Well water is an affordable alternative to relying on your local water provider. Groundwater can reduce your monthly bills and make water more accessible if you live in a remote area.

The downside of relying on well water is that you can’t count on your local utility provider to check water quality and invest in necessary treatment systems.

The EPA has issued some official guidelines homeowners can follow to improve water quality, and some states have testing guidelines in place, but homeowners need to be proactive and find a solution adapted to their needs to improve well water quality.

The CDC estimates that 15 million households use well water. This number represents 15% of the population or approximately 45 million individuals.

The U.S. possesses a huge groundwater supply. Experts estimate that groundwater reserves hold 33,000 trillion gallons, which represents 20 to 30% more water than what lakes, rivers, and other surface water reservoirs hold.

If your household relies on this huge reserve of groundwater, those are some key facts you should know about safety and water quality. You should also compare well water treatment systems to reduce the risks of contamination and improve water quality.

The Benefits of Filtration Systems for Well Water

Well water systems are a must-have if you rely on groundwater. A well water filter can catch a number of contaminants and reduces your risks of drinking contaminated water.

Waterborne illnesses, infections caused by giardia parasites, and exposure to pollutants like heavy metals can result in serious health problems, especially in children and individuals with preexisting conditions.

Here are a few of the many benefits of installing a well water filtration system:

  • A well water filter is an inexpensive product that is easy to install and maintain.
  • You can find customized filtration systems to address risks that are unique to your area.
  • A well water filtration system is an effective way of catching lead and other heavy metals that can cause metal poisoning.
  • A filter will also reduce your risks of being exposed to microorganisms that cause waterborne illnesses.
  • A mechanical filtration system will reduce sediments and prevent buildups that negatively affect your plumbing system and appliances.
  • A well water filter will improve the taste and smell of your water.
  • Installing a filtration system for your well water is a simple step you can take to improve your peace of mind if you’re worried about pollutants and other contaminants.
Best Water Filter for Well Water
caltbl-table__imageMOST VERSATILEMOST VERSATILESpringwell ULTRA Filter
  • Max Flow Rate: 9 GPM
  • Smartphone app control
  • Salt-free system
caltbl-table__imageWATER SOFTENINGWATER SOFTENINGPentair Pelican NaturSoft
  • Max Flow Rate: 10 GPM
  • Filter Replacement: Every 6-9 months
  • Tank Width: 9"
  • Reverse osmosis system
  • 6-12 month filters
  • 2 year warranty
caltbl-table__imageCOUNTERTOPCOUNTERTOPBig Berkey
  • Filtered Water Capacity: 2.25 gallons (8.5 L)
  • Dimensions: 8.5 x 8.5 x 21"
  • Weight: 7 lbs
caltbl-table__imageWATER BOTTLEWATER BOTTLEAquasana Stainless Steel Filter Water Bottle
  • Removes 99% of bacteria, lead, chlorine, and giardia
  • 17 oz clean water bottle
  • Insulated stainless steel

The Best Water Filter for Well Water

The following well water systems can improve the quality of your groundwater and reduce your risks of being exposed to microorganisms, heavy metals, chemicals, and other dangerous particles.

1. Springwell ULTRA Filter: Top Choice For Whole House Filtration

This versatile product is the best water filter for well water if you’re looking for a whole house filtration system that catches a wide range of contaminants. This filter combo uses a multi-stage filtration design to put well water through different filter media and catch as many contaminants as possible. The design of the filtration system enhances the area of contact with the filtration media to remove more particles.

This well water filter is an excellent investment since it’s durable and requires very little maintenance. You will also get a lifetime warranty on this product.

The first stage of the filtration system puts water through a mechanical filter that removes heavy metal particles like lead or iron. It also removes large contaminants like manganese or hydrogen sulfide.

Groundwater will then go through a pre-sediment filter. This five-micron filter will catch sand and clay particles that could form deposits in your plumbing system.

