How to Filter Your Well Water for Drinking

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Many homes in the United States source their water from private wells. Wells can be a cheap source of water, saving you money on your water bill each month. That benefit can come with a cost, though. Well water must be filtered and purified to maintain a high quality. Without proper filtration, your water could make you sick!

Why You Need to Filter Your Well Water

Most wells are not regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Private wells without that government regulation usually don’t have safety mechanisms in place to test and maintain the drink-ability of their water. This can be a major concern. Unfiltered well water can have a host of issues that may affect a drinker’s health, including disease-carrying pathogens, sediment and dirt contamination, and a presence of rust or heavy metals. Unfiltered well water can also have unsightly color, pungent odor, and bad taste.

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Disease

While the United States has some of the cleanest water in the world, any water source not government-regulated can be at risk of contamination. Bacterial and fungal contamination can spread infection and disease. Filtering your well water won’t necessarily sift out every waterborne pathogen, but filtering can greatly reduce the chances for contamination.

Sediment

Flooding, ground disturbances, and movement in the earth can cause your aquifer or well to fill with sediment and particulate. Sand, dirt, and silt are all common contaminants. While microscopic levels of these particulates are essentially harmless, larger quantities can cause sickness. Water filters are especially good at removing hard particulates like those mentioned above and can drastically improve water quality.

Rust and Heavy Metals

Rust and heavy metals can also be a concern depending on where your well is located and the delivery devices you’re using to transport water from the well to your tap. Metal piping will naturally rust over time, which can lead to metal flakes being deposited into your water. Nobody wants to drink down a glass of metal shavings! Naturally-occurring metals like zinc and iron can also be present in your well or aquifer, which in large doses can be harmful to the human body.

Color, Odor, and Taste

Besides all the health concerns, unfiltered water is also ugly. Your water can take on a dirty color, have a terrible smell, and taste awful without proper filtration. These can be serious drawbacks when you’re using your well water to drink and bathe and cook. Using a proper filter will keep your water looking, smelling, and tasting fresh!


How to Filter Well Water

Luckily, filtering your well water can be as easy as finding the right well water filter. There are several options, from whole house water filters to countertop filtration. This video does a great job of explaining each kind of filter, and the sections below describes them in detail.

Whole Home Filtration

These systems, also known as “whole house” filters, are large components attached to all the main pipes in your home. You can think of them like a set of kidneys. Your well water is fed into these systems, usually via an automatic pump, and filtered in large containers. The purified water is then dispersed throughout the rest of your home. They can be found at most home-goods stores and online retailers. Most companies offer professional installation. You will probably have to make modifications to your plumbing to accommodate these systems.

Under-the-Sink Filtration

Smaller water filters can be installed under your sink, attached to your home plumbing. These can filter large amounts of water, but not as much as a whole home system. They only provide local filtration of the sink to which they’re attached. Again, they can be found at most home-goods retailers. You’ll likely need to make small alterations to your home plumbing to accommodate these types of filters.

Countertop Filtration

These filters are attached directly to the faucet or tap and usually require very minimal to no plumbing alterations (or knowledge). They filter the smallest quantity of water between the three options listed here but take up the least space and require the least knowledge to install. Like under-the-sink filters, they will only filter the water coming through the sink to which they’re attached.


Best Well Water Filters

From whole house water filters to emergency drinking water options, here are the best well water filters.

Express Water Whole House Water Filter, 3 Stage Home Water Filtration System

If you’re looking for a whole home system, this Express Water well water filter might be your best bet. It comes complete with a three-stage filtration system to ensure your water is as clean as possible and it can filter a LOT of water. It’s good for 6-12 months depending on the natural quality of your water. This system does come with plastic fittings though, which can be easy to crack and distort — even for professionals. Make sure you do your research on fitting pipes if you aren’t professionally trained and keep some Teflon tape handy for securing loose fittings.

