If you own a private well, there’s a good chance that you need to filter your well water. Heavy metals, nitrates, chemicals, industrial pollutants, hardness minerals, and even bacteria are commonly present in raw well water supplies.
If you’re keen to know the cost of a well water filtration system, we’ve covered everything you need to know in this guide. We’ve shared a breakdown of the costs of the most popular types of filtration systems for well water, and answered your commonly asked questions about buying a well water filter system.
The average cost of a whole house well water filter system is $700-$4,500. The system type, size & capacity, process, manufacturer, and ongoing maintenance affect total cost.
Table of Contents
- 📊 Well Water Filtration Cost: Highlights
- 🚰 Whole House Well Water Filter System Cost
- 🚿 Whole House Well Water Softener Cost
- 📥 Whole House Well Water Acid Neutralizer Cost
- 🆚 Well Water Filtration System Installation Cost: DIY Vs Professional
- 🧰 Well Water Filtration System Maintenance Cost
- 📝 Factors Affecting the Cost of a Well Water Filter
- 🆚 Renting Vs Buying a Water Filter
- 📖 How to Choose a Well Water Filter
- 🧠 Well Water Filter Cost: FAQs
📊 Well Water Filtration Cost: Highlights
We’ll look in detail at the cost of buying a well water filter system later in this guide. First, let’s begin with an overview of the average whole house water filtration system cost:
|System||Upfront System Cost||Installation Cost (Professional)||Media Lifespan||Consumable Costs (Annual)|
|Tank-Based||$2,100 – $3,400||$150 – $2,000+||3 – 10 years||$200+|
|Cartridge-Based||$800 – $3,200||$150 – $2,000+||6-12 months||$100 – $500|
|AIO||$1,200 – $2,500||$150 – $2,000+||6 – 12 years||$150 – $300|
|Chemical Injection||$2,600 – $3,400||$150 – $2,000+||6-12 years||$150 – $250|
|UV Purifier||$600 – $1,300||$150 – $500||1 year||$100 – $300|
|Sediment Filter||$50 – $400||$150 – $300||6-12 months||$50 – $250|
|Reverse Osmosis||$3,500 – $8,000+||$150 – $2,000+||6-12 months (filters)|
2 years (membrane)
|$100 – $500+|
|Water Softeners||$800 - $2,000||$200 – $2,000+||10 years||$100 - $500+|
🚰 Whole House Well Water Filter System Cost
We’ve highlighted the costs of the most popular whole house water filtration systems for well water below.
Tank-based systems use a single tank containing a media bed. When water flows through the media, contaminants become trapped in the tank. Common media for a well water filter are carbon and KDF.
On average, a tank-based filtration system costs $2,100-$3,400. While this system has a higher upfront cost than other whole house systems, the annual maintenance cost is minimal.
Cartridge systems consist of a series of filter cartridges, such as carbon, KDF, and activated alumina filters, that are designed to target a range of common contaminants in well water.
The average upfront cost of a cartridge filter system is $800-$3,200. Most systems cost about $1,200. The number and type of cartridges, and the lifespan of the cartridges, determine the total upfront cost.
Oxidation systems introduce oxygen into water to oxidize iron, manganese, and sulfur. These systems usually have a single tank that contains an oxygen pocket and a media bed, such as birm or manganese greensand.
The average upfront cost of an oxidation system is $1,200-$2,500. Most systems cost about $1,700. Oxidation systems require minimal maintenance and are self-cleaning, so they’re often more expensive than cartridge systems.
Chemical Injection Systems
Chemical injection systems inject chlorine or hydrogen peroxide into water, killing microorganisms and oxidizing minerals like iron and manganese. These systems have main tank and a storage tank, where water is held for long enough for disinfection to take place. Most chemical injection systems also have a media stage to remove oxidized contaminants or the added chlorine.
On average, the upfront cost of a chemical injection system is $2,600-$3,400. The complex design of these systems makes them more expensive than standard cartridge filters.
Looking for a cost-effective unit? Check out the #1 Chemical Injection System for 2022 👈
A UV purification system, or a UV disinfection system, treats water with ultraviolet light, which scrambles the DNA of bacteria, viruses, protozoans, and system. The design of UV water purification systems is simple, consisting of a UV lamp inside a sleeve.
The average upfront cost of a UV purification system is $600-$1,300. Some UV systems require a separate sediment pre-filter to treat turbid water.
👉 More Content: Top 4 UV Water Purifiers Worth Buying in 2022
Sediment filters remove large particles of rust, dust, sand, dirt, and debris from well water. These filters are often included as first stages in a multi-stage whole house filtration system, but they can also be purchased alone as a standalone filtration solution.
Sediment whole house filter systems cost about $60-$150 upfront, depending on the design and lifespan of the filter.
Which sediment filters are worth investing? Here are some of our Tried-and-Tested Sediment Filters for Well Water 👈
Reverse Osmosis Systems
A reverse osmosis filter is the most capable water purification system for well water, removing virtually all drinking water contaminants. RO systems consist of several filters, including an activated carbon filter, a sediment filter, a semi-permeable membrane, and a post-carbon filter.