The next filtration stage uses a Kinetic Degradation Fluxion media to remove more heavy metals and chemicals like chlorine. This filtration stage is followed by a coconut shell carbon media that removes organic compounds like pesticides.

The last stage of this filtration combo system is a salt-free water softener system. A lot of filters include a water softener stage that uses ion exchange to reduce the mineral content of your drinking water.

An ion exchange filter replaces calcium and magnesium ions with sodium or potassium ions. Calcium and magnesium are problematic minerals because they tend to form buildups that clog your plumbing system and appliances. However, adding sodium or potassium ions to your drinking water can increase your mineral intake above healthy levels.

We recommend this ULTRA filter system combo because it uses Template Assisted Crystallization to prevent buildups. Instead of removing minerals and replacing them with sodium ions, this technology crystallizes calcium and other minerals that form buildups. These minerals can go through your plumbing system in their crystal form without forming mineral buildups.

2. Pentair Pelican NaturSoft: Top Choice Well Water Softener

The purpose of a water softener system is to eliminate or neutralize calcium and magnesium ions. These ions come from rocks and sediments. They enter groundwater reserves through the natural process of erosion, but activities like agriculture can increase the levels of calcium and magnesium ions in your drinking water.

Calcium and magnesium ions are problematic because they react with soap and detergent to form hard mineral deposits. Water that is rich in calcium and magnesium ions is often referred to as hard water, due to the hard mineral buildups that appear in your plumbing system and appliances.

A water softener can address this issue. Traditional water softener devices use a special resin that absorbs calcium and magnesium ions and replaces them with sodium ions. This process prevents mineral deposits, but sodium levels will go up in your water.

We recommend the Pelican NaturSoft water softener because this product uses a different technology to neutralize calcium and magnesium ions. Instead of replacing these ions with sodium, this water softener uses a technology that crystallizes calcium and magnesium ions.

Calcium and magnesium ions can go through your plumbing system and appliances without forming hard deposits if they’re in crystal form.

This water softener system is 99.6% effective. It also doesn’t produce any wastewater, unlike traditional water softener devices. The installation process is very simple, and you can install this device inside or outside.

3. Aquasana OPTIMH20: Reverse Osmosis Well Filter

This undersink filtration system is an ideal choice for improving water quality because it targets a wide range of contaminants. This product can filter five times more contaminants than other filters available on the market. It removes up to 95% of fluoride, 97% of chlorine, and 99% of pollutants like lead and asbestos.

It’s an excellent option if you’re not sure which contaminants are present in your drinking water and want a solution that does it all.

This undersink filter uses reverse osmosis to filter particles smaller than one micron. This process pushes water through a thin membrane that catches contaminants like cysts and other microorganisms that cause waterborne illnesses.

There is an activated carbon filter that uses chemical filtration to remove herbicides, pesticides, and organic compounds.

You will also find a catalytic carbon filter designed to remove chlorine and chloramines. Water treatment plants often add chlorine and chloramines to water to disinfect it. It’s an effective way of eliminating bacteria, but an imperfect filtration system often results in these chemicals ending up in your drinking water.

The OptimH20 filtration system features an ion exchange stage that removes lead, mercury, and other heavy metal particles.

The remineralization stage is an interesting feature. Filtration systems remove a wide range of particles from your water. These particles include harmful contaminants as well as minerals with health benefits. The remineralization stage adds minerals to your drinking water once contaminants have been removed.

4. Big Berkey: Countertop Well Filter

A countertop filter is a convenient option if you need a solution to improve the quality of your drinking water without making any modifications to your plumbing system. It’s an excellent option if you’re renting your home and can’t install any permanent filtration systems.

This water filter is also an ideal choice if you live in a small apartment or need a filtration system for your RV. It has a capacity of 2.25 gallons and is suitable for one to 16 people. You can customize this filtration system by using two or four filters.