Express Water Whole House Water Filter, 3 Stage Home Water Filtration System, Sediment, Charcoal, Carbon Filters includes Pressure Gauges, Easy Release, and 1 Inch Connections
  • Take the Contaminants Out of Your Home - Drink from any faucet without fear when we remove Chlorine, Rust, Pesticides, Dirt, Sand, Insecticides, Silt, Turbidity, Volatile Organic Chemicals (VOC), Herbicides, Cloudiness, and Odors
  • Exactly what you need - Get clean water from any faucet. All our filters are specially engineered to work together, producing the safest water for home use
  • Clearly Easy - A clear first stage housing lets you easily monitor your system and see when you need to replace your filters

iFilters MWH-D20-WELL Dual stage 4.5″ x 20″ (Big Blue Size) Whole House Well Water Filter System

This iFilters system is heavy-duty. It’ll take a few hours to install professionally, but the high-flow system will make your water crystal clear. It’s cheaper than the bulkier Express Water system, but it only comes with 2-stage filtration.

Well Water Whole House Filtration System 20" Dual Stage Complete Commercial Grade Sediment Odor Taste Rust 1" Ports
  • Reduces sediment, dirt, sand, silt, rust, scale particles, heavy metals, chlorine taste & odor, VOC's
  • 2 Stage with 30 Micron Washable Pleated sediment Filter & GAC KDF for Chlorine, Iron, Heavy Metals, Odor, and more.
  • Complete 20" system with Wrench, Filters, Heavy Duty Bracket and Built in Pressure Relief Button

Aquasana 5-Year, 500,000 Gallon Well Water Whole House Filter

This 500,000 gallon whole home system from Aquasana will keep your water fresh for 5 years! It’s professional grade and sturdy. That means it’s built to last, but it also means you’ll be paying much more than other 1-year systems. You may find a challenge installing this system if you aren’t professionally trained in plumbing or don’t have extensive knowledge. The manufacturer does not provide detailed installation instructions, so a professional installation might be required.

Aquasana Whole House Well Water Filter System w/ UV Purifier & Salt-Free Descaler - Filters Sediment & 97% Of Chlorine - Carbon & KDF Home Water Filtration - 500,000 Gl
  • Clean, Great Tasting Water From Every Tap In Your Home - Removes 97% of chlorine, 99.9% of viruses and bacterica and reduces harmful contiminants like lead, mercury, herbicides, pesticides, VOCs, and more.
  • High-Performance Well Filter System - Carbon & KDF filtration media combined with UV purifier and Scale Control Media (SCM) salt-free technology engineered to maximize contaminant reduction while leaving healthy minerals in your water. This system will NOT reduce Total Dissolved Solids (TDS).
  • Cost Efficient & Long Lasting - Clean water for less than $0.01 a gallon - Save twice as much compared to other brands on purified water for 500,000 gallons or 5 years.

CuZn UC-200 Under Counter Water Filter

Moving on from whole house systems, the UC-200 from CuZn is an under-the-sink filtration system. Not only does it come highly recommended as far as under-the-sink systems go, but CuZn’s customer service is widely touted as being incredible! That’s great news for when or if your filter starts giving you trouble! The system is a little big, though, so fitting it under the sink might rob you of precious space for other items. Always install with space in mind!

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CuZn UC-200 Under Counter Water Filter - 50K Ultra High Capacity - Made in USA
  • INCREDIBLE CAPACITY/LIFETIME: 50,000g or 5 years! CuZn Backs The UC-200's Performance with a 5 year Pro-Rated Warranty and all CuZn Products Carry a 90 Day Satisfaction Guarantee. The UC-200 is Designed for use with MUNICIPAL WATER ONLY - DO NOT USE WITH PRIVATE WELL WATER. The UC-200 is a Water Purification System, it is NOT A WATER SOFTENING SYSTEM. This UC-200 is not designed to resolve excessively hard water issues.
  • NO THIRD FAUCET HASSLE & SIMPLE TO INSTALL: Connects Directly to your Kitchen Sink's Cold Water Line. Only Takes a Few Minutes. All You will Need is an Adjustable Wrench for Tightening Connections. NEW Install Video Instructions Available, See Product Description for Details. QUESTIONS or NON-STANDARD Under Counter Plumbing!? Send us an Email or Call CuZn's Customer Support Team @ 800.345.PURE (7873)
  • 3 STAGE FILTRATION PROCESS: Micro Sediment Membranes, KDF-55 & Coconut Shell Carbon. The UC-200's Process Purifies the Water Without Removing Health Beneficial Hardness Minerals, The UC-200 DOES NOT REDUCE TDS READINGS, a PPM or TDS Meter is NOT Effective for testing. To Monitor The UC-200 with Testing, Utilize DPD#1 Chlorine Test Strips and Replace when Chlorine Breakthrough is Detected. Want TDS Removal? Search ASIN# B019N7VG1W on Amazon to View CuZn's Reverse Osmosis System.

