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Well Water vs. City Water: Pros and Cons You Should Know
As one of the necessities of life, having access to clean water is essential for both drinking purposes and other uses in the home. Though well water and city water can both be safe to use, each has its own pros and cons that may impact your overall water quality.
Although well water contains minerals and nutrients, it requires more maintenance and filtration than city water. Sourcing your water from the city requires less maintenance, but it has been filtered with chemicals and has a low mineral content.
Since private wells are independent of city systems, private well owners have more control over their water supply and will have a lower monthly water bill. People who rely on city water systems, on the other hand, will have less control over their water supply, and they will likely require an at-home filtering process to remove chemical additives often found in city water.
To help you determine which water source is best for you, we’ve compiled this guide exploring the differences between well water and city water. Continue reading below for more.
Why does Water Quality Matter?
Water quality is important since it affects every aspect of your health, from your skin to your digestion. Our body needs water to function properly, and by drinking quality, mineralized water, our bodies absorb more nutrients to function better. On the other hand, poor-quality water may contain harmful contaminants like viruses, bacteria, and heavy metals that can lead to disease and low energy levels.
Related Article: How to Purify Well Water For Drinking: The Many Ways to Do It
What is the difference between Well Water and City Water?
Well water is a type of groundwater that you extract from a well that’s been drilled into the ground in underground aquifers. Water is then brought to the surface using a water pump or water bucket.
You’ll commonly find private wells in rural areas or places where city water isn’t available. Often – but not always – well water may contain naturally occurring contaminants like minerals, bacteria, and sediments that require filtration to remove. Wells often require regular testing, maintenance, and oversight to ensure it is safe to drink. It is very common for private well owners to find dead animals and contamination in their water supply after natural disasters.
Also, one more point to note about private wells. Using private wells eliminates your monthly water bills since you are supplying yourself with water.
City water, also referred to as municipal water, is water that’s treated and provided by a municipality or city. This water supply is connected to the home’s plumbing system and is usually treated to remove impurities and contaminants like viruses, bacteria, and heavy metals before it is delivered to your house.
Relying on city water removes the responsibility of maintaining your drinking water supply because the need for cleaning and treatment is outsourced to the city. However, this also means you do not have control over the chemical treatment the water undergoes. Also, if the city’s water supply is cut off or contaminated due to a natural disaster, you will not have a source of water.
Still, by using a public water source, you save lots of time over the course of the year.
Well Water vs. City Water Pros and Cons
Sourcing your water from a City System or a Private Well can result in two very unique experiences. Below, we will go into several advantages and disadvantages of each.
Related Article: Pros and Cons of Well Water: Everything You Need to Know
Advantages of Well Water
The following are the advantages of well water:
- Natural Minerals: Well water often contains an abundance of natural minerals like calcium and magnesium. These minerals have the potential to boost your immune system, improve bone health, and improve hair and skin health.
- No Harsh Chemicals Added: Unlike city water, well water isn’t treated with added chemicals like fluoride or chlorine. This is a huge pro if you’re concerned about the potential dangers of these chemicals.
- Cost-Effective: While there may be initial costs associated with installing a well, once your well is in place, it becomes a cost-effective way for you to obtain clean, fresh water for your house.
- Increases Property Value: Homes with private wells tend to have higher property values than homes without. This means the value of your assets and net worth would increase if you have a private well on your home.
- Off-grid Water Supply: Private wells source water from an underground aquifer, meaning its independent of other water systems. So if the city water gets contaminated or cut off, it will not have an effect on the private well.
Disadvantages of Well Water
These are some of the disadvantages of well water:
- Contaminants: Well water may contain different kinds of harmful substances like bacteria, pesticides, and heavy metals. It is also common for private well owners to find dead animals in their well. If your well isn’t properly maintained and regularly tested, there’s a good chance your well water will have these contaminants.
- Hard Water: Well water can be hard. This means it may have excessive levels of minerals. Although minerals in moderate amounts are good for you, excess minerals in the water may damage your appliances, and it can be harsh on skin and hair. Making hard water soft requires a sediment filter to remove small particles from the water.
- Installation and Maintenance: Installing and maintaining a well can be expensive and time-consuming. This requires you to dedicate several days a quarter to cleaning the well and testing the water for contaminants.
Advantages of City Water
Here are some of the advantages of using city water:
- Safe to Drink: City water is already treated to remove harmful viruses and bacteria. This makes it safe to use for cooking and drinking.