Using four filters will result in a flow of seven gallons per hour. You will get half this capacity if you use two filters. There is a spigot that dispenses water. The filter uses a stainless steel housing for durability.

The filters remove 200 different contaminants, including bacteria, viruses, chloramine, pharmaceuticals, pesticides, heavy metals, and more. There is an add-on filter you can install to remove fluoride from your water if there are high fluoride levels in your area.

The design of the filter allows for the continuous filling of the tank. The water you use for cooking or drinking will be replaced automatically.

Overall, this countertop filter is an excellent option if you need an affordable and compact product that filters a wide range of contaminants!

5. Aquasana Stainless Steel Filter Water Bottle

A water bottle with a built-in filter is a convenient option to always keep clean drinking water accessible. It’s an affordable product that will help you increase your water intake while reducing your exposure to potential contaminants.

This water bottle has a capacity of 17 ounces. It’s the perfect size to always have plenty of drinking water available while being small enough to remain portable and lightweight.

The stainless steel design body will keep water cool for hours. You can fill the water at any tap, and the built-in filter will use a special membrane and ion exchange filtration technology to remove up to 99% of bacteria, chlorine, lead, and other contaminants.

It’s an eco-friendly product that will help you reduce your environmental impact by purchasing fewer plastic water bottles. You can find affordable replacement filters for this product.

The flip-top design and spout are ideal for drinking water on the go or even pouring water to make tea or coffee. The flip-top features a ring to carry the water bottle. The rubber sleeve is an interesting feature that improves grip on the bottle and creates an original design.

Contaminate Focused Systems
caltbl-table__imageIRON & MANGANESEIRON & MANGANESESpringwell Filter For Iron & Manganese Removal
  • Removal of Iron, Manganese & Sulfur
  • Strong Water Pressure (12-20 GPM)
  • Optional UV Purification Add-On
caltbl-table__imageARSENICARSENICPentair Pelican RO System: For Arsenic Removal
  • Removes 99% Arsenic
  • Wastes 50% Less Water
  • 6-Stage RO System
caltbl-table__imageLEAD & CYSTLEAD & CYSTSpringwell Lead & Cyst Removal System
  • Removes 99.95% Lead
  • Innovative Digital Notification Head
  • Digital Filter Change Notification

Contaminant-Specific Well Water Treatment Systems

Getting your water tested is something you should consider doing if you suspect that there are high levels of contaminants present in it. It’s a step homeowners who rely on well water should take, since there are no mandated testing of groundwater reserves.

Once you know more about the contaminants present in your water, you can consider a contaminant-specific solution. There are plenty of great all-around filtration systems that target a wide range of contaminants, but a contaminant-specific solution is a better investment if there are high levels of heavy metals or dangerous chemicals in your water.

1. Springwell Filter For Iron & Manganese Removal

This filtration system is designed for private wells. It targets common contaminants like iron, manganese, and sulfur. These three contaminants often end up in well water because they can seep into groundwater reserves through natural erosion. Getting your well water tested is the best way to determine if these contaminants are present in your local groundwater reserve.

Iron, manganese, and sulfur are problematic because they often result in an unpleasant taste and smell. Sulfur contamination is easy to identify because it will give your water a unique smell that is reminiscent of rotten eggs.

These contaminants can give your water a brown tint and cause black and orange stains in your sink, toilet, and bathtub. They can also give your drinking water an unpleasant metallic taste.

We recommend this well water filter system because it’s designed to oxidize these three contaminants. It’s an effective way of improving the taste and smell of your well water, and it delivers excellent water pressure.

This filtration system requires no maintenance. There is a built-in backwash system that ensures the filter keeps working without any maintenance needed on your part.

The filtration system uses a simple single tank design. There is an air pocket at the top of the tank that oxidizes iron, sulfur, and manganese. Oxidizing these particles makes them easier to remove, and it neutralizes the unpleasant taste and smell present in your well water.

Once these particles have been oxidized, the water will go through a green sand filtration media. This filtration stage removes the oxidized particles from your water.