Woder 10K-Gen3 Ultra High Capacity Direct Connect Water Filtration System

Another excellent under-the-sink filtration system! The Woder system is cheaper than your average under-the-sink filter, which is always a plus! Installation is easy and requires minimal plumbing knowledge. This system will reduce water flow (sometimes up to 50%), so keep flow in mind when looking to buy.

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Woder 10K-Gen3 Ultra High Capacity Direct Connect Water Filtration System - Under Sink Filter Premium Class I - Removes Chlorine, Lead, Chromium 6, Heavy Metals, Bad Tastes, Odors And Contaminants
  • LASTS FOR A MINIMUM OF 3 YEARS OR 10,000 GALLONS - Notes: For longest life, use with municipal treated cold water only, not well water. Do not use with salty or softened water. Connects for use only with cold water for drinking.
  • NO PLUMBING REQUIRED - Comes with 'Direct Connect' hoses that fit standard 3/8" water valves under US kitchen and bathroom sinks. The 3/8" Direct Connect Hose are made to install directly to the existing cold water valve and faucet stem under your sink. Replacement filters ASIN B0144MFN92.
  • PURE AND HEALTHY WATER - WITH NO MORE BOTTLES IN THE FRIDGE - Eliminates lead (99.9%), heavy metals, chlorine (99.9%), chromium 6, mercury, volatile organic compounds, carcinogens, and other contaminants, as well as turbidity, odors and bad tastes, so you and your family enjoy pure, healthy, spring-fresh water from the tap.

APEC Top Tier 5-Stage Ultra Safe Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water Filter System (ESSENCE ROES-50)

This behemoth of an under-the-sink filter comes with a whole 5-stage filtration system! So, if you want your water as clean as can be, this system is the one for you. Note that the larger filtration system means it’ll be a tight fit under your sink and will also slow your water flow considerably. Also, larger systems mean larger cost. You’ll be paying more for this bad boy compared to smaller systems.

APEC Top Tier 5-Stage Ultra Safe Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water Filter System (ESSENCE ROES-50)
  • Supreme quality - designed, engineered, and assembled in USA to guarantee water safety & your health.
  • Only technology to remove up to 99% of contaminants including arsenic, chlorine, lead, fluoride, heavy metals, bacteria, virus and 1000+ contaminants. System Capacity- 50 gallons per day @ 60 psi, 30 gallons/day @50 psi and 77 deg F.Tank Capacity-4 gallons. Feed Water pH- 2.0 -11.0. Max Total Dissolved Solids- 2000 ppm. Feed Water Pressure 40-85 psi.
  • Premium long-lasting filters used to treat tap water, well water. Provide unlimited clean, refreshing crisp tasting water superior to bottled water

Apex Countertop Drinking Water Filter

Now to countertop fixtures! This Apex system is sturdy and stylish! It’ll do the job for close to 5 months and comes in a host of different color options! One major drawback: the packaging isn’t all that great, so make sure to really inspect each component before installation.

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Apex Countertop Drinking Water Filter, Alkaline, Clear (MR-1050)
  • REDUCES CONTAMINANTS IN TAP WATER: The APEX Clear Countertop Alkaline Drinking Water Filter System removes contaminants commonly found in tap water, like chlorine, sediment, and radon. It also filters Cryptosporidium, and Giardia cysts, which contribute to water-borne illnesses. APEX water filters remove mercury and harmful pesticides to give you delicious, sparkling, fresh clean drinking water.
  • CONNECTS TO STANDARD FAUCETS: APEX's Clear countertop water filter system has been designed to conveniently sit right on your kitchen counter. It is simple to install, and connects easily to most standard kitchen faucets. All the necessary hardware is included for easy do-it-yourself installation. Simply remove the aerator screen from the faucet and screw on the collar of the APEX diverter valve.
  • COST-EFFECTIVE WATER FILTER: By using an APEX countertop alkaline water filter, you can stop wasting money on small disposable bottles of water that just get thrown away when empty. Buying bottled water for daily home consumption gets expensive and tedious. You don't have to lug heavy water jugs or cases home to enjoy fresh clean drinking water. APEX water filters are the solution.

