Common Questions

Sand is a rather dry subject (no puns intended), but we hope this section informs and equips you so that you can make the right decisions on selecting and purchasing the right type of sand for your personal, industrial, or commercial application.

What is NSF/ANSI 61 Certification?

Certification to NSF/ANSI 61 ensures that our filtration sand meets the regulatory requirements for the U.S. and Canada, and it can often meet or fulfill the testing requirements for many other countries as well. Our filtration sand is certified to be safe to use in filtration systems for drinking water.

What is Sand?

It's silica! To be more specific sand is a silica substance often mixed with rocks and other granules. 

What is Kinetic Sand? 

This is “toy sand” that acts like a wet sand. This is a mixture of 98% sand and 2% silicone oil. The name itself is a registered trademark.

What's the Difference Between Commercial and Industrial Sand?

Commercial sand tends to be a little more forgiving than Industrial sand. Commercial sand can be a little less pure and is often used in applications such as play sand, roofing gravel, asphalt sand and so forth.  

Sand for industrial usage tends to be more pure and comes from a more controlled preparation phase. Industrial sand is particularly applicable for the removal of heavy rust, epoxy paints, concrete, mill scale rust and paint from steel surfaces of structural members and gauge materials. Industrial sand also tends to serve other very specific purposes such as geothermal drilling, wastewater filtration, foundry casting and so forth. In these instances, the sand must have a high purity level so that it offers a high degree of performance, stability, and strength.

Does Sand Come in Different Sizes?


Yes sand does come in different sizes. You will need to know what type of application(s) you have in order to select the correct size of sand.

How to Select the Right Type of Sand

Determine your application. Some applications are more forgiving and simply require “sand”. Others may have very high requirements and demand a high performance degree from sand (i.e. industrial sand that needs to offer high particle filtration). Generally, you should come up with a list of primary and secondary requirements that you wish the sand product to take care of. Work with companies that have dealt with your types of requirements and they will help you determine what type, purity, size, and so forth you will need.

Determine how much time you will need the sand for. If you require sand for industrial or commercial applications, you will be using sand as a medium that like all other substances will slowly degrade over time. You will need to figure out how frequently your silica sand has to be replaced and should talk to the sand manufacturer about the best possible option for your needs.

Determine volume and timing. Sand is quite heavy and rather bulky. You will want to consider how much space you have for storage, or even if its possible for you to store it.  If you can take advantage of volume discounts, make sure you can take delivery and hold onto it until its needed. High density urban regions may not afford you this luxury, thus it will be important to talk to a company sand “expert” to make sure that you don't get stuck with too much heavy product.

Figure out how to dispose of it. Silica sand that is used for filtration applications may become contaminated.  You will need to figure out how to get rid of product that your municipality may consider contaminated, and/or even toxic. This may require a civil engineering evaluation and should be discussed in depth with your sand application supplier.

How to Purchase the Right Sand

Because sand is a very heavy material, you will have to take into consideration numerous variables. Price for the product, shipping costs of product, exact delivery location and delivery timing schedule, ability to investigate the silica when it arrives and having the option to send it back if you notice something wrong with the material. 

How Can You Make Your Sand Last?

Perhaps the simplest way to make your sand last is to keep it away from the elements.  Storage of silica in a dry, wind-free region is ideal. Just as important, make sure your silica product is kept away from airborne matter that may be absorbed by sand. 

Storing other chemicals, color mediums, etc... may affect your sands composition and performance. Although sand is a chemically non-reactive substrate, you might want to keep it away from other materials so that it doesn't “mix”. 

Why Does Water Passing Through a Sand Filter Have a Different Color? 


Sometimes a color and/or sludge-like discharge coming through a sand filtration mechanism may be a sign that there are either impurities or some sort of iron bacteria that are altering your water. You will probably need to get an engineer involved in further investigating this. 

What is Osmosis and Reverse Osmosis?

Osmosis simply means molecules moving from a higher concentration to a lower concentration through some sort of medium (such as sand / silica). Reverse Osmosis is the “reverse” process in which a hydrostatic pressure is put on this matter, forcing it to pass through a medium. Both of these processes can be used for filtration which the sand (silica) is used as a medium.

How Do You Dispose of Sand?

This will heavily depend upon what your sand was used for. Always check with your municipality on their procedure of sand and other product disposal. Typically sand is chemically inert, and shouldn't be too difficult to remove. However, it is important to contact your city/town or waste collection agency and discuss this further with them. 

Industrial and commercial sands can collect lots of chemical and physical residue and should be disposed of properly. If you are purchasing sand for commercial or industrial purpose, make sure you talk to your sales representative about the entire life-cycle of the product, including its disposal.

Alternatives to Sand

For many applications sand is your best bet. There is nothing better in a children's sand box like sand (and children!). However, considering your commercial/industrial/personal needs, you may find other alternative options that can offer a different performance and different results. 

There are other nature made filtration mediums (such as coal, green byproducts, etc) as well as man made filtration mediums (polymers, gels, nets, etc) which can offer similar results for your industrial and commercial needs. We encourage you to research everything in detail to make sure you are making the best solution.