Well Water VS City Water: Benefits and Harms Discussed

Last updated on June 13th, 2021 at 09:12 am

According to EPA, some 13 million households use well water. It is a large number, and private well owners are distributed across the US. The rest of the population use city water to meet their water needs. One question that always comes in the mind of everyone concerned about the quality of their drinking water is which one is better?

In this article, we are going to discuss both sources of water. We will highlight them through the pros and cons of each source of water, so you can decide for yourself which one is better for you.

Well Water

well water system for a house

Well water in a home means that all the water needs of that property are meant though a well. Wells are drilled in the ground, and the water inside the aquifer is accessed; the water is then supplied to your home with the help of a pressure pump.

Let’s look at the pros and cons of using well water.

Pros

No Water Bill – As wells are private property, you do not get any water bill for using water from well. You can use it as much as you want (please don’t waste the water). If you are using a private septic system, you won’t have to pay for it. You get to save a lot of money on water bills.

Loaded with Minerals and Nutrients – Well water is high in nutrients and healthy minerals as compared to city water. The water coming out of the aquifer is clean and fresh as compared to runoff and surface water. Well water has a better taste because it contains all the minerals which city water lacks, and people with well water often complain less about the taste of water.

Not affected by Natural Disasters – Natural disasters like floods, earthquakes, and storms can disrupt the supply of city water. For private well owners, these events do not interrupt the water supply. The maximum they would need to do is to provide an alternative power source, and their well will start pumping water again.

Increase in Value of Property – It has been seen that the houses with a well are sold at higher prices. It is linked with no water billing and cheap availability of a precious resource like water.

Cons

No Electricity, no Water – What happens with the people using well water during blackout? They don’t get to use water unless they have an alternative source of powering up the water pump and pressurized tank. Though it is highly unlikely that you get to experience load shedding for a prolonged time without a natural disaster or an occasional malfunctioning of infrastructure, however, make sure that you have a generator to power up pressure pump and pressure tank.

Hassle of Maintaining Water Quality – Private wells are to be maintained by the owners themselves. EPA does provide guidelines in getting the water quality tested and offers information about the latest technology but it does not regulate the water. You need to ensure that you get the water tested after regular intervals. It is your responsibility to ensure that water quality is safe for drinking purposes. Everything related to the well is your headache. If you want to do any repair, additional drilling, solve pressure problems, you will have to do yourself and pay from your pocket.

Contamination –While water is healthy and loaded with minerals, it can also be contaminated from various harmful substances. Fertilizers, chemicals, waste materials from animals, bacteria, pesticides, radiation, and heavy metals can contaminate water and disturb the quality of drinking water. Your water may also be impacted due to the human activates around the drilling area. Geological changes can also impact the quality of water. See this guide to remove iron, manganese, sulfur & coliform from well water.

Hard Water – As well water comes from underground; it will contain a high percentage of calcium and magnesium in it. The reason is that water is an excellent solvent, and it dissolves these minerals in soils. You would need to install a water softener to get rid of the hard water problem and ensure that your plumbing, appliances, and crockery remains safe.

City Water

how does a city water system work

People who do not have a well in their homes use city water to meet the daily water needs for drinking, cooking, washing, and other purposes. City water is the most popular source of water in the country. There are only a few areas in the whole country where the city water supply is not available.

Pros

Strict Check of Quality of Water – EPA regulates city water and maintains a strong check on the quality of city water. It ensures that it is fit and healthy for drinking. You don’t need to get your water tested. It is the responsibility of the city government.  EPA makes sure that when the water leaves the municipal plant, it is healthy, and all the contaminants are removed from it. Despite all the efforts from authorities, the aging infrastructure, plumbing lines in your home may add some impurities and smells in your water.

24/7, 365 days Availability – City water is available around the clock and throughout the year. If there is load shedding or any problem, it is the responsibility of the city government to ensure that you keep on getting an uninterrupted supply of water at your homes.

Taste and Smell – Unless the authorities add chlorine in water, city water has a decent and regular taste and smell. A constant taste and smell help in building a water drinking routine.

Cons

Less fresh than Well water – As city water is collected from streams and runoff sources, it is less fresh than well water. The chances of it getting polluted due to contact with other water sources and air are more. City water is put through extensive and various stages of filtration, it often smells and tastes like chlorine.

Costly – As compared to well water, city water is more expensive. We understand that one time cost of drilling a well and periodic maintenance is high, but you are not paying anything monthly. If you compare the city water and well water while keeping the usage the same, you will find out that city water users are being charged a lot more.

No Payments: No Water – If you don’t make monthly payments on time, the city’s management can cut off your water supply. Well water owners don’t have to face this dilemma as they keep on getting water without having to pay anything.

Contamination – Despite the claims of municipal and city authorities, city water is still contaminated. Since it is collected from open streams and runoff sources, any impurity in these sources can cause large-scale contamination, and the whole city’s health can be at risk.

FAQ

Which is the best water filter for city water?

Maintaining the quality of city water is the local government’s responsibility. However, the aging infrastructure and plumbing of your house can impart various impurities into the water. Therefore, you need a water filter to ensure that the water you are drinking is pure and healthy. Before buying a water filter for city water, you need to get your water tested. Once you have the water quality report in your hand, you will only be able to decide which water filter is best for you. From a holistic perspective, a 7-stage reverse osmosis water filtration machine is best and removes all the contaminants from the water.

Which water filter is best for well water?

For well water users, getting water tested is more important than city water users. EPA suggests that all private well owners must get their water tested annually. Once you have the report in your hand, only then can you conclude which water filter is best. For overall protection, Aquasana’s well water filter is an excellent choice.

Which is cheaper; well water or city water?

Well water is cheaper in the long run. Installing a well on your property may cause you way more than getting city water, but you won’t have to pay monthly bills and wait for days or even weeks to get water supplied at your home. Well water needs additional equipment like water softener, water filters, and other well equipment, but it is still worth it and results in long-run saving.

Which is healthy; well water or city water?

Both city water and well water are generally safe to consume. However, issues can happen from time to time, and you need to deal with them by installing water filters, softeners, and pressure boosters (for well water only).

Conclusion: Which one is better, and what’s the most Pragmatic Approach?

The city water vs. well water debate is a long one, and there can be no winner in it. What you need to do is to adopt a pragmatic and safe approach to your drinking water. Either you use city water or well water, make sure you install a high-quality water filtration system at your home, so you drink safe and healthy water.

The best way to choose the appropriate filter is to get your water tested, once you have the results in your hand, select a filter that can filter the contaminants in the report. Make sure that you do install a re-mineralization stage with a reverse osmosis filter, so you get all the healthy minerals and nutrients in your water. You may also need a water softener with city water or well water if you are getting hard water at your home.

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