Sand filters are usually part of large and complex multi-stage treatment systems. They must be cleaned frequently and often need several backwashes a day to remain effective.
Other forms of media filtration include pressure filter systems and biofiltration, which uses microorganisms and biodegradation, either in aerobic or anaerobic conditions. Media filters can use ranges of organic and inorganic materials to purify water to the right quality for aquaculture, irrigation, or the swimming pool. They can also remove pollutants from urban runoff in stormwater management. In many cases, the limited lifespan of the filter medium is a major cost factor.
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