Irrespective of where you live, water is a basic necessity and a very important part of our day to day lives. From the earliest of days, depending on the availability of underground water, most houses have their own underground wells to meet their water needs.
With underground wells, you get an instant access to water, whether it is for drinking, bathing, or other household activities, free of cost. All you need is a filtration system installed with the main supply line from the underground well and you’ll be hooked up for all of your needs.
However, with such systems, things can get complicated when it comes to the maintenance and upkeep of the filtration system and the availability of water. Your underground well may even dry up after a certain period of time which then requires further drilling into the ground.
This leads to a number of complications, so, alternatively you may think of switching to city water which usually comes pre-processed prior to reaching your home. If you’re wondering about how to get city water instead of well water, you’ve come to the right place.
Here’s a detailed insight into everything you need to know about sourcing your water from the city, the pros and cons, the quality of city water compared to well water and so much more.
How To Get City Water Instead Of Well?
Getting city water is a simple process and there is no rocket science behind it, yes you read that correctly! However, there are a few things that you need to know before making the switch. Here’s a detailed insight into this.
Getting the requirements:
For getting city water, you need to get in touch with your local municipal department and inquire about the requirements for getting city water. The requirements vary from state to state, which is why you cannot rely on information on the web and is crucial to ask the concerned department.
Applying for a connection:
If you meet all of the requirements, you need to apply for a connection to get your house hooked up to the city water supply line. Your service provider will find a water line available in your area and begin connecting it to your house.
Applying for a connection simply requires you to call your local water regulatory authority. Furthermore, most states offer financing for their water connections which are directly billed to the current utility bills.
The financing can be done for up to 6 years and can be extended after the allotted time period.
Keep in mind, the initial connection and setting up might cost you a significant amount of money upfront.
What Is Healthier Well Water Or City Water?
When switching from well water to city water, you may have certain doubts and questions like whether well water or city water is healthier. If you have the same doubts, don’t worry. By the time you’re done reading this article, all of your doubts will be cleared.
Unfortunately, when it comes to whether well water is healthier than city water or vice versa, there is no definitive answer. A number of factors determine how healthy your water is. Ideally, it is dependent on the number of contaminations in the water.
According to users of well water, they believe that it is generally healthier than city water. It can be due to the fact that they believe well water is comparatively less exposed to contaminants since it is basically underground water. However, despite being sourced directly from the underground, it is simply not true.
Well water, in fact, has certain contaminants. Moreover, since it is not treated in any way, it tastes comparatively better than city water which becomes the ground for people to consider it healthier than city water.
Now on the other hand, city water is treated with chlorine by the process of chlorination. Chlorine is added to the water, which kills diseases causing pathogens and bacteria, thus making it healthier compared to well water, which is not processed prior to reaching your house.
Unfortunately, due to the addition of chlorine, in some cases, the taste of the water changes. But there is a workaround for this. You simply need to add a filtration system in your house for using city water for drinking purposes.
There are a lot of filtration systems like countertop water filters, and whole house water filtration systems. Depending on your needs, you can opt for any mode of filtration.
To sum up, city water may be healthier for you since it is processed and filtered prior to reaching your homes.
For best results and to address your safety concerns, it is crucial that you get your water tested. Conducting proper tests will ensure it is free from harmful contaminants that would otherwise lead to health complications.
What Is Safer Well Water Or City Water?
In terms of safety, city water may be safer compared to well water. You should know that there are water regulatory authorities that keep a proper check and balance on the water that reaches your homes.
Since you’re paying monthly bills the city takes sole responsibility of providing safe water to your home. Ideally, chlorine and chloramines are added to your water both of which serve as disinfectant chemicals.
The doses are limited and are only intended for removing harmful contaminants from the water. The end product (post filtration) still contains low doses of the chemical disinfectants, but they are entirely safe for your health and well-being.
Moreover, the U.S Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) also requires the treatment facilities (pre-treatment) to ensure the chlorine levels are under the safe limits.
According to EPA, the post-treatment water should not have more than 4mg/L of chlorine, so you’re ensured a completely safe supply of water.
Due to the presence of these regulatory bodies and constant check on the water quality, you do not have to worry about any contamination or excess level of chlorine in your water that people are usually concerned about.
However, as mentioned earlier, if you’re still concerned about the taste of the water, you can remove the chlorine and chloramine compounds from your water by simply using a countertop water filtration system.
Such water filtration systems require little to no maintenance. Furthermore, some filters may even add extra minerals to your water thus making it even more safe and beneficial for your health.
On the contrary, with well water does not go such rigorous filtration processes compared to how well city water is processed. Moreover, despite the availability of fresh water right from your own property (wells located on your property) it is still unreliable.
For instance, extreme weather conditions can affect your water supply from wells. A more pressing matter with well water is the fact that it can contain pollutants, harmful chemicals, radiation, and even sewage in the worst cases. Moreover, wells can dry up over time thus leaving you looking for alternatives.
So, to sum up, city water is not only safer, but also readily available for your use.
Is City Water The Same As Well Water?
While city water and well water both have their pros and cons, the primary difference between the two is that city water is processed and then supplied to your house by the city. Whereas, on the other hand, well water comes from privately owned wells and is a source of private water supply on your own property.