Propur Dual Stage Filter Countertop System

This dual-stage Propur system will definitely do the trick. It’s built to last and extremely reliable, but it’ll take up a lot of space on your counter. The Propur is inverted, like most countertop systems, which means an air bubble can form at the top of the filter. It might be best to invert everything when attaching the filter to the base. That can make attachment to the sink more difficult, but it will be worth it not to have to worry about mold/mildew building up in your system.

Propur Dual Stage Filter Countertop System
  • Dual stage housings
  • Includes one ProMax & 5-Micron pleated filter elements
  • Designed to fit most faucets with removable aerator

iSpring CKC1C Countertop Drinking Water Filtration System

This countertop iSpring system is cheap and perfect for apartment-dwellers! It’ll certainly get the job done, but you always get what you pay for. The unit doesn’t come with a flow regulator, so be careful if you have a high-pressure tap. High water pressure can cause this system to spit. No glass of water is enjoyable if you’re drinking it in wet clothes.

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iSpring CKC1C Countertop water filter, Clear Housing with Carbon
  • CLEAR HOUSING - See-through housing allows you to visually inspect the filter and know when it's time for a filter change
  • ULTRA SAFE - Includes a standard 5 micron Carbon Block Cartridge that removes 95% of chlorine, odors, sand, silt, sediment and rust from your drinking water. Highly effective on volatile organic compounds (VOCs) like pesticides, herbicides, and industrial chemicals. Tested by independent third-party to meet NSF/ANSI Standards.
  • EASY INSTALLATION - No drilling required. Portable and easy to install. Sleek and efficient design offers a natural look on any counter. Perfect for small spaces.

Brita Small 5 Cup Metro Water Pitcher

Don’t worry if you can’t afford larger whole home systems and don’t have the expertise for under-the-sink or countertop filters! There’s always a way to filter your water. While it’s not the most convenient option, you can still purchase filter pitchers that you can store in your refrigerator. They aren’t recommended for heavy filtration, so they’re best used with water that doesn’t require extensive purification. Still, this Brita pitcher is great for getting fresh and clean water. It won’t purify all the water in your home, but it’ll definitely make your tap water cleaner.

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Brita Small 5 Cup Water Filter Pitcher with 1 Standard Filter, BPA Free - Metro, Turquoise
  • SMALL WATER PITCHER: This small, plastic water filtration pitcher is easy to pour and refill. The space efficient pitcher fits perfectly on refrigerator shelves and is great for families. Height 9.8"; Width 4.45"; Length/Depth 9.37"; Weight 1.39 pounds
  • CLEANER AND GREAT TASTING: The BPA free Brita filter reduces chlorine (taste and odor), copper, mercury, zinc and cadmium impurities found in tap water for cleaner great tasting water. *Substances reduced may not be in all users' water
  • FILTER CHANGE REMINDER: For optimum performance, a helpful status indicator on your filtered water pitcher notifies you when your water filter needs to be replaced

LifeStraw Personal Water Filter

A last resort can be a straw-type water filter if you’re really in a bind and you can’t do with any of the other systems mentioned above. These should ONLY be used in desperate situations, but they can certainly come in handy when there’s just no other way. These little straw filters are designed for personal use. They work just like a normal straw. Place one end in the water, the other to your lips, and drink! Remember, these kinds of filters are NOT the proper solution for long-term, daily water filtration. They should only be used in emergencies. But, they can help in a serious jam. It doesn’t hurt to keep a few under the sink for those occasions when your main filter breaks or goes bad.

LifeStraw Personal Water Filter for Hiking, Camping, Travel, and Emergency Preparedness
  • Award-winning LifeStraw water filter is a must-carry tool for hiking, camping, travel, and emergencies; no disaster kit is complete without it
  • Filters up to 1000 liters of contaminated water without iodine, chlorine, or other chemicals; does not require batteries and has no moving parts
  • Removes minimum 99.9999% of waterborne bacteria, 99.9% of waterborne protozoan parasites, and filters to 0.2 microns; surpasses EPA filter standards

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Conclusion

It’s very important that you filter your water, however you get it done. This is always true, but especially if you’re using well water. Having access to a private well can be a freeing experience, but it shouldn’t come at the cost of your health. Investing in proper water filtration can be costly in the front end but will pay for itself in the long haul. Always ensure you do your own research before making any big purchases — especially when it comes to something as important as water purification. It never hurts to consult professionals either.

There are tons of options out there! Find what works best for you and enjoy the many benefits of clean, purified water!

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