- Consistent Quality: Since city water is treated and continuously monitored, it typically has a consistent quality and is less likely to be contaminated than well water.
- Convenience: City water is readily available in most areas and doesn’t require any special equipment to use for maintenance or collection.
Disadvantages of City Water
The following are the drawbacks of using city water:
- Added Chemicals: City water is typically treated with special chemicals like chlorine and fluoride. Although these chemicals are meant to keep the water clean, they may have negative health effects in high doses. Moreover, the treatment process may strip the water of beneficial minerals and nutrients.
- Cost: Of course, the cost of city water varies depending on where you live. But in some areas, it’s far more expensive than well water.
- Environmental Impact: The treatment and distribution of city water can have a big impact on the environment. It involves the use of energy and the production of waste.
Which is healthier, City Water or Well Water?
The question of which type of water is healthier has long been a topic of debate. There are arguments to be made for both sides. But the truth is that both well water and city water can be safe to drink if you properly treat and filter them. However, well water is more likely to contain microorganisms harmful to your health, while city water can contain high levels of chemicals.
Ultimately, the decision about which type of water to drink will come down to your personal preference and the quality of the water in your area.
How Should You filter Well Water and City Water?
If you have well water, it’s crucial to have it tested regularly to make sure it’s safe to drink. You should also invest in a water filtration system that’s designed to work specifically for well water. A few of the most common types of well water filters include activated carbon filters, UV filters, and reverse osmosis systems.
On the other hand, if you have city water, it’s generally safe to drink. But it won’t hurt to invest in a water filtration system to remove any chemicals or contaminants that may still be present. You may opt to use distillation systems, reverse osmosis systems, or activated carbon filters.
Related Articles: UV Water Filters Pros and Cons: Everything You Need to Know
Related Articles: Pros and Cons of Reverse Osmosis: What You Need to Know
To conclude, both city water and well water have their advantages and disadvantages. So, the decision to use one or the other largely depends on your individual needs and situation.
If you have access to a reliable well and want to avoid chlorine and other chemicals you may find in city water, then well water may be for you. But if you live in an area with limited access to water sources, city water may be more practical.
Whether you choose well water or city water, it’s crucial to take the necessary steps to filter and purify your water. After all, investing in a high-quality filtration system can help remove harmful contaminants from your water and provide you with safe and clean water for cooking, cleaning, drinking, and other uses.
If you decide to use a private well, we strongly suggest connecting the well to a whole-house water filter system. With this, you can rely on clean, mineralized well water for your potable water needs.
If you found this article helpful, be sure to check out our other blog posts on homesteading, prepping, and sustainable living.
Related Article: Water Softener vs. Water Filter: Which do You Need?
Can you run out of well water?
It's possible to run out of well water. This may happen if there is a drought or other environmental factor that reduces the amount of groundwater available to you.
What are the health benefits of drinking Well Water?
Drinking well water can have numerous health benefits, such as improved digestion, better hydration, and improved immune function. But it's important to make sure that the well water is properly filtered to remove any contaminants.
How much does it cost to install a well?
The cost of installing a well may vary depending on several factors, like how deep the well is, where the well will be located, and the type of rocks and soil in the area. On average, the cost of drilling a well can range from $3,500 to $15,000.
Well Water vs. City Water Cost?
The difference in cost of well water and city water can vary greatly depending on a number of factors, such as the location and the quality of the water. In general, however, well water is more affordable than city water. But it's important to keep in mind the cost of installing a well, which can be as high as $15,000.
Well water vs. city water for skin?
The difference between city water and well water for skin may vary depending on the quality of the water. But in general, well water is softer and less harsh on the skin than city water. This is because city water may contain high levels of chlorine and various other chemicals.
Well water vs. city water for plants?
The difference between well water and city water for plants varies depending on the quality of the water. But as a general rule, well water is better for plants since it doesn't have chemicals and other contaminants that may harm plant growth.
Well water vs. city water for hair?
City water is often treated using chlorine and other chemicals designed to get rid of bacteria and viruses. While this makes the water safer to drink, these chemicals can be harsh on your hair.
More specifically, chlorine can remove the beneficial oils from your hair and cause your hair to become dry and brittle. What's more, city water may contain high levels of minerals and metals that may contribute to hair damage over time.
To counteract the damage that water may cause to your hair, it's worth looking into water filtration systems. Using a filter can help you remove harmful chemicals and minerals from your water. Moreover, using a deep conditioning treatment once or twice a week can help keep your hair moisturized and strong – no matter what type of water you're using.
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