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Well Water vs City Water: What's The Difference

Most of the time, we just think about all water being the same. But that is certainly not the case, and depending on the type of water delivery you have, there can be some pretty big differences. This article will explore the differences between well water and city water and tell you everything you need to know.

What Is Well Water? 

Well water is a pure type of water which comes straight from the ground where it is stored. This water can be obtained via a well, hence the name and can be connected to your plumbing system so it can come out of your tap. If no chemicals are allowed to penetrate through the ground into the water, well water can not only be completely safe to drink, but will be very refreshing and healthy for you. Well water does not contain chlorine, and instead is very rich in minerals such as calcium and magnesium. 

Read More>> Water filter vs water softener 

What Is City Water? 

City water comes from surface water, such as lakes or rivers. It is widely available and is supplied to you by your city right into your pipes, where you can use it just by turning on the tap. This water is used for many purposes, but can sometimes be unsafe to drink straight from the tap. Usually it contains chlorine, which is added to the water to kill contaminants and bacteria present in the water. Fluoride can also sometimes be present as well. Chlorine and fluoride in high amounts is harmful to health and can make your water taste foul.

How Is Each Water Treated? 

Next we’ll look at how these two types of water are treated:

Well Water

Well water often doesn't need to be treated, as it is a pure form of water. The only time it would need to be treated with chlorine is if it contained chemicals which have somehow managed to seep through the ground and contaminate it. Contamination can easily be prevented by keeping animals such as cattle away from the surrounding area of the well, so that the chemicals in their waste do not reach the water supply.

One way well water can be treated is by installing a water softening filter onto your taps at home if you want to remove the hardness. Well water is often hard, so this device will remove the hardness caused by excess of magnesium and calcium in your water.

Hard water is not necessarily an issue, but can cause soap to react with it and leave a mineral build-up and leave a mineral build-up in pipes which can cause long term damage.

City Water

City water requires a long treatment process before it gets to your home tap or shower. This is because it contains many contaminants which can cause a person to fall ill after drinking.

First of all, positively charged particles will be added to the water, this will remove the excess filth and dirt acquired at the water source.

Next, it undergoes filtration. It is filtered through sand, gravel, and charcoal, which will get rid of viruses, bacteria, and a number of other harmful particles.

Finally, chlorine is added to kill the rest of the chemicals present, and sometimes fluoride may be added in too.

Which Is Better For You? 

Well water is usually the healthiest and safest option when it comes to drinking. This form of water is pure and rich in a number of minerals. These include calcium, magnesium, bicarbonate, iron, and zinc. If you choose to use a water softener to remove hardness, this appliance often exchanges the calcium and magnesium for potassium and sodium.

Well water is further always free of fluoride, which sometimes has some controversies, and it has no chemicals which have a potential to be harmful, such as chlorine.

City water, however, can also be made safe to drink if you use a special filter which removes chlorine. This will also make the water tastier to drink.

It’s worth noting that some cities may provide better quality water than others. 

Pros Of Well Water

  • No added chemicals such as chlorine
  • Refreshing to the taste
  • Pure and good for health
  • Contains many nutrients and minerals
  • Will not result in water bills

Cons Of Well Water 

  • Can be contaminated by sewage or car pollution
  • Will not work without electricity
  • Not available in all places
  • You are responsible if something goes wrong with your water 
  • Sometimes can have a low pressure 

Pros Of City Water

  • Widely available and easy to access 
  • No management or responsibility 
  • Some cities provide soft water, so no filter required
  • Some cities provide high quality water with added nutrients to replace those lost
  • Water pressure is often good

Cons Of City Water

  • Chlorine is present
  • Bad to the taste 
  • Water bills can be expensive in some areas
  • The city that manages the water can turn it off any time
  • Contamination of the water source can be difficult to deal with and manage, and the resulting contaminated tap water can be a problem on a large scale


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