The backwash system allows clean water to exit the filter without causing a drop in water pressure. It also replaces the air in the pocket at the top of the filtration tank and prevents air from getting stale.

There is a Bluetooth feature that allows you to adjust filtration settings from your phone and check the filter status remotely. You can also choose an add-on option that adds a UV filtration stage to purify your water from microorganisms like Giardia.

2. Pentair Pelican RO System: For Arsenic Removal

Arsenic can contaminate your water and cause severe symptoms like stomach pain and impaired nerve function. Some rock layers will cause arsenic to enter your groundwater reserve through natural erosion, but arsenic contamination is often the result of industrial or agricultural activities in your area. Mining and coal burning are two activities that produce arsenic that can seep into the ground and reach local water reserves.

The CDC recommends using solutions like ion exchange, ultra-filtration, distillation, and reverse osmosis to remove arsenic from your drinking water. We recommend this six-stage filtration system because it’s one of the best reverse osmosis systems available, and it does a great job of filtering arsenic particles.

This Pelican filtration system uses six different stages of filtration and relies on reverse osmosis to remove more contaminants and deliver optimal water flow.

Reverse osmosis is a technology that pushes water through a membrane with fine pores. Pushing the water through the filtration system enhances flow and catches more contaminants. It also allows manufacturers to use membranes with extremely fine pores that can catch tiny particles that other filtration systems might miss.

This six-stage filtration system removes 99% of the arsenic particles present in your water. It also removes other contaminants like chromium, barium, copper, radium, lead, fluoride, cysts, and more. The fine membranes can even catch particles that have dissolved in the water.

Using six stages of filtration means that water goes through a larger number of filters and membranes. This process removes more impurities from the water and is the key to eliminating 99% of arsenic particles.

This product can filter 50 gallons of water per day and has a water flow that is 30% higher than what other reverse osmosis products deliver.

This filtration system wastes less water than other products, and maintenance is very easy. All you have to do is change two separate filter cartridges every six and 18 months.

The compact and lightweight design is a plus since you can install the filter under your sink, or hide it in a kitchen cabinet.

3. Springwell Lead & Cyst Removal System

Heavy metal particles can end up in your drinking water if there are rock layers rich in metal in your area or mining companies that rely on acid solutions to extract heavy metals from ores. These pollutants can seep into the ground and contaminate local groundwater reserves.

Lead is more common than other heavy metal contaminants because old plumbing pipes contain this metal. Water that is acidic can cause old plumbing systems to erode and release lead particles.

Lead can be difficult to remove from water because some of these particles will dissolve in your drinking water and evade most filtering systems. High levels of lead in your drinking water are particularly worrisome because this contaminant can cause a wide range of health problems, including high blood pressure in adults and seizures in children.

We recommend this whole house filtration system because it removes lead and cysts. It’s one of the best solutions for getting rid of lead in your drinking water because it can remove soluble lead.

Soluble lead is difficult to remove because these particles will get through most mechanical filtration systems. You might not be aware of the presence of soluble lead in your water since it has no taste and smell.

This filtration system removes soluble lead through a chemical reaction. The filter creates ionic bonds with soluble lead particles to catch them and remove them from your water.

You will also find a 0.5-micron filter that catches lead particles and other contaminants like cysts that cause waterborne diseases. This filtration system can remove 99.95% of lead, which is sufficient to see lead levels drop well below dangerous levels.

You can also use this filtration system to remove chlorine and chloramine, two chemicals often used by local water treatment plants to disinfect water. However, these chemicals aren’t always completely removed from the water when it exits treatment plants.

There is a convenient LED feature that lets you know when it’s time to change the filter, and you can opt for a UV light add-on that removes more bacteria from your water.

Pre-Purchase Considerations

There are a few important things to consider before choosing a well water filtration system.


We recommend sending a sample of your well water to a state-certified lab. You will get a detailed report that will help you assess water quality and give you an idea of the kind of contaminants your filtration system should target.

