How do I know which filter is right for my pool? There are 3 types of filters: Cartridge, Sand, and Diatomaceous Earth (DE). These filters pass water through their media so that dirt and algae particles are collected there and clean water is passed back into your pool. Cartridge filters have a fiber cartridge that collects the debris. The filter must be opened and the cartridge hosed off and cleaned. These cartridges need to be changed several times over the life of the filter. Cartridge filters may only be right for the smallest of above ground pools and/or in situations and locations where backwash water may be an environmental issue. Sand media filters collect the dirt particles in the sand and DE media filters collect the dirt particles in the DE. The dirt collected in the media is backwashed out of the filter through the waste line. Sand filters trap particles 50 microns in size. DE filters trap particles 3-5 microns in size. DE filters need to have DE added every time you backwash. This extra step is worth it. The best filters are the DE filters since the media is very fine and the smallest particles of dirt and algae are collected easily. There are DE filters available in all sizes for both above ground and in-ground pools.