GreenInstitute.org - How Home Water Supply Systems Work

Although properly installed and operated well and public water systems both result in safe and good-tasting H2O for drinking, there are some notable differences between the two, both in style and process.

To inform and educate, let’s take a look at some of the notable differences between well and public water!

Well Water

Well water is supplied by one’s well—notably, each individual who wants to enjoy the water will need to have a separate system, as opposed to public water, which is enjoyed universally.

Also unlike public water, well water must be treated regularly with chemicals and salts (depending upon one’s preferences) by the homeowner; public water is maintained by an entity of the local government or town.

On a more positive note, well water isn’t subjected to a regular tax or fee, as public water is. Certainly, the electrical and chemical costs of the system, as well as the initial installation must be considered, but one won’t be charged for monthly use, nor will the amount of water which is used be taken into account by the local government.

Public Water

Public water is generally more convenient than well water, as it comes pre-installed by a local government entity, can be universally used by all residents who pay their water bills, and is also treated by the government.

But this convenience does come at a price, as the aforementioned water bill once again isn’t a part of well systems; while this cost is relatively minor, it does add up over time, and is worth considering.

Now, let’s change gears and take a brief look at some of the common misconceptions of each water system.

Despite what many believe, well water isn’t inherently dirty and/or contaminated. Although there have been notable instances of well water contaminations, the vast majority of these instances were a result of negligence on the part of the homeowner.

Similarly, a few small instances of public-water negligence have resulted in some notable stereotypes. Traces of prescriptions and undesirable substances were found in some water supplies, while more deadly substances were found in others. Nevertheless, it’s important to remember that these instances were once again not typical, despite media reports indicating otherwise.

As one can see, there really are some notable differences between well and public water systems. Whichever type one chooses (either in the area of a home that is selected, or through the actual choice, as some neighborhoods do provide residents with the option), it should be decided upon after thorough research and ample planning.