Water filtration is probably the greatest area of usage for basket strainers. Pipeline strainers remove sand, gravel, etc., from lakes, streams, and wells which might damage or clog equipment. Liquid strainers filter leaves, insects, feathers, etc. from cooling tower water where the system is open to the atmosphere. They strain out hair and lint from large swimming pools before the water passes to a filter.

Basket strainers are an important part of desalinization equipment where they take out dirt, or other unwanted matter from the water before it is treated for salt removal. Spent waste water from industrial use is frequently passed through a basket strainer to take out material which should not go into a sewer or waterway.

Basket strainers can be used as a first stage filter to remove the large debris and followed by a filter bag housing or cartridge type filter to remove smaller particles of contamination. Not only do liquid strainers keep water clean, they also protect pumps and other equipment from damage. Industrial strainers play an important part in many industries that need clean water and parts.