How much does it Cost to Treat Well Water?

Well water is free to use, but you must invest in a quality water treatment system to improve its quality. The cost to treat well water depends on water quality. Some wells may require complex treatment systems, while some may want a simple whole house filter.

In this article, we will answer a common question most private well owners ask before digging a new well at their property; how much does it cost to treat well water?

How much does it Cost to Treat Well Water?

A well water treatment system typically consists of a sediment filter, a water softener, a whole house water filter, and a RO filter (if the water quality is extremely poor).

A water test is the most critical factor in deciding which filter you need and how much you will spend on water treatment system. The test identifies the contaminants and their concentration in well water. It may save you from buying an expensive filter or may make you buy one to improve water quality.

Well Water Treatment Costs

Water Quality Test $20 – $300
Sediment Filter $40 – $300
Water Softener (salt-based) $600 – $3000
Water Softener (salt free) $150 – $1500
Iron Filter $600 – $2500
Acid Neutralizer $500 – $3000
Reverse Osmosis Filter $200 – $2000
Whole House Water Filter $200 – $5000
Shock Chlorination $50 – $500

Let’s see how you can save some money without compromising on quality.

Water Quality Test

A water quality test is critical for installing or upgrading water treatment system. You can buy a test strip as low as 20 dollars, but it will only test for a few contaminants without 100% accuracy.

On the flip side, you can get your water tested from a certified laboratory for 100% accurate results. Picking a test strip over a lab test is cheap, but it may miss some contaminants, which can make a huge difference in water quality.

Pre-Sediment Filter

A sediment filter captures large particles in well water. It is often installed before a water softener or whole house water filter to extend their cartridge life and improve performance. Some people also install a sediment filter before a pressure tank to prevent large sediment from reaching the tank. Depending on various factors, a typical sediment filter costs $40-$300.

Pre-sediment filters for well water often have a micron rating from 30 to 500 microns. You must select the sediment filter’s micron rating after conducting a water test.

The cost varies depending on the sediment rating and maximum flow rate. Other factors that influence a sediment filter’s cost are build quality, cartridge size, flushing mechanism (programmed or manual), cartridge life, filter size, and housing material. Moreover, filters with WQA and NSF/ANSI certification are costly.

The cost-to-benefit ratio of a sediment filter manifests itself in the shape of the longer cartridge life of other filters in your home. It also prevents sediment from entering the plumbing system.

iSpring WSP-50 Reusable Whole House Spin Down Sediment Water Filter


iSpring’s WSP-50 is an excellent choice for homes with well water. The filter comes with different micron ratings (50,100, 200, 500, and 1000) and delivers a maximum flow rate of 20 gallons per minute.

The filter can remove all sorts of suspended particles, provided they are not smaller than its mesh holes. The cartridge lasts for 2-3 years as it can be washed and reused. Moreover, you can also flush the cartridge via a flush valve at the bottom. Its transparent housing makes maintenance easier.

iSpring WSP50ARB Spin Down Sediment Water Filter with Digital Module

So you don’t like manual flushing? Don’t worry. iSpring’s WSP50ARB spin-down sediment filter is best for you. It has a digital module that lets you set the flushing routine, or you can set it to metered flushing.

The filter is costly compared to manual sediment filters. It has two variants (50 and 100 microns). The cartridge lasts for 12 months. Its 25 GPM flow rate is best for medium-sized homes with 4-5 bathrooms.

Rusco Pwfss15 Spin Down Sediment Filter

Rusco’s Pwfss15 sediment filter is best for large homes and community housing using well water. It can filter water at 50 gallons per minute with a 100-micron cartridge. Moreover, it can also handle high incoming water pressure up to 150 PSI.

The filter life is 9-12 months, but you can extend it if you wash the screen time to time. Overall, it is the best filter at this price for large homes.

Water Softener (Salt-Based)

A water softener is often a necessity to treat well water. More than 85% of water in the US is hard. Since the local government treats city water, private well owners don’t have this luxury. They are responsible for maintaining water quality themselves.

A salt-based water softener costs $600 – $3000 depending on its ability to remove hardness. Most softeners have a control head that controls salt setting and regeneration schedule. Other factors include build quality, system size, warranty, and grain capacity.

