This study was conducted to develop a heating process for coating hydrated iron oxide on the sand surface to utilise the adsorbent properties of the coating and the filtration properties of the sand. BET and scanning electron microscope (SEM) analyses were used to investigate the surface properties of the coated layer. An energy dispersive X-ray (EDAX) technique of analysis was used for characterising metal adsorption sites on the iron-coated sand surface. The results indicated that the iron-coated sand had more micropores and higher specific surface area because of the attachment of iron oxide. Copper ions could penetrate into the micropores and mesopores of iron oxide on sand surface, and the regeneration of the iron-coated sand could be achieved by soaking with pH=3.0 acid solution. Besides, the results of EDAX analysis showed that copper ions were chemisorbed on the surface of iron-coated sand. Results of the study developed an innovative technology for coating iron oxide on sand surface for the treatment of heavy metal in water.