It’s common for many households in the US, especially those outside of cities or in rural areas, to have a water well in the property.
In fact, according to the US Census American Housing Survey in 2017, there are over 13 million households in the country that have their private source for potable water. Some may have acquired their property with a water well already in place, while others have their water source custom-built according to their requirements and preferences.
The availability of underground potable water greatly depends on where the house is located, and it’s an excellent opportunity for homeowners to take advantage of it should they find one in their properties.
Having your private well provides you with a secure water supply independent of local service providers, which can be incredibly beneficial for your household. Aside from this, there are advantages and disadvantages to owning a water well in your home.
It’s essential to consider these factors if you’re thinking about having one on your property. Here are some of them:
- Pros Of Owning A Water Well
- Quality And Taste
Many well water users attest to its quality and taste. Experts attribute this to the aquifer’s ability to filter groundwater, which helps cleanse and clarify it. Since well water comes from underground, it’s not exposed to elements that allow it to retain its purity and cleanliness. Though some water well owners also use artificial filters and purifiers, many groundwater sources provide fresh and clean water that’s ready to drink as it is.
Aside from its freshness, groundwater also contains nutrients and minerals beneficial to health. These minerals also give the water a pleasant taste, making it enjoyable to drink.
You can significantly reduce the water bill in your household using your private and primary water source for doing daily chores such as cooking, cleaning, and laundry. Some homes even use their water as their sole water source, which means that they don’t have to subscribe to local water services and pay monthly dues. Given the steady rise in utility bills in recent years, this is considered one of the best advantages of having a private water source on your property.
While it’s still a good practice to conserve water even as you have a steady supply at home, you also won’t have to economize your water usage as you would need to do if you’re subscribed to local services. It means that you’ll have a sufficient amount you can use to water the lawn or clean your vehicle as needed.
- Convenience And Reliability
Having a water service interruption is commonplace in any location, and it can significantly inconvenience a household because many chores rely on having a reliable water source. With a private well, you won’t have to worry about service interruptions as you’ll have a steady supply when you need it.
Also, natural disasters or power failures won’t affect your water supply, especially when you have well water hand pumps in place. These hand pumps allow you access to water in your well without the need for energy or a power supply—an excellent alternative if your tap water service gets disrupted during an emergency.
Tap water undergoes several stages of filtering and purification to become safe for consumption. Because of this, local water service providers require a continuous supply of energy for water treatment and processing. Some treatment facilities also use chemicals to eliminate bacteria and make the water potable. For these reasons, using the local water services may not be as environmentally friendly as using a private well as a water source for your home.
Groundwater is naturally renewed by precipitation without diminishing resources or negatively impacting the environment. You also don’t have to use harsh chemicals to keep your water clean and potable, making it a more sustainable water source.
Having an operational water well on your property can increase your home value. As building a water supply system requires time and resources, potential buyers will see it as an advantage if you already have one ready for use on your property. It’s also an attractive feature because it reduces the utility costs for the potential owner while providing a guaranteed water supply.
To maximize its value, you’ll need to ensure the well is fully operational and free from contamination. Having a private well in your property can effectively increase your home value with proper care and maintenance.
- Cons Of Owning A Water Well
- Dependent On Electricity
Most water wells rely on electricity to run a water pump which moves the water from the ground to the surface for easy access. It means that it’s possible to have a water supply interruption when the power goes out, especially if there are no alternative power sources in place.
To counter this, many homeowners use water tanks as storage to ensure that there’s water available for use in case of an emergency. It’s also advisable to have backup power generators that you can use if there is a power outage in your area.
- Requires Repair, Cleaning, And Maintenance
If you’re subscribed to your local water supply provider, you’ll be charged your share of the maintenance costs to cover their expenses for repair, cleaning, and maintenance of the supply system. These costs are assigned to each subscriber in increments, which means that you’ll be charged a nominal amount each month for them. It makes subscribing to local water services a more convenient and cost-effective option since maintenance expenses are usually minimal.
Meanwhile, maintaining your private well may require you to fully cover care and maintenance expenses. Aside from this, you’ll also need to dedicate time and effort to regular checkups and repairs, as well as water quality to assure portability. However, using your private water source may still be more cost-effective compared with paying monthly water services if you’re able to care for and maintain its functionality.
Water wells have a life expectancy of up to 50 years, which means decades of free, unlimited water supply for the household.
- Risk Of Water Contamination
Water sourced from wells comes from the deeper parts of the ground. Because of the depth of its source, it’s not usually exposed to contaminants on the ground surface. The rocks, sand, and soil also act as natural filters which help keep the water pure and clean. If left unexposed, the water retains its potability and is safe to consume as it is.
However, there’s a risk of contamination once the groundwater is pumped up to the surface. The collected water can be contaminated if exposed to ground pollutants such as animal manure, dirt, sewage water and waste, detergents, fertilizers, and other chemicals. These pollutants can be hazardous to health if ingested, and this is why it’s crucial to have your well water regularly tested for potability. For an added precaution, you can also use water filters and purifiers to ensure the safety of the water supply for the whole house.
- Costs Of Building And Installation
Having a private water well on your property can help you save money down the line. However, you may need to invest substantially in building costs, especially if you have to start from scratch. The amount you need to spend will depend on the kind of water system that you’ll put in place. It will also include building and installation permits, as well as labor costs in your area. It’s essential to explore your options, especially when selecting builders and contractors who will work on the project to avoid sleep prices.
Setting up your private water well for use may not be as costly if you acquired a property where one is already in place. If it’s non-functional, you may only need cleaning and repair services to make use of it again. You may save money in this case because these services are often less expensive.
- Taste And Quality
The taste and quality of groundwater may vary depending on the source and location. While some are clean, pure, and refreshing, others can also have an unpleasant taste and odor. Also, the high mineral content may not suit everyone’s palate. At times, the concentration of dissolved minerals is too strong to make the water unsafe to consume.
To improve the water taste and quality, you can use various filtration systems for the whole house and water softeners. Depending on your requirements, there are many kinds to choose from, and some purifying techniques may be more advanced than others.
In this case, you’ll need to refer to your water test results to see which treatments are ideal for you and your household.
Having a water well in your property provides your household unlimited access to a safe and reliable water supply. It’s a significant and rewarding investment to make, given the advantages it brings for you and your family. With the benefits in mind, it’s essential to put a premium quality water system in place to make the most out of your natural water sources.
Before setting up your private water well, it may be helpful to gather all the relevant information that would help you operate it effectively. You might also need professional consultation and services to ensure that your well water system remains safe and functional for the years to come.