The upfront cost of a whole house reverse osmosis water purification system is $3,500-$8,000+. This high cost is due to the complex nature of reverse osmosis and the number of filters used, including activated carbon filters and RO membranes.
Note: when treating well water, reverse osmosis systems often require pre-treatment to remove high levels of sediment or hardness minerals, which could damage the membrane. The additional cost of a pre-treatment system ranges from $50-$1,500.
👉 Continue Reading: Top Rated Whole Home Reverse Osmosis Systems of 2022
🚿 Whole House Well Water Softener Cost
A water softener isn’t technically a whole house water filter system as it doesn’t remove common water contaminants. However, such a system is widely used for well water to exchange hardness minerals with sodium ions. Some well water softeners can also remove low levels of iron.
The average upfront cost of a whole house well water softener is $800 – $2,000. This cost depends on the size of the system and its water softening capabilities.
|System Type||Average Cost|
|Single Tank Ion Exchange||$800 - $2,000|
|Dual Tank Ion Exchange||$1,500|
|Salt-free Conditioners||$500 - $2,800|
|Portable Ion Exchange||$150 - $400|
|Electronic/ Magnetic Descalers||$50 - $300|
Looking for great deals? Check out the 6 Best Water Softener Systems for Well Water 👈
📥 Whole House Well Water Acid Neutralizer Cost
Acid neutralizers are systems that boost the pH of acidic well water, usually by adding calcite to water. These systems use a single tank containing a special acid-boosting media. When tap water flows through the tank, the media raises its pH.
On average, an acid neutralizer costs $1,100-$1,600 upfront.
👉 Related Review: The Top Acid Neutralizer Systems of 2022
🆚 Well Water Filtration System Installation Cost: DIY Vs Professional
Many whole home water filtration systems are designed for DIY installation. However, some systems are fairly complex, and not everybody feels confident enough to follow lengthy instructions and cut into their main water line.
The cost of installing a whole house water filter system yourself is $20-$180, depending on the extra tools and supplies you may need to buy for the job. It’s rare for a filtered water system to come with everything you need for installation, so you’ll probably need to buy fittings, flexible plastic tubing, and bypass valves separately.
The cost of hiring a professional to install your whole house water filter is $150-$2,000+. Some professionals charge per hour, while others charge a flat fee for the entire job. Complexity of the installation, demand and competition in your local area, and your state’s cost of living, affect the prices charged by your local plumbers and handymen.
🧰 Well Water Filtration System Maintenance Cost
The cost of maintaining a well water filter system depends on the type of system you own.
Below, we’ve listed the maintenance costs of different types of well water treatment systems.
|System||Annual Maintenance Costs|
|Cartridge-Based||$170 – $340|
|Chemical Injection||$150 – $250|
|AIO||$300 – $450|
|Sediment Filters||$50 – $250|
|Whole Home RO||$120 – $800|
|Water Softeners||$170 – $350|
- Tank-based whole house water filtration systems cost <$60 per year for sediment pre-filtration and around $150 every 5-8 years for media replacements.
- Cartridge-based water filtration systems cost $170-$340 per year for new filter cartridges.
- Chemical injection systems cost $150-$250 per year for chemical top-ups, electricity, and pre-filtration. These systems often contain media that needs to be replaced every 5+ years, costing around $175.
- Oxidation systems cost <$150 per year for electricity and sediment pre-filtration. The birm or manganese greensand media needs replacing every 6-8 years, costing $150-$300 depending on the tank size.
- UV purifiers cost <$100 per year for annual bulb replacements and sleeve replacements every two to three years.
- Sediment filters cost $50-$250 per year for annual or twice-yearly filter cartridge replacements.
- Whole home reverse osmosis systems cost $120-$800 per year for carbon filter, sediment filter, and RO membrane replacements, depending on the frequency of filter replacements required. These systems also waste a lot of water, adding hundreds of dollars to your water bill.
- Water softeners cost $170-$350 per year for salt top-ups, cleaning, and electricity.
- Acid neutralizers cost <$100 per year for calcite top-ups and electricity.
📝 Factors Affecting the Cost of a Well Water Filter
Customers are loyal to certain manufacturers. Well-known names in the water treatment industry often price their products slightly higher than average, knowing that customers will pay their prices.
New manufacturers have to work hard to gain customers’ trust, so they’ll price their products slightly lower than average.
Buying from a new manufacturer is a great way to save $100-$300 on a water filtration system. However, this can be a gamble because you won’t know much about the quality of a system or the long-term customer experience with the brand. If you choose to buy from a new manufacturer, make sure the product has a good warranty and the manufacturer’s claims are backed by third-party testing.
Type of System
The type of whole house system is one of the biggest determining factors for its price. Different systems have different designs, using different materials and technologies to achieve their own unique results.
Generally, systems that have moving parts or require electricity to operate are the most expensive because they’re more complex in design – and often provide more complex filtration.
