Well Water vs. City Water: What You Need To Know About Health, Safety and Cost of Both

Maybe you’ve never owned a well before but are considering switching over to one as your source of household water. You may be a bit confused about the basic differences between municipal water and well water and are curious about the pros and cons of each. If so, you’ve come to the right place.

As the go-to expert well water company serving Woodbridge, Bethany, Milford, and all of Connecticut, we here at Greco & Haines install and fix wells, outfit homeowners with water softeners and filtration systems, and conduct routine maintenance and water-quality testing. We also consider education an important part of our job, and that is why we’re going to discuss the differences between city water and well water to help you decide which is best for your home.

The Water Basics

Short of using a rain barrel or purifying your river water, you’re likely going to be relying on a well or your municipality for your home water supply. City water, which may be drawn from groundwater or surface sources, is treated for quality and routed to your home by your town. Well owners rely on their private wells to tap underground aquifers and pump water out of them.

If you’ve relied on city water up until now, you may be surprised to learn how widespread well ownership is in the United States. About 15 million households utilize their private wells rather than the city because those who use city water must pay a regular water bill for the service. If you have a private well, you don’t have that tab to shell out. Naturally, there are costs for its original installation and its ongoing upkeep and monitoring.

While wells may be the only realistic options for homeowners in very rural areas, many households that could otherwise use city water still opt for well water. There are advantages and disadvantages to each source — let’s explore them.

Water Quality & Treatment

Well water is often “cleaner” than city water because of its ultimate source in aquifers; city water drawn from surface sources is more vulnerable to contamination from runoff and flooding. In Connecticut, however, most public water supplies are groundwater-based.

Municipalities treat their water supply with chemicals such as chlorine, chloramines, and fluoride to mitigate against waterborne pathogens. Chlorination is also used in some cases to improve the taste and odor. Those chemicals can have undesirable effects, such as disinfection byproducts (DPBs) stemming from the reaction of chlorine with organic compounds in the water; at high levels, DPBs may cause health problems. In Connecticut, cities using surface water filter it to reduce the amount of organic matter that could react with chlorine and thus control levels of DPBs.

Although local health districts and departments in Connecticut have to approve the location and installation of private wells, they aren’t otherwise regulated by local or state authorities or the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). That means it’s up to the well owner to monitor water quality and ensure the household’s using a safe and clean supply.

It’s worth noting that well water, sourced as it is from aquifers, is generally speaking more buffered from certain kinds of events, such as floods, that may contaminate surface water sources. In some such cases, city water may be shut off or safe to drink only after boiling, while well water remains unaffected.

City and Well Water Maintenance

Part of a water bill is going to the maintenance of the town water system; it’s the city’s responsibility to tackle upkeep and repairs to it. By contrast, the responsibility of keeping a private well system up and running falls on the well owner.

Another potential private well factor is the pump’s reliance on electricity. When a power outage happens, you won’t be able to rely on your pump to deliver well water to the house. However, there are emergency backup measures you can take. A manual hand pump supplied by Greco & Haines will allow you to continue delivering your well water supply while your electric pump is out of commission.

Expert Well Services & Well Pump Repair from Greco & Haines

Ultimately, many homeowners end up convinced by the numerous benefits of a well water system. They’re attracted to the lower cost of a private well, saying goodbye to those pesky monthly water bills, and the ability to control their own water supply.

With expert, time-tested service from Greco & Haines, the appeal of a private well only grows. We can help you install the perfect unit for your location and your needs. We deliver routine maintenance and emergency well repairs and implement comprehensive regular testing to make sure your water supply is safe. Our full home water filtration systems can address common issues such as excessively hard or acidic water.

If you already own one, we can suggest well water pump upgrades that will boost its efficiency and likely save you money in the long-term. Our constant water pressure systems provide the sort of water pressure many users associate with a municipal supply. And to top it all off, we provide these well water services in Woodbridge, Orange, Shelton and all over CT seven days a week and 365 days a year.

If you’re still curious about the pros and cons of well water or want to inquire about switching over to a private well, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us here on our website or by calling us at 203-735-9308, 203-777-2256 or toll free from any CT area code at 1-802-922-2958.