Pros and Cons of Well Water
Did you know that over 42 million United States residents use well water in their homes? That’s because, with well water, you get a certain level of financial freedom. As a plus, you’ll be environmentally safe. Well water is free water because you do not need to pay a municipal fee. When a home’s water supply relies on well water, you get drinking, cleaning, and bathing water from a private well located on your property. Wells work by accessing underground aquifers. You receive water from the aquifer by pumping it into your house.
Many people choose well water and thus don’t get a monthly city water bill. They don’t deal with any hidden charges or pumped-up costs each year. Some places even give federal tax credits to people who have a well on their property due to the annual savings. Like anything you own, there will be some periodic maintenance to pay. Either way, you’ll find these upkeep costs are significantly lower than paying monthly water bills.
But aside from independence from city water, there is a high level of responsibility when you have a well. Typically, you will want to hire a licensed or certified water well systems professional. They’ll carry out inspections or maintenance annually. Well water can become contaminated and is susceptible to pollution. There are naturally occurring contaminants sometimes found in well water. Uranium, arsenic, and radon are contaminants that become dissolved in groundwater as it moves through rocks and soil. You may also want to buy a water softener or filtration system for hard water. Hard water is full of magnesium and calcium that causes a different taste in drinking water and dries the skin. If your well water is healthy, that will be the extent of water issues.
There are, of course, cons that come with having your own well water. If you live in a rural area, contamination from agricultural runoff is the most common problem. Contamination is a problem for health and safety. If your septic tank is too close to a private well, your water can become contaminated. A typical water issue is nitrate contamination. This type of contamination is a significant health risk for expecting mothers and young children. Be sure to check if your septic system is too close to your well. A professional contractor or inspector will likely point it out to you and help you figure out how to move it.
Don’t worry— water testing and water treatment are only necessary about once a year. You may need testing if you notice the water quality, taste, or appearance changing. An inspector will check your system’s condition for common problems, such as rusting tanks, leaking seals, or faulty gauges. It’s essential to hire a certified professional. Ongoing issues may result in low water pressure or invite contaminants into your water. The inspector will start by measuring the well water pump volume. They’ll then evaluate how the water system works and test the pump’s performance to make sure it’s working well.
There are water treatment options if you run into any contaminants or water issues. Standard water treatment options include:
Water softener: Perhaps the easiest fix. This is a device that reduces hard water. It uses sodium or potassium ions to replace any calcium or magnesium ions that make your water hard.
Whole-house water filter: This water filtration system removes chemical impurities from water. The filter has a physical barrier and chemical and biological processes to remove anything harmful.
Reverse osmosis drinking water system: This is a water filtration system installed on your home to reduce heavy metals, trace elements, and bacteria. The upside to this system is it produces the best-tasting cooking and drinking water from the kitchen sink.