The cost-to-benefit ratio of installing a water softener is impressive. It protects your costly appliances, plumbing fixtures, skin, and hair. 

AFWFIlters Whole House Water Softener System

This unit has a 64,000-grain capacity. It can make extremely hard water (up to 180 mg/L) soft and make it fit for everyday use. The unit uses 2 cubic foot high capacity resin for maximum efficiency.

It has a 15 GPM flow rate, making it fit for homes with 2-3 bathrooms.

Water Softener (Salt-free)

A salt-free water softener is generally known as a water conditioner because it changes how water interacts with other surfaces. It doesn’t add or remove anything from the water like a salt-based water softener.

Salt-free water softeners have the luxury of no salt replacement, brine discharge, and regeneration. However, it isn’t as effective as a salt-based water softener.

A salt-free water softener can be installed with a water tank or for individual appliances. Depending on the size and maximum working capacity, the price varies from $150 to $1500. These systems are easier to install than salt-based softeners.

The cost-to-benefit ratio is not as impressive as a salt-based water softener. However, it is the only choice for many people as some states have banned salt-based softeners due to environmental concerns.

iSpring ED2000 Whole House Water Descaler

It is best for small homes and running a few appliances on well water. For example, you can install it on the plumbing lines leading to the water heater, washing machine, or dishwasher.

The unit is designed for extremely hard water areas. So, you don’t need to worry about its hardness-removing capacity. It is one of the most powerful salt-free water conditioners on the market.

AO Smith Whole House Salt-Free Water Softener

It is best for homeowners who don’t like frequent maintenance. It doesn’t require electricity or filter replacement to work. Instead, it uses your home’s water flow to make water soft. The filter can work for 600,000 gallons or six years.  

Iron Filter

An iron filter removes iron, manganese, and hydrogen sulfide from well water. A dedicated iron filter can remove up to 15 PPM iron, sulfur up to 12 PPM, and manganese up to 4 PPM.

Iron filters cost between $600 to $2500, depending on filtration power, size, flow rate, build quality, and warranty. One way to save some bucks while buying an iron filter is to test your well water for iron. This test will reveal the iron concentration in your water. You don’t need a costly dedicated iron filter if iron levels are not above 6 PPM.

Some water softeners can remove iron below 6 PPM, and some whole house filters can remove iron up to 3 PPM. So, choose wisely.

The cost-to-benefit ratio of installing a dedicated iron filter is huge. Your water tastes and smells better; there is no scale on appliances, bathtubs, toilets, showers, and faucets.

Durawater Air Injection Iron Eater Filter

It can remove 12 PPM iron, 10 PPM sulfur, and 2 PPM manganese. The filter uses an air stream to oxidize contaminants. The oxidized contaminants are trapped in the filtration media, and clean water comes out. The filtration media is flushed to regenerate it.

The filter is controlled with a control head for filtration settings and backwash cycles. Overall, it is best for private wells with high iron contamination. Please note that this system only removes soluble iron.

Acid Neutralizer

Most wells don’t require an acid neutralizer. It is installed with wells that produce acidic water. Acid neutralizers are costly compared to conventional filters, but they are the only solution to neutralize acidic well water.

The cost varies between $500 to $3000 depending on the size of the unit and how much acidity it can remove. Some acid neutralizers are a part of multi-stage water filtration systems that are even more expensive.

The cost-to-benefit ratio is excellent. Acidic water is bad for your health, plumbing, and appliances. It can corrode your costly appliances. The only alternative to installing an acid neutralizer is digging a new well or converting to city water.

AFWFilters Acid Neutralizer Calcite pH Filter for Well Water, 1.5 Cubic Foot

The filter uses calcite media to treat well water with an acidity level as low as 5.5. You can control the system using the control head. It needs periodic replacement, discharge arrangement, and regeneration time.

Reverse Osmosis Filter

A reverse osmosis filter is used for treating well water for drinking purposes. After installing a RO filter, you won’t need bottled water or any other potable water filter.

RO filters cost $200 to $2000, depending on size and filtration capabilities. You can find an under-sink filter with 5 filtration stages or one with 11 filtration stages. Countertop RO dispensers are also available for small homes and people using city water.

