cartridge filter or sand with swg


May 1, 2010

We are having an ig 34x16 kidney installed next week and are almost 100% sold on the swg. Our location will result in any backwash/overflow running into our yard which is rather heavily treed with a variety of coniferous and deciduous. WE are thinking swg due to convenience and water feel.

Are the trees going to cause problems with the cartridge filter due to needle drop? Is backwashing of salt water going to cause a lot of trouble if we go with sand? The pool company recommends the cartridge filter due to better performance and low additional cost.



TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
May 7, 2007
Silver Spring, MD
The trees will be fine with the tiny amount of salt in the pool water, unless you live in extremely arid/desert conditions (in which case you wouldn't have trees).

The choice between sand and cartridge depends on your personal preferences. They are both good choices. Sand costs less, is just a little less work, but doesn't filter quite as well (not everyone can tell the difference). Cartridge filters better (again, not everyone can tell the difference) and saves water, but costs a little more and is slightly more work to maintain.


Well-known member
Jun 21, 2008
Central MD
I would think the needles and leaves would be a non issue with the cart filter as most of the trash gets caught in the skimmer basket and never reaches the filter.

I backwash my regular Chlorine pool into the lawn all of the time and have been doing so for years with no noticeable damage anywhere. I'm not totally up on SWG but I think the salt concentration is probably low enough that it wouldn't cause trouble. But if you kill your multi-million dollar 100 year old bonsai on my advice, I'm not liable :)