Guide to Poultry Water Filtration Methods and Equipment

  • General information about water filtration

  • Types of water filters

  • Water filtration equipment

For Questions Call 1-800-884-0560

Scroll down to read about water filtration methods and equipment.

General Information about water filtration

Water filters are gauged by the particle size the filters are designed to remove or trap.

The gauge is most often in two measurements, Micron or Mesh.

Micron is used in almost all applications related to poultry water filtration.  Mesh was and is more specific to bag filtration, however micron is also common in rating bag filter efficiency.

An example of micron to mesh comparison is: 53 micron = 270 mesh, 150 micron = 100 mesh.

A further comparison to micron size is helpful in selecting the filter in a particular application.

Here is a simplified way to understand the size of micron measurement

A single grain of table salt is approximately "100" micron

The human hair average diameter is "50 to 70" micron

A white blood cell is "25" micron

Talcum powder is "10" micron

Red Blood cell is "8" micron

Bacteria is "2" micron

Filter Guide for Poultry Water

   We have sold water filters to poultry operations since 1995.  Our experience and interaction with the owners / managers of the farms shows an upward trend in volume of sales of the 50 micron filter versus the 20 micron filter.  In the late 90's we sold 20 micron filters to almost everyone.  Since we are filter people, not poultry growers, we didn't question the decision of the buyer to select a 20 micron filter.  However, once we started visiting poultry farms and seeing the systems for drinking water we realized the 20 micron is doing a great job, but the 50 micron will accomplish the same filter requirements(keep your nipple waterers working with no leakers) AND have a longer life. ( For those farms using nipple water systems.)

Types of water filters

   String wound filters (We make this type of filter)

The first string wound filter manufactured around 1945.

The key to this type of filter is the wind pattern.  It must be precise to achieve the micron removal desired.

This type of filter we manufacture and our wind patterns are precise with a different pattern for each different micron.  Our micron range is 1/2, 1, 3, 5, 10, 20, 25, 30, 50, 75 and 100.

All our media for poultry water filters is FDA approved Polypropylene.

    Pleated filters (polyester and cellulose)

Pleated filters come in two media types, polyester(preferred) and cellulose paper (not recommended by us.)

Pleated initially was introduced as a lesser costed version to string wound filters, and in some instances it is.

However in certain conditions pleated filters do not offer the service life of string wound filters.  Service life for pleated filters varies based on the number of pleats around the circumference of the filter, more pleats more life, also more pleats more cost to you.

Polyester vs. cellulose, always choose polyester.  Why?  Cellulose is a paper product and can grow bacteria once it is introduced on the filter.  Bacteria will grow as it feeds on the cellulose as a source of food.  Polyester is not a source of food for bacteria.

Bag filters

Bag filters have also been around for many years, almost entirely in the industrial sector.

Several years ago we introduced bag filtration to poultry growers.  We have steadily sold more of these water filter housings than any other piece of water filter equipment.  The selling point is long service life of the filter bags and each filter bag housing can easily handle up to four poultry houses when installed in the water equipment room.

The housings are all stainless steel with 2" inlet / outlets.  It only takes about 2 to 3 minutes to change a filter. Each bag filter has approximately 4.5 square feet of surface filter area, capable of maximum 180 GPM flow.

The bag filters come in various micron ratings.  The most popular for poultry are 50 micron followed by 25 micron, 75 micron is also used especially in the summer months when algae is present in lake water.


Backwash multi-media tank filters

Backwash filters are custom made and can be configured to each poultry house operation based on the water quality desired. There are many advantages to multi-media but there are also dis-advantages. What I found was not in the equipment but in the configuration of the system as installed. I will list the advantages and disadvantages I have experienced in units I have sold and also units I have serviced that were sold by others.


