Filter Media

20 July 2016

Everyone wants a crystal clear pool and while sanitising goes a long way towards keeping the water clean and healthy, there is another half to the equation: filtering. But it’s not just a simple matter of installing the equipment. The type of media chosen for the filter can make a huge difference to the quality of the water and the amount of maintenance required.

How to choose the filter media that's best for you

Sand and glass pearls are among the main options of filter media available on the market. Both have benefits and drawbacks to be considered.


Sand remains the most popular choice on the market for its durability and simplicity in maintenance. Sand is dependable and delivers predictable results. Solid particles become lodged into the sand bed. As more dirt is captured in the sand bed, it becomes capable of filtering finer and finer particulate, up to a point.

In order for the filter to be effective, each grain of sand must be roughly the same size, generally 0.4 to 0.6 millimeters. The most common sand filter media is 20-grade silica, which creates a mesh so tight it can sieve particles as small as 20 microns.

The drawbacks are that over time, sand can clump, calcify and create channels where water slips through unfiltered. And in commercial settings, it needs to be backwashed frequently — at least once a week for large-volume public pools.

It’s generally recommended that the sand be replaced every five to eight years, as the grains eventually breakdown.

Glass Pearls

Glass Pearls are one of the most effective pool filter medias available today. Furthermore, glass extends the operation times and reduces the frequency of backwashing, saving you time and water (up to 20 per cent less water is used in the backwashing process). Glass pearls produce greater in depth water filtration and is capable of filtering water down to three microns.

The perfectly spherical shape of the glass pearls means they are able to filter out smaller particles.

The Waterco glass pearl media is manufactured from virgin glass and has been independently laboratory tested for contaminants. It has a smooth spherical shape for safe handling. Waterco’s Glass Pearl Media offers finer filtration and less maintenance.

While glass is more expensive than sand to buy, it does not need to be changed as often.

Explore More Stories

A guide to reduce water level and stress during rain.
Cover Up.
Be water smart this summer with Swimart’s top 6 tips Reduce water during dry spells and drought conditions