Have you ever wondered what could be the reason behind the frequent malfunctioning of your kitchen equipment? Are you concerned about the changes in the appearance of your water?

Presumably, you are facing high sedimentation levels that could explain malfunctioning or water clarity issues that you’re experiencing.

There is no need to worry though, this article will offer you insight into this problem and will help you find the best solution to fight sediments in your water.

You’ll also understand the role and importance of sediment filters in certain multi-stage filter systems.

What are Sediments?

Sediments are solid materials that are naturally broken down by weathering and erosion, then they are moved and deposited into a new location. Sediments are usually removed and transported by fluvial process, by the action of water.

Rust flakes, silt, sand grains, suspended solids, clay particles, remains of plants and animals or any particulate small piece of organic matter that can be transported by water, or by any other fluid flow are all considered sediments.

These sediments form a layer of solid particles on the bed or bottom of a body of liquids, this is how deposition, or in other words sedimentation, is created.

Commonly, all these sediments can be found in every municipal water supply and from there they are transported through the pipes to your own home. And this is the point when fighting sedimentation in your water becomes your challenging problem to solve.

Are Sediments Dangerous?

Sediments are not considered dangerous or harmful to humans, they won’t cause health problems or unpleasant situations like contaminated or hard water do.

Still, high sediment levels in your water can lead to several problems in your everyday life:

  • Aesthetic value: the most concerning and visible sign of sedimentation is the change in the appearance of water as high sediment levels in your water make your beverage less clear.
  • Ice transparency: sedimentation has the same effect on ice cubes made from your tap water, that is, ice cubes will lose transparency and clearness.
  • Home appliances: you will notice a difference in the functioning of your kitchen equipment as well, as the detrimental effect caused by high sedimentation can clog your home appliances and weaken the performance of your equipment.
  • Sediments can also cause blockages in strainers.
  • They can be responsible for the malfunctioning of flow controls and solenoids inside kitchen equipment.

Luckily, modern water filter systems are equipped with filters that target sediments preventing most of the issues caused by suspended solids in your tap water.

Let’s see how these filters work, why they’re important, and why you should invest in one for your home.


What are Sediment Filters?

Filters that remove sediments, just like other water filters, are essential tools in water treatment. These filters act as a sieve against particles being transported by water flow into your home and home equipment.

It is also important to mention that sediment filters do not tackle hard water issues, they do not remove chemicals or harmful substances from water, and they will not make the water smell or taste better. 

They only help reduce the levels of sediments in your water. Filters for sediments are designed to reduce suspended solids, and in this way reduce the occurrence of potential problems caused by the presence of these particles in your water.


Types of Sediment Filters

There are various types of filters that are designed to remove sediments and offer you clearer and cleaner water.

Here are the most common types currently used in water treatment:


Based on their material

Sediment filter cartridges are made from a wide variety of different materials. Among the most common materials used to make these filters, we distinguish:

  • Cotton
  • Wound string or cord
  • Polypropylene
  • Polyester
  • Cellulose
  • Ceramic
  • Glass fibre


Based on the type of the filters

Although, these sediment filters function based on the principle of a sieve, there are some technical differences in the way they reduce sedimentation levels. The most common methods include:


  • Bag filters or surface filters

Bag filters are used predominantly for surface filtration. Surface filters basically trap particles on their surface.

When the surface is filled with sediments, a filter replacement or cleaning of the filter is required.

Innovative modern filters can make it possible to reuse of bag filters, so you will just have to clean the filter and put it back easily. These surface filters being thin, they are recommended if you want to filter similar-sized, smaller particles.


  • Cartridge-type filters or depth filters

Cartridge type filters are used for in-depth filtration. These types of sediment filters trap larger particles on the surface and small-sized particles under the surface down to the centre core.

In contrast with bag filters, cartridge-type filters have a limited surface area, instead these filters have the advantage of depth to store the extracted sediments.


  • Adsorptive filters

Adsorptive filters are becoming more popular lately. They can go both ways, they can be made in pleated and in-depth format as well.

They basically rely on electro kinetic adsorption, which makes it possible to attract and hold negatively charged particles so small that they can easily pass through filters.


Based on the micron rating of the filters

In general, sediment filters are rated by a number called micron. Micron number or micron size refers to the size of the particle that will be trapped by the filter.

If the micron size is smaller, the particle retention capability of the filter will be smaller as well. The standard range of this rating type is 10 microns to 5 microns, and the numbers depend on the size and level of sedimentation in your water supply.

There are two types of micron sizes:


  • Nominal: A nominal 5-micron sized sediment filter will be effective at trapping 85% of particles that are 5 micron or larger than that.
  • Absolute: An absolute 5-micron rating means that the filter will trap 99.9% of particles larger or equal to 5 micron size.

In most cases, a nominal 5 micron sediment filter will do the work efficiently enough. In other specific cases, for example when high grade water is required, the absolute-rated micron filter is recommended in order to perform a more in-depth filtration.


Why are Sediment Filters Important?

These filters have multiple applications in the water filtration industry and most filter systems will include filters designed to tackle sedimentation problems.


  • They are used in almost all multi-stage systems, usually as a pre-filter placed upstream of filters that remove chemicals and other health-related or non-health related contaminants;
  • They are designed to remove sediments that may damage or clog expensive media in the filter system (e.g. to protect the expensive RO membrane in a reverse osmosis system);
  • They are used in combination with UV water filters to remove sediments that can shield bacteria and viruses from the UV light.

Although most people don’t give much thought to the filter cartridge that removes sediments from their tap water, these cartridges are an indispensable element in many filter systems.


What Micron Rating Should Your Sediment Filters Have?

As we’ve mentioned before, 10 microns to 5 is usually the standard number and in general a nominal 5 rated sediment filter will be just fine to trap the particles efficiently.

But taking all the previously mentioned aspects into account, which is the best sediment filter to choose? Well, let’s see some further advice on this matter:


  • Depending on the quality of your water source and the levels of sediments in your water supply, a 5 or larger than 5 micron rated filter will be a good choice.
  • Most people are unsure about the particle size, and you’re probably are dealing with the same problem as well. In this case the best way to find the perfect solution for your water sedimentation problems is to experiment. Try different types of sediment filters and cartridges until you find the one you will be perfectly satisfied with.
  • The surface area of the filter is also an essential aspect, since the larger areas of these filters provide more retaining capacity and in the same time less resistance to flow.
  • Long service life is also an important aspect when choosing a sediment filter, just as the possibility to reuse them.


Final Thoughts

Sediment filtration should be a standard in water treatment, but usually signs of high levels of sedimentation in water supplies show up slowly.

Also, understanding this matter requires some research and experiment and finding the perfect filter often takes some time and patience.

The best sediment filter is the one that provides clean water with the least possible restriction in flow and has the longest service life.

Multi-stage filters like reverse osmosis systems come standard with sediment filters, other systems (e.g. UV filters) don’t and you’ll need to add a sediment pre-filter yourself.

All the information provided above can offer you a better understanding of this matter and can help you find the best sediment filtration system for the specific needs of your tap water.


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