What Is the Difference Between Well Water and City Water?

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The key differences for a homeowner choosing between well water and city water lie in who is responsible for the transport of the water, purity of the water and maintenance of pipes, pumps and septic systems. In addition, some people find a difference in taste between well water and city water.

A homeowner whose house is connected to the city’s water and sewage systems pays the city for the water, usually as part of a utility bill. The city is responsible for delivering the water to and transporting it away from the house, while the homeowner is only responsible for pipes on the property. The city is responsible for the purity of the water and for treating sewage.

A homeowner whose water comes from a well must pay for a personal pump and septic system and keep it maintained. There is no assurance regarding water quality or purity with well water unless testing is paid for. The septic system must be pumped regularly, and if the well runs dry or the electricity goes out, the homeowner loses access to water. Mortgage lenders typically prefer homes connected to city water and sewage systems and may require additional testing or documentation for homes that use well water, according to Hands On a Homebuyer.

While city water is guaranteed to be clean, the chemicals used to purify it may not taste good. On the other hand, well water that tastes fine may be filled with dangerous chemicals, according to Health Mind Body.