A typical RO filter consists of a sediment filter, two carbon filters, an RO membrane, and one post-carbon filter for taste improvement. Some models also feature a UV purifier and a remineralization stage.

The cost-to-benefit ratio is amazing. You don’t need to buy bottled water anymore. Not only do you get healthy drinking water, but you also save a lot of plastic bottles going to landfills. RO filters waste 1-3 gallons of water for every gallon they filter. So, you may want to consider this if you are using city water due to higher water bills.

APEC 5-Stage Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water Filter System

This is best for large homes as it can filter up to 50 gallons of water daily. The unit is WQA certified and removes various contaminants from water.

The system features a sediment filter, two carbon filters, an RO membrane, and a post-carbon filter. The system is easy to install and comes with a pressurized tank to store filtered water. Overall, it is an amazing RO filter to get healthy drinking water.

Express Water UV RO 11-Stage Filter

We recommend this filter to treat pathogenic water. The filter comes with a UV purifier to eliminate bacteria, viruses, and protozoa in water.

Other filtration stages are sediment filter, two carbon filters, RO filter, remineralization stage, and a post-filtration carbon stage. The system includes a 4-gallon storage tank and can filter 100 gallons daily.

SimPure Y7 UV Countertop Reverse Osmosis Water Filter

Some kitchens don’t have enough space to install a filter under the sink. You can use a countertop RV filter to remove all the contaminants from the well water. This system is also best for homes using city water, RVs and renters.

You just need to plug in the system. It doesn’t need drilling or hanging brackets.

Whole House Water Filter

A whole house water filter is usually installed after a sediment filter, water softener, or acid neutralizer, but before the plumbing system.

Many well owners prefer installing a whole house system because it can filter your entire home’s water supply. Moreover, the latest models can be customized based on your needs. In some high-end units, you can add a UV purifier, water softener, iron filter, carbon filter, or even a RO membrane.

A whole house filter can cost between $200 to $5000 depending on what contaminants it can remove, cartridge life, and flow rate.     

SpringWell Whole House Well Water Filter System

SpringWell offers one of the best whole-house water filtration systems. The filter can remove up to 7 PPM iron, 8 PPM hydrogen sulfide, and 1 PPM manganese.

The unit comes with a sediment filter to remove large particles in water. You can select a 12 GPM or 20 GPM variant based on your requirements. It is an air-injection filter and is 100% septic safe.

SpringWell also offers to upgrade the system to add an RO filter, UV purification, and a salt-based water softener.

Aquasana EQ-1000-AST-UV-AMZN Whole House System

It is a costly unit and must be purchased after testing water quality. The system can soften your water and remove sediment, VOCs, bacteria, herbicides, and pesticides but not TDS.

The filter lasts for 10 years with fair usage but requires periodic cartridge replacement. It is a powerful filtration unit but has a slow flow rate (7 GPM). User reviews suggest that you can increase the flow rate of your use 1-inch pipes instead of ¾ inch.

Express Water 3 Stage Whole House Filtration System


This unit is best for small homes as it can generate a maximum of 15 GPM flow rate. The three stages include a sediment filter, a KDF filter, and an ACB filter.

It can treat water contaminated with sediment, iron, manganese, lead, and VOCs. The filter life is 6-9 months, with a total filtration capacity of 100,000 gallons.

Shock Chlorination

Shock chlorination is the process of disinfecting well water using household bleach. The project can cost $50 to $500 depending on the well depth, diameter, and amount of water in your well.

You can cut the cost by doing it yourself.

The cost-to-benefit ratio for shock chlorination is outstanding. Chlorinating a water well may save you from investing in a UV or RO filter. You’ll need a carbon filter to remove chlorine taste & smell from water.

Well Water Filters Maintenance Costs

All water filters need periodic replacement. It is important to consider maintenance costs before buying a well water filter. A costly filter has fewer maintenance needs because it has durable cartridges that last longer. On the flip side, cheap filters need frequent cartridge replacement because their cartridges don’t last long.

Moreover, water quality and usage also impact cartridge replacement frequency. Sometimes adding a pre-sediment filter increases filter life, reducing maintenance costs.

Final Words

You may think that treating well water is costly. However, the costs are less than city water bills or water bottles. Compare your costs with someone using city water or bottled drinking water, and you’ll know that well water costs less in the long run.

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