Now, the other difference between the two is the level of contamination. Well water comes directly from underground aquifers and is in its natural form with no treatment processes performed. Due to this, it may have a larger number of contaminations, but it also has more minerals.
Compared to this, city water is pre-treated and goes through multiple filtration systems like chlorination where chlorine is added to water for the removal of contaminants. It has a smaller number of contaminants and at the same time the number of minerals is also reduced.
To sum up, city water is not the same as well water in terms of the contaminations, and their mineral content. City water has relatively less contamination and is processed prior to reaching your households, so it is comparatively a safer option.
Is Well Water Harder Than City Water?
Simply put, yes, well water is harder than city water. Now, technically speaking, well water contains more minerals than city water. It has a higher composition of magnesium and calcium which is accumulated in it since the water comes directly from the ground rather than specified reservoirs.
Since well water is stored in the ground for longer periods of time, magnesium and calcium particles are introduced in large quantities. Due to the excess of these minerals in the water, it turns it into hard water.
How Much It Costs To Switch From Well Water To City Water?
When inquiring about how to get city water instead of well, you should also inquire about the overall costs.
Switching from well water to city water does not have a fixed cost. There are multiple factors involved in it. For starters, it depends on where you’re located at, your distance from the main water line, and the quoted installation cost.
However, if you’re looking for a ballpark figure, it would cost you approximately $1500 – $5000.
Well Water Vs. City Water: Pros And Cons
Before you go ahead and make the switch, here is an insight into the pros and cons of well water vs city water to help you make an informed decision.
Pros of Well Water
No water bill
With a well water supply, there are no monthly bills involved unlike city water where you have to pay a regular bill depending on your water consumption. Wells are privately owned, which is why you do not have to worry about any monthly charges.
Filled with minerals
Well water, apart from being fresh, it is filled with a lot of minerals. The nutrient profile of well water is also better than city water as it contains a high concentration of nutrients. Due to this, well water also tastes better.
Rarely affected by natural disasters
The biggest advantage of well waters is the fact that it is readily available. In cases like floods, city water lines can get damaged which disrupts the flow of water. On the contrary, natural disasters like floods do not affect your water supply.
Cons Of Well Water
With a well water supply, you need to have an electric motor to draw the water from the well. Apart from using an electric motor or pump, you can also physically draw the water, but it can get tiring and is a complicated process.
So, ultimately with well water you need a constant supply of electricity to power the electric motor. Similarly, there is also the risk of faults in the electric water. In that case, your well water supply comes to a halt. So, both electricity and a proper functional electric pump/motor is required for well water.
You’re solely responsible for the periodic maintenance and water quality testing
With a well water supply there is no regulatory body involved and instead you’re the one responsible for the maintenance and ensuring the quality of the water. Wells require additional drilling, repairs, and periodic maintenance after a certain period of time, and all of that will be on you.
Similarly, conducting water tests and making sure the water is up to the mark is also your sole responsibility, which may be a nuisance for some people.
Can get contaminated pretty quickly
Well water is exposed to harmful chemical pollutants, sewage, and radiation. Apart from this, if animals or leaves fall into the water, it can also lead to an increase in the contaminants.
Furthermore, if you have a septic close in the vicinity, it can also pollute the water; thus, compromising the overall quality, texture, and taste of your well water. This further adds to the routine tests that you are required to conduct on your well water, which complicates things.
Pros Of Using City Water
You’re free from maintenance and worrying about the quality of the water
The biggest advantage of city water is the fact that the entire responsibility of maintaining the quality of the water and any associated maintenance is on the water regulatory body.
You’re not bound or responsible for conducting any tests since the water regulatory body is responsible for conducting the tests and ensuring a safe and filtered supply of water to your homes.
If you still have to double check, you can simply ask for a report from your water regulatory body to verify that you’re getting a quality water supply to your home.
City water may Remineralizer your water
Since city water is properly processed and filtered, your water regulatory body may even remineralize it with healthy and essential nutrients for your well-being.
This process is usually carried out since some of the healthy minerals are removed after the filtration process required to remove the contaminants from the water.
Cons Of Using City Water
May or may not be fresh as compared to well water
City water comes from two sources. Either it is surface water or run-off. This means, it may have a number of contaminations that require undergoing thorough chemical treatment processes like chlorination.
Due to this, it directly affects the taste and the freshness of the water. So compared to well water, your city water may not be as fresh.
Monthly recurring charges
Although with city water, you do not have to worry about electricity costs or maintenance costs, you still have to pay bills for the water supply. Since the city is doing the hectic process of filtration and treatments, you have to pay for the service.
Little to no control over the water
With city water, the city is responsible for the supply of water. It decides whether you should or should not get water depending on whether you miss a monthly bill. So, you’re basically dependent on the city.
In addition to this, there may be times where certain emergency treatments are required, so in that case, your supply may be cut off entirely to get the treatments done. It is unavoidable and you will simply have to face the circumstances.
Subject to getting affected by natural disasters
Since city water supply uses water lines across the city, it may get blocked entirely under natural disasters like floods. It could lead to damage in the water supply lines and may lead to significant contamination in the water.
In that case, until the water lines are restored, and the quality of the water is thoroughly tested, you will not get access to the water.