Even sub-types of a certain system type can vary in price. For instance, a single-cartridge filter costs a fraction of the price of a multi-stage system containing three or more cartridges.
System Size & Capacity
The size and capacity of a whole house system determine how much water it can deliver to your home. The bigger the system, the higher its capacity, the more expensive it’s likely to be.
Most systems come in at least two sizes: a smaller size for homes with 1-3 bathrooms, and a larger size for homes with 4-6 bathrooms.
The good news is that paying an extra $300-$500 for the highest-capacity system isn’t always necessary. You probably don’t need a commercial-grade system for a standard household of 1-4 people.
The more contaminants a filter can remove, the more appealing it is to customers who want to purify their well water. A water filtration system that can remove 50 or more contaminants will naturally cost more than a filter system that can remove less than 10 contaminants.
Don’t get too swept up in how much a filter can remove, however. If your well water testing only detects a handful of contaminants, you don’t need to spend an extra $200-$600 on a system that can remove multitudes of impurities.
The maintenance and upkeep required for a water treatment system affect its upfront and ongoing costs.
Whole house water filtration systems that require minimal-to-no annual maintenance, such as tank-based systems, cost about $300-$800 more upfront than systems that require regular ongoing maintenance, such as cartridge-based systems. However, because tank-based systems don’t require frequent maintenance, they’re significantly cheaper to operate in the long run.
The type of maintenance required affects the ongoing cost. For instance, paying to replace the filters in a reverse osmosis system is more expensive than adding salt to a water softener, because RO filters are much pricier than water softener salt.
If you prefer not to spend a lot of money on maintenance, opt for a system that doesn’t use filter cartridges.
🆚 Renting Vs Buying a Water Filter
Some whole house water treatment systems can be rented for a flat monthly fee. This is especially common with water softeners.
If you can’t afford the upfront cost of a water treatment system, renting may seem like a lucrative option. However, the cost of renting quickly surpasses the cost of buying.
For example, the average water softener costs $800-$2,500, with some of the best-value systems costing about $1,200. The average monthly cost of renting a water softener is $25-$50. If you rented a water softener for $35/month, it would take you just three years to have spent an equal amount on renting as you would on buying the water softener up front.
So, renting a softener or filtration system is only a good idea if you have an urgent short-term need for water treatment. For instance, if you live in an area with very hard water but you’re about to move across the country, you might want to protect your home’s pipes and appliances for the next few months, without having to invest in your own softener.
👉 Learn more about renting vs buying a water softener in this guide.
📖 How to Choose a Well Water Filter
Well water filtration systems are expensive, but often essential. It’s important to choose a whole house water filtration system based on your contaminant removal requirements, rather than choosing the system that sounds best or costs the least.
Testing your water is the best way to determine what well water filter you need. Use a laboratory testing package for well water, like those offered by SimpleLab Tap Score, to get an accurate understanding of what your water contains. You can then look for well water filters that tackle your most problematic contaminants.
🧠 Well Water Filter Cost: FAQs
How much does it cost to get a water filtration system installed?
The cost to get a filtered water system installed is $150-$350, depending on the complexity of the installation process and how long it takes.
For example, whole home reverse osmosis filter systems are expensive to get professionally installed because they need to be hooked up to a drain line and they have multiple parts, including a separate water storage tank. Installing a whole house UV purifier is much cheaper, quicker and easier to install because the system has a small, simple design.
How much does it cost to install a whole house reverse osmosis system?
The cost of installing a whole house reverse osmosis system is about $150 to $400, depending on your local contractors’ prices.
How much is a water treatment system?
A water treatment system is $700-$4,500 to buy upfront and costs $60-$800 per year to maintain. These costs depend on the size and type of whole house filter you buy, the contaminants removed, and the cost of replacement filters and how frequently they’re needed.
Are water treatment systems worth it?
Water treatment systems are worth it for anyone who wants to remove potentially harmful contaminants from their drinking water. Well water isn’t regulated by the EPA or treated by local authorities, so water treatment is often essential to remove dangerously high levels of heavy metals, chemicals, and microorganisms. The upfront cost of a whole house filter might be high, but you can’t put a price on your safety.
What water system is best for well water?
The best water system for well water depends on the contaminants detected by your water testing. If your drinking water contains iron, sulfur, and manganese, air or chemical injection oxidation systems are best. For water with high hardness, water softeners are ideal. For highly contaminated tap water, reverse osmosis systems may offer the peace of mind you’re looking for.
What’s the cheapest well water filter?
Sediment filters often cost less than $200 upfront, so they’re the cheapest drinking water filters that can be used for well water.
How can I save money on a well water filter?
You can save money on a filtered water system by making the most of deals and discounts offered by manufacturers, or waiting until special occasions to buy a system, like Cyber Monday. Make a note of the current cost of a water filter and don’t buy it until the price goes down. You can also make the most of discount codes (we offer plenty here at WaterFilterGuru), which often knock a further 5-15% off the filter price.