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City Water or Well Water: Which is Better?

Most people have two options when it comes to getting water into their home: city water or well water. Each option comes with benefits and drawbacks that a homeowner must weigh carefully when deciding between them.

Related Blog: Why Does My Well Water Smell Like Rotten Eggs

City Water

What we call city water comes from rivers, lakes or reservoirs. The water is often polluted but typically undergoes a complex cleaning process before it gets to homes. Not all city water meets drinking water standards; water quality differs a lot from community to community. Purified city water contains chemicals like fluoride.

Pros

City water's main upside is that under normal circumstances, the homeowner does not have to treat their own water. City water is treated with chlorine, which eliminates disease-causing bacteria.

Homeowners who use city water benefit from the fact that maintenance of pipes and other infrastructure falls on the city.

City water usually has a higher pressure when compared to well water.

You can access city water in most communities, outside of very rural areas.

Cons

The big downside of city water is that it comes with a monthly water bill. That water bill can be high depending on the community. The high cost reflects the fact that water is becoming more expensive to treat because of increased pollution.

The addition of chlorine to city water can be a downside for some people who find its taste and odor unpleasant.

 

Well Water

Well water comes from a private well on the homeowner's property. Making a well involves drilling into the ground to access an aquifer. To use well water, the homeowner must install a pump to get water out of the aquifer and to their house.  

Pros

After the homeowner pays to have their well drilled, the associated costs tend to be much lower than the cost of city water. The difference is significant even when the cost of electricity to run the pump is factored in.

Well water is often — but not always — protected from contamination making purification steps unnecessary.

Well water tends to taste fresher than city water because it has not undergone the same extensive purification process.

Well water is under the homeowner's control; they can have access to as much of it as they want whenever they want it. City water is under the control of the city, which means that the city can turn it off.

Cons

Homeowners with private wells have to handle matters like water safety themselves.

Well water's availability depends on electricity to run the pump. An electrical outage means no water.

Wells can run dry and when they do, it will be the homeowner's responsibility since it is on private property.

Repairs to well infrastructure vary in cost but some can be very expensive.

The runoff after storms can be a cause of pollution in well water. Other potential well water contaminants can come from farms and septic systems as well as dead animals.  The EPA reports that nutrient pollution is also an issue.

 

City Water and Well Water Quality

Whether a home has city water or well water, minerals can pose a problem for homeowners. Water with calcium and magnesium dissolved in it is called hard water. Mineral buildup from hard water damages appliances and plumbing, and may also have negative effects on health. Hard water affects skin health causing acne, eczema and other disorders. A water softener will help by removing the extra calcium and magnesium ions. Similarly, a water filtration system helps to increase water quality by purifying the water coming into the home regardless of its source.

If you want clean, healthy water contact us today. We can help you to find solutions for your water purification and hard water issues.

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