What’s in your Water: City Water versus Well Water

Generally speaking, there are two ways people get their drinking water: through city water and well water. But what are they and what is the difference between them?

City Water

City water is typically river water. While this type of water has a lot of pollutants and contaminants to begin with, it is put through an assortment of cleaning processes and purity tests before entering your home. By law, city water is treated on a daily basis and often has chemicals added to it such as chlorine and fluoride. Bringing in city water requires changing the pipes in and around your home. Also, you have the added cost of a monthly water bill. Despite daily testing, there is the risk of contamination from old pipe lines that need upgrading. If you doubt the safety of your water, you can do research and find various water test kits that have been done to ensure water quality. Oftentimes, the biggest problem with city water is that just because the water is safe does not mean it tastes or smells very good. City water often contains minerals that will give the water an unpleasant look, taste, smell and may have undesired effects on your dishes, laundry and your hair. Fortunately, there are filters and additives you can get for your water that will make it look and taste better.

If you want to personally test your water supply, the Watersafe All-In-One Drinking Water Test Kit is highly recommended. This test kit is for city water only and contains everything you will need to find out simply and accurately if your water contains unsafe or undesirable levels of one or more of eight common contaminants.

Another way of ensuring water quality is through the use of purifier tablets such as the Aquamira Purifier Tablets. These tablets are used by dropping one tablet into one liter of water and waiting the required time. These tablets will not discolor the water and will improve the taste of treated water.

Well Water

Well water comes directly from the ground, and while it does not go through the same cleaning process, the water is filtered to a degree as it slowly trickles from the surface into underground reservoirs. Unlike city water, there is no monthly water bill that you will be required to pay. However, as a well water owner, it is up to you to test the safety and quality of your water. Generally, well water can be clean or dirty, depending on where you live.  Just like safe water might smell or taste bad, unsafe water may taste, smell and look perfectly fine. There can be many dangerous chemicals found in well water that have no taste, smell and do not change the look of the water. Well water can often contain agricultural runoff such as fertilizers and pesticides. It can also contain jet fuel and other chemicals from “fracking” (a process used in drilling for natural gas). Unless you have your water tested, there is no way to guarantee well water is safe, free of bacteria and other dangerous chemicals.

One way to get your water treated is through the Complete Home Water Quality Test Kit which tests your water for over 13 contaminants, allowing you to identify the issues in your water quality so you will know how to correctly and appropriately treat your water.

Once you test your water, you may find it handy to invest in a whole house water filter system such as the 3M Aqua-Pure Whole House Water Filter System. This whole house water filter has a 100,000 gallon capacity or up to one year cartridge life which reduces the multi-year cartridge replacement required with most water filter cartridges. This whole house water filter system will extend the life of all your household appliances that are connected to the water line.

Which do you prefer? City water or well water? Sound off in the comments below.