Water is one of the greatest necessities that humans, animals, and other living things need. Because of this, there is always the search for the safest and cleanest water providers in every village and city. Aside from the natural places where water can be taken such as springs and lakes, humans invented water wells as a way for them to get quality water and even made some adjustments in order for it to be safe to consume.
There are many residents in the United States who are using well water for their daily needs, while some may even use it for commercial and agricultural processes. Water wells are so trusted that there are around 13 million households using them to get their drinking water according to the survey done by the US Census American Housing Survey.
Due to the reason that well waters are convenient and in a way, very easy for the wallet, people are wondering whether well water is safer to consume than the water from the city, and if it would be better to make a switch. The answer to their question is it would depend on several factors, such as the kind of water in the particular city the water well is being compared to, whether the water well is done properly, etc.
For us to know whether one is safer than the other, let us first talk about what well water really is and the advantages and disadvantages that come with having one on your property.
What does “well water” mean and why do people think it is safer?
If you have lived in the bigger cities most of your life, it is no surprise that you may not have even seen wells before in person. Wells are a man-made invention that allowed us to get our water from aquifers – which are water-bearing rocks that are located under the ground. The first wells were made by digging a hole using their hands and other tools but in the present time, wells can now be drilled using machines for an easier and faster process.
The water that people get from wells is called well water, and it is the main source of water supply in rural areas and other villages and cities in the United States that are not able to get water from commercial water providers.
People who are used to drinking city water are often surprised after tasting well water, as it tends to taste better. Along with the reason that wells get their water from underground, this is why people think well water is safer to consume.
What are the advantages of well water?
Having a well in your property comes with many advantages. Some of these are:
- Well water is often safer and cleaner.
As mentioned above, the safety and cleanliness of the well water mainly depend on the area where you live and where the source of water is, however, when a well is properly maintained, they are generally safer and cleaner compared to city water.
Because wells get their water from aquifers that are water-bearing groups of rocks located underground, digging and drilling are required in order to find a stable supply of aquifers that will be able to produce water from your household. This is the reason why contractors sometimes dig deeper compared to what you expected, as there might be a more preferable layer of aquifer below that will be better to tap into.
Well water is also clearer and more transparent when compared to city water which can sometimes turn cloudy, which is why many residents feel more comfortable drinking it.
- Well water contains beneficial minerals.
The water coming from wells can contain many nutrients and minerals that can be beneficial not only to humans but also for animal and plant life, which can be very helpful for places that also use the water for agriculture and farming purposes. This happens because as was mentioned before, the water from wells are taken from aquifers underground. The aquifer can also store nutrients such as magnesium and calcium in small amounts along with water, and when people consume water from wells, it can be beneficial to their bodies in the long run.
Of course, this does not really mean that all well water would contain minerals and nutrients as this would still depend on the location of your well, however, it is common for most wells to have them.
- Using a well leads to higher savings.
When you do not have a well yet, it may be surprising to know how expensive it can be to have one installed on your property. Depending on the size and depth of the well you need along with the materials to be used, it is normal to be shocked once you know how much the price quotation is. However, we can assure you that it will be truly worth it in the long run.
Many people think of wells as an investment that will be great for their wallet as months and years pass. This is because once they already have a well, they will not need to pay a monthly water bill anymore, and the water they will be using can be considered free. Although you will still need to pay for maintenance and treatment, think of the money you will save every year if you do not have to pay your water bill.
- Wells are very reliable.
There can be times when a city water provider will declare some unexpected interruptions and outages due to reasons such as an emergency repair or damaged pipelines. When this happens, you will have no choice but to wait for the water to come back. However, waiting is not possible for the people who need to have water for important uses such as irrigation or farming, as this can affect their livelihood.
When you have your own well, you will not be affected by the water outages as you have your own water supply. This would mean that you will be able to normally use your well for whatever purpose you may need. By having a well on your property, you can also be confident that the water is safe and will not contain contaminants that can be present in city water.
- Wells increase your property’s value.
When you have a well in your property, it can generally be a factor that will raise the value of your property when you have it appraised. This is another reason why wells can be called a good investment.
This is usually the case in locations that do not have a good water supply or in areas that are located in the rural regions. Most buyers would want a home that already has a well so that they will not have to pay and wait for another procedure to be done on the property. When you are already planning to sell your home that has a well installed, it would be possible to bargain for a higher price from any potential buyer.
- Wells are environmentally friendly.
Another benefit that comes with having a well is that it is generally environmentally friendly. This is because wells have an eco-friendly filtration system that does not usually need chemicals and other harmful products to be used for its day-to-day function, and maintaining one is more sustainable for the environment in the long run.
Also, using well water for irrigation will not only keep your produce clean and fresh, it will also not pollute the plants and soil with unnecessary and unnatural chemicals.
What are the disadvantages of well water?
- Wells need to be properly cared for.
When you have a well installed on your property, this would mean that the responsibility of the maintenance and repair for the well entirely lies on you. It is important to remember that your well water will not be safe for you and your family’s consumption if it is not properly maintained.
Aside from the concerns with the safety of your water, the parts of your well may be corroded or damaged over time, which will need fixing or replacement. In order for you to make sure that your well is functioning properly, it would be best to put the number of your trusted well professional on your speed dial so that if there are any problems with your well, you can be assured that it is safe and clean to use.
- Wells can be easily contaminated.
One of the risks that come with having a well is that it can be easily contaminated. Contamination may happen due to several reasons, and this can root from natural occurrences or may be due to human activities.
Having a contaminated well is very dangerous as drinking from one can be the cause of headaches, vomiting, diarrhea, and other more serious issues. Because of this, it is important to have your well inspected every year so that you are sure that your water is clean and safe for consumption, especially if you have babies and children in your household.
Most common reasons for contamination
Contamination due to nitrate and nitrite – if your area is located in the countryside, it is possible for your well to be contaminated by higher levels of nitrate and nitrite as they are found in animal and human waste and chemical fertilizers. When a person drinks the contaminated water, this can cause shortness of breath and other problems with their health, as it reduces the oxygen supply inside the body.
Contamination due to microorganisms – Wells can sometimes have parasites, bacteria, and viruses that can cause stomachaches and diarrhea.
Contamination due to metals – Aquifers can sometimes be contaminated with heavy metal deposits that are from nearby operations such as mining, which can be very detrimental to a person’s health once consumed. Some of the examples of the metals can be copper, cadmium, and lead. If nothing is done to treat the water, it can be the cause of very serious conditions such as liver and kidney damage and even cancer.
- Wells need electricity to function.
Back in the earlier years, wells are often used by scooping water from the well manually, which can be time-consuming and difficult. Nowadays, wells can supply water in most residential homes and commercial buildings by using a water system that transports the water into every faucet of your property.
However, in order for water to be supplied in your home, electricity is needed for the water to be pumped. This would mean that it is possible to have a higher electricity bill every month. In cases of a power outage, you might also need to have a generator so that you can still use your water normally.
What do you need to know before having a well installed on your property?
Before deciding to have a well installed on your property, it is important to remember that your well water will only be safe if you maintain it properly. Wells need care in order for them to function, and if you are not ready for the commitment and responsibility that comes with owning one, it may be better to stick to city water for you and your family’s safety.
If you think that you are ready for the responsibility and have already decided to have one installed, make sure that the contractor you will hire to do the job is proven to be experienced, reliable, and trustworthy. After all, you would not want to spend a lot to have your well rebuilt, especially if it was incorrectly drilled.