructed.

Damaged Well Screen

The well screen is a component of the well that aids in the removal of dirt and silt from the water. These screens, however, can wear or degrade with time, allowing sand to enter the water.

The Well Pump

Well pump problems can range from the pump being the wrong size to it being improperly installed. Because of these concerns, sand and sediment may leak into the water supply.

  • Pump is too low – Some wells use submersible pumps, or pumps located at the bottom of the well. A submersible pump should typically be set at least 10 to 20 feet above the well’s base, as sand can be sucked into the pump if it is too low.
  • Pump is too big – Water can flow too quickly from a well when the pump is too large. As a result, sand will be extracted.

How to Deal with Sand in Well Water

In order to stop your well from pumping sand, you need to understand how the sand got inside in the first place. The source of your problem should be determined by a well contractor or a professional in water treatment, unless you are an expert in wells.

Based on the causes, professionals would offer a solution such as the ones below:

Have Your Well Serviced

Wells that are too shallow or not properly cemented and cased should be repaired by professionals. Getting a second opinion from a provider other than your original well driller could be a good option.

Replace the Well Casing

A well casing is a shaft that extends into the ground to reach the water table. Over time, the casing may develop cracks or holes that allow sand and other elements to leak in.

Impurities are kept out by sealing the casing with cement. It may be necessary to replace the well casing if the well contractor discovers a problem.

Replace or Relocate the Well Pump

If your water pump is too close to the bottom, you will need to raise it.

However, if the pump’s excessive size is the problem, you may need to replace it with one appropriate to the well.

How to Filter Sand Out of Well Water

How to Filter Sand Out of Well Water Thumbnail

There are several methods for removing sand from your well water source. But, before you do anything, you should have your well’s water analyzed.

A water test will assist you in determining the optimum method for filtering your water. It will also tell you how much sand is in your water and whether or not it includes dangerous chemicals etc.

Once you’ve determined what you’re up against, there are a few options for filtering sand from your well water supply:

Use a Spin-Down Filter

For one, it is possible to use spin-down sand filters. Spin-down filters work similarly to centrifugal sand separators (see below), but they use gravity rather than centrifugal force.

However, there are a couple of drawbacks to using spin-down filters. For one, they require regular maintenance, so if you’re dealing with a lot of sand, you’ll need to check them more frequently.

Also, because spin-down filters are put after the pressure tank they may cause a slight decline in water pressure.

Use a Centrifugal Sand Separator

A centrifugal sand separator is an efficient method of removing sand from well water. These devices remove sand from water by spinning it at high speeds employing centrifugal force, and they are said to have a 98% efficiency rate.

Simply place the sand separator between the well and the pressure tank and let it do its work.

Cartridges for Sediment Filters

Another form of filter to remove sand from your water source is sediment filter cartridges. As the water flows through the filter, silt, sand and other dirt are trapped in the cartridge. The filtered water then exits the cartridge all nice and clean.

Is Sand in Well Water Dangerous?

No, sand in well water is not dangerous to your health.[1] The presence of sand, on the other hand, can indicate an underlying issue, such as other potentially dangerous impurities, including germs, entering your well.

Sand in large quantities can also clog your home’s water fittings and appliances, which not only affects their efficiency but can also have long-term consequences.

When in doubt, seek the advice of a specialist.

Why to Hire an Expert

Speaking of, although it may be tempting to try to remedy well water problems on your own, it is strongly advised that you seek the advice of a professional. Well water problems are frequently more difficult to resolve than city water problems.

A well contractor can inspect your well’s construction and decide if repairs are required. Meanwhile, a water treatment professional can test your water for impurities and devise a strategy to eliminate them.


If your well water has sand in it, it’s probably due to an issue with the well’s construction, the well screen, or its pump.

In any of these cases, you’ll have to have some repairs or buy replacement parts, which most likely means getting the assistance of a professional.

Alternatively, you could install a sand water filter, but you should still consider having your well repaired if it’s the nature of the problem.

Further Reading


Meet Jason Hollow

Jason Hollow Jason is the founder of Water Masterz and head of content creation. After six years in the industry, he has tremendous knowledge and first-hand experience on all things related to water treatment.

His credo: Not a single American should have to drink unhealthy water at home.

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