Some contaminants like sulfur and heavy metals are easy to identify because of their taste and smell, but other dangerous particles are impossible to detect until you have your water tested.

Hard Water

Hard water can be an issue because it causes hard mineral deposits to form inside of your appliances and plumbing systems. Most filtration systems target other contaminants, and even though they can lower mineral levels in your water, they might not be sufficient to address hard water.

Look for a water conditioner or water softener system if you have hard water.

Size of Your Household

Installing a well water filtration system can slow down your water flow as water goes through different filtration stages. It’s important to take the size of your household into consideration when picking a water filter.

Opt for a water filter with a large storage tank and high GPH capacity if you have a large household.

Type of Filtration System

A whole-house filtration system makes sense if you use well water and need to address an issue like the presence of contaminants or a serious problem with taste and smell.

If there aren’t any issues with your water that would affect your plumbing system and appliances, you should consider a countertop or under sink filtration system. These products are easy to install and will improve the quality of the water you use for drinking and cooking.

These types of temporary filtration products are ideal if you don’t want to make any kind of permanent modifications to your plumbing system.

The right well water filtration system depends on the quality of your water and the presence of any contaminants in your area. We recommend having your well water tested to get a better idea of risks and choose a filtration system adapted to your needs.

How Does Well Water Get Contaminated?

Understanding how well water can become contaminated will help you assess your risks. You should know that contaminants can come from a number of sources:

  • Nearby farms can contaminate local groundwater reserves through the use of fertilizers, or through animal waste seeping into the ground.
  • A local oil and gas production facility can contaminate groundwater if a leak occurs.
  • Paper mills and other industries that use chemicals can contaminate water reserves if they don’t properly dispose of dangerous chemicals.
  • Contamination can happen if you have a damaged sewer line on your property.
  • Failing to properly store pool chemicals and other dangerous substances can result in contamination.
  • Contamination can come from natural sources, like a layer of soil that is rich in fluoride or metal.
  • Bacteria naturally grows in wells due to the humid environment.
  • Floods, rain, and water runoffs can cause contaminants to travel from one area to another.

Bacteria, viruses, and parasites are contaminants that typically come from animal waste and sewage. These microorganisms can cause gastrointestinal infections and other health problems.

Fertilizers are another common source of contamination. Organic compounds like nitrate and nitrite can seep into groundwater reserves if a nearby farm uses fertilizers. These contaminants are particularly harmful since they affect the blood’s ability to carry oxygen.

A number of chemicals can end up in your well water. Rain can cause pesticides to seep into the ground, a local factory could dump solvents or petroleum products in a nearby lake and contaminate groundwater, and pharmaceuticals could end up in your groundwater reserve if there is an issue with the local water filtration plant.

An old plumbing or waste disposal system on your property can also be problematic. Old plumbing pipes can contaminate your drinking water with lead, and an outdated waste disposal system can cause sewage leaks on your property.

Common Signs of Contaminated Well Water

Even though installing a well water filter system reduces risks of contamination, it’s still important to know how to recognize the most common signs of contaminated well water. Here are some signs to watch out for:

  • There is a sudden change in the taste, smell, or appearance of your well water.
  • You can see sediments or a brown tint in your water.
  • Your well water looks cloudy or yellow.
  • You notice a chemical or unpleasant smell.
  • Heavy metals, chemicals, and sewage can cause a change in how your water tastes.

Health issues are another sign that your well water could be contaminated. Symptoms will typically affect different members of your household, and neighbors who drink water from the same groundwater reserve could share some of these symptoms.

Diarrhea and other gastrointestinal issues are common signs of waterborne illnesses, but there are other symptoms you should be aware of:

  • Stomach cramp and pain
  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Dehydration
  • Respiratory symptoms
  • Ear and eye problems
  • Skin conditions

Learn more about well water contamination and filtration by visiting filters our Guides section.