  1. Can be customized by using a variety of medias.  Microns attainable are 5 micron to 20 micron.

  2. Low operating cost.  Cost of water to backwash unit and a fraction of electricity.

  3. Long life. Media should last forever.  Equipment has manufacturer warranty, 5 years for head and 10 years for tanks.

  4. Can be self installed.


  1. High Purchase Cost, a large system for a four house poultry operation can cost $6000 

  2. Backwash timer is electrically driven(110v), power disruptions can affect backwash times just like unplugging a clock.

  3. Timer heads are made of brass, low Ph conditions will corrode the brass.  Consider injecting the Ph conditioner after the multi-media system.

  4. Improper installation can result in gravel in tank carried up to the control head, lodging in-between the piston and seals resulting in breaking the spacers and tearing the seals.  When this happens, the piston can become stuck in the last operation and most of the time it is not in the position of "filtered water to the houses".  There is a fall back on these systems.  When in backwash position, the system will still let water the houses, although it is unfiltered water. We repair and rebuild Fleck Control heads.

  5. Improper control head piston installed.  In some instances we have rebuilt heads that have a "No Hard Water Bypass Piston".  What "No Hard Water Bypass Piston" means is "during backwash no water will be supplied to your houses.  Compare this to a standard piston which will allow unfiltered water to be supplied to your houses during backwash.  You will always have water available with a standard piston.

  6. Improper installation: Control head configured as a water softener.  Control heads are configured at the factory to perform as a water softener.  This configuration results in approximately two hours of dead time your system is off line(supplying unfiltered water to the houses).  We reconfigure the heads so your only on bypass mode for 35 minutes plus we extend your backwash time for a more thorough flushing of your media bed.

Well Water Filters for Iron and Hydrogen Sulfide in Poultry House Operations

  • Similar to a multi-media system in function

  • Uses same type of control head (Fleck) as multi-media filter systems.

  • Uses specialized media type for removal of dissolved iron and hydrogen sulfide

  • Capacity: 30 ppm iron, 10 ppm hydrogen sulfide, 15 ppm manganese

  • Requires backwash

  • Uses no chemicals

  • pH range: 5.8 to 10.5

  • Filter range: 2 to 3 micon

  • Flow rates:  24" diameter tank 114 GPM minimum to 228 GPM maximum, 30" diameter tank 174 GPM minimum to 348  GPM maximum 

  • Might require pre-filter system if heavy sediment is present in water. 

Non Chlorine Water Disinfection Systems for Poultry House Operations

    Ultra Violet Light

  • 60 GPM per unit

  • Effective in killing bacteria without chemicals

  • Farmer safe, no chlorine gas

  • Non corrosive to equipment

  • Alarms: System light bulb out,  Light output below minimum requirement for protection

  • Hour meter: Monitor bulb life to schedule replacements.

  • Stainless steel housing


    Water Filter Equipment for Poultry House Operations

​      We sell all the equipment listed here.

    All equipment is not listed on our web site, but is available for sale.

      Call 1-800-884-0560

     Plastic water filter housings, uses 2.5" x 9.75" string wound filters, 3/4" NPT inlet/outlet

  • 10" and 20" clear bowl

  • 10" and 20" solid bowl


     Big Blue Plastic water filter housings, uses 4.5" x 10" string wound filters, 1" NPT inlet/outlet

     Big Blue Plastic water filter housings, uses 4.5" x 20" string wound filters, 1" NPT inlet/outlet

     Multi-filter Cartridge Filter Housings for filtering all water in your poultry house operations from one location

  • Stainless steel and PVC 

  • For 10", 20" or 30" tall string wound filters

  • 90 GPM using six 30" string wound filters


    Bag Filter Housings for filtering all water in your poultry house operations from one location.

  • Stainless steel construction

  • Single and double length

  • 180 GPM per bag maximum

  • 150 PSI max pressure


Multi-Media Water Filter Systems for Poultry Houses

  • Tank Sizes: 18" diameter, 24" diameter, 30" diameter, 36" diameter

  • Fleck Control Valves, the industry leader

  • Fleck valves are re-buildable

  • Eight medias to customize to your needs