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Should You Buy a Home on Tap Water or Well Water?

Should You Buy a Home on Tap Water or Well Water? Expand options

Home buyers face many dilemmas, from what furniture to choose to what cable TV provider to subscribe to… to the question of whether you should buy a home on tap water or well water.

Before becoming a new homeowner, you have a lot to consider. Some people seem to prefer well water, while others prefer tap water. Generally, if left unfiltered, well water can come with sediments and have an off-taste like sulfur. Tap water tends to be cleaner because the city filters the water.

In either case, water filters protect you from water impurities, like toxins, and ensure you only consume healthy minerals in your drinking water (like calcium, magnesium, and zinc).

Let’s explore the key considerations when deciding to buy a home on tap water vs well water.

Water Quality

City water is treated with chemicals to eliminate pathogens including bacteria. This process makes it safe to consume. Well water, on the other hand, is packed with sediments and contaminants, like heavy metals. That’s why well water can often taste a little “off.” This can also be the case with most city water, but for a different reason: the treatment process to make water safe to drink (and meet current health guidelines) includes chlorination responsible for that bleach-like odor.

Some of the most common chemicals used in tap water to mitigate contaminants are chlorine and chloramine. If you’re wondering what chloramine is, we don’t judge you; chloramine is chlorine with ammonia. Who would’ve known, right? 

Many tap water suppliers have started using chloramine more than chlorine to counter the adverse effects of chlorine because, as a disinfectant, chloramine stays in the water longer

Now, keep in mind that city water isn’t perfect. Sure, it’s safe to drink, yet many people want to remove the chlorine and chloramine. This is where water filters come in. They improve the taste of your tap water and make it more hygienic than ever before. No idea how to go on about this? Start here: 11 Best Whole House Water Filter Reviews: Top Systems in 2023

On the contrary, well water tends to be fresher than tap water because it comes from aquifers, an underground layer of water-bearing rock or rock fractures. However, it’s not perfect. Tap water isn’t disinfected, so there’s a higher risk of bacteria or cysts. Additionally, there may be problems with pesticides due to agricultural runoff. 

The solution? 

Once again, water filters. Not only do they purify your well water, but they also improve its taste. There are many affordable well-filtration systems for you to choose from for complete peace of mind.

Water Availability

Wells are built by drilling into the ground to access an aquifer. Then, with the help of pumps, the water is used as the house’s main water source, covering all of its water needs, including drinking, cleaning, and bathing. 

However, there could be cases when the aquifer doesn’t produce enough water to cover the needs of your property. Don’t worry; a well-drilling company can solve this for you fairly easily. 

Tap water access is more consistent. Unless you live in a rural area, or far from civilization, your home is most likely connected to the public water distribution system. In that case, water utility issues are extremely rare. 

All that said, bear in mind that you usually don’t have a choice between well water and tap water at a given home. The house you are moving to will be either connected to the city water supply or not. If there’s no such water system nearby, you’ll have to drill a new well or use an existing one. 

Water Dependability

Private wells tend to provide inexorable supplies of water. That said, water dependability depends on whether you properly maintain your well, and whether there’s enough electricity to pump the water out from the underground. 

Simply put, if the electricity goes out, then your well pump will stop working. So, ensure you have an alternative power source, like solar panels or a generator. Another good idea would be to install a manual pump to get the water out of the well if electricity outages are common in your area.

And even though a private well eliminates monthly water bills, you still have to plan for regular maintenance, including water filter replacements and annual inspections for the quality of water. 

On the other hand, again, tap water dependability is simpler because the city manages the water. Your water will only be turned off if you don’t pay your monthly or bi-monthly bills (or in cases of a power outage).

Conclusion: Should You Buy a Home on Tap Water or Well Water?

If you’re deciding whether to buy a home on tap vs well water, now you know that both water sources have pros and cons regarding quality, availability, and dependability. No matter what your water source is, you’re going to want a whole-house filtration system. A water filter improves the quality of any water, makes it more hygienic, and gives it a better taste. It’s one of the wisest and safest investments you can make for your water.

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