Pumice as a Filtration Media

As a filtration media, pumice is used as an aggressively-filtering alternative to sand (and other filtration media) for the treatment of municipal and industrial effluents. The low specific gravity and high porosity of pumice make it ideal for these applications and treatment processes. The utility of pumice in filtration processes extends to odor control, filtering soils, and purifying beverages and oils as well.

Pumice Filtration Media Advantages

Pumice has several advantages over other filtration media such as expanded clay, anthracite, sand, and sintered pfa. Comparison tests done between deep bed sand and pumice filters for treating water found pumice to be superior in turbidity removal performance and head loss.

The performance boost from pumice media comes from the trap-and-hold action on the rough, pitted surface of each pumice particle, complementing the filtration taking place between the particles. Pumice is ideal for the capture and retention of cyanobacterial toxins and other impurities found in fouled drinking water.

Improved filtration rates
Less energy consumption
Less intensive backwash requirements
Better filtration bed expansion
Larger effective surface area
Low-cost filter refurbishment


A pair of research studies examine the performance of pumice as a granular media to replace or supplement common sand media in agriculture irrigation filtration media tank systems such as those used to protect drip and micro-irrigation systems from fine particle and organic solids.

arrow The Performance of Pumice as a Filter Bed Material Under Rapid Filtration Conditions by Burhanettin Farizoglu, Bulent Keskinler. Published in Filtration and Separation, April 2003.

arrow A Comparison Study on the Removal of Suspended Solids from Irrigation Water with Pumice and Sand–Gravel Media Filters in the Laboratory Scale by Yasemin Kuslu & Ustun Sahin, Ataturk University Faculty of Agriculture, Turkey (2013). Published in Desalination and Water Treatment.

Pumice as an Odor Control Media

Pumice is used in biological scrubbers that remove the nasty stuff from wastewater and industrial emission gases—H2S, mercaptans, and VOCs.

Increased effective surface area
Improved removal rates
Improved media lifespan (10 or more years)
Lightweight nature of pumice means reduced footprint
Rapid biomass growth

Pumice Beverage Filtration

Purification of the ingredients and even the finished beverage is essential to flavor consistency and quality. The same characteristics that make pumice a superior filtration media for water also hold true for beverages and other liquids. Pumice is non-toxic, completely inert and extremely versatile—it can be processed consistently to a wide range of specs.

Filtering Soils

For constructed ecology projects—wastewater, storm water, mine drainage, or agricultural runoff—adding pumice to the soil can greatly enhance the native soil’s hydric functionality (anaerobic, or oxygen-deficient conditions) to naturally clean contaminated waste or runoff water before it enters steams, lakes and water tables.

Enduring. When engineering a filtration-specific soil, a primary consideration is endurance. Mixing in short-lived compost to enhance filtration and drainage isn’t going to get it done. Pumice does not break down in soil. Pumice does not float out over time and blow away—once blended in, pumice remains an integral and functioning cog in the soil matrix.

Large-Scale Economics. Non-organic soil amendment options are plentiful and economical for small-scale engineered soil projects, but for expansive biofiltration constructs, buying soil amendments by the bag is a budget-buster. The amendment needs to roll onto the job by the belly-dumped ton. That means a naturally-calcined amendment like mine-grade pumice.

Water Filtration Media linked technical data sheet #10 |
linked technical data sheet #7 |
linked technical data sheet #4
Beverages / Oils Filtration linked technical data sheet #10 |
linked technical data sheet #7 |
linked technical data sheet #4
Odor Control Media linked technical data sheet 1x3/4 |
linked technical data sheet 3/4 x 3/8 |
linked technical data sheet 3/4 x 5/16 |
linked technical data sheet 5/16C
Filtering Soils linked technical data sheet 1/8 Fines MN |
linked technical data sheet 3/8 Fines MN |
linked technical data sheet 3/8 x #8 MN
NOTE: The grades selected above are typical and representative. Please contact us regarding your product or process for help to determine the ideal grade or grade blend.


pumice store logo

arrow If you’d like to sample a pumice grade (or several), we have a nice selection of stock pumice grades available to purchase in small quantities via our Pumice Products Store.

arrow If you’d like to run tests and trials using our pumice in your commercial product formulation or industrial process, please contact us at salesteam@hesspumice.com with your request. We look forward to answering your questions, helping you select the best grade for your process, or helping you explore the fit of pumice for your needs. PLEASE include your name, your company or organization, pertinent project details, ship-to address, and preferred contact information in the sample request email.


We know pumice. We’ll answer your questions, help determine the ideal grade for your needs, get you sample grades for testing, or help figure out the logistics for getting pumice to you—whatever’s needed.

R&D: (208) 766-4777 x111

Sales: (208) 766-4777

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