According to the American Housing Survey conducted by the US Census Bureau in 2017, it’s estimated that around 13 million households in the United States have private wells they use as the primary source of water for drinking, cooking, and cleaning. Private wells provide these households a stable water supply directly sourced from underground, and this setup is quite common for homes in the country and rural areas. People saw this system as a reliable alternative to centralized water utility systems commonly found in populous cities.
Having a private well in a property can be a great advantage for many as it can be a cost-effective way to have access to a high-quality water supply. If you’re thinking about having a water well in your property or if you’ve purchased a home with a groundwater source and you need a reliable supply system to provide safe and clean water in the household, you can consider the following points so you can have a better idea of how a well water system works:
Building A Well Water System
Once a property has a water well dug and ready for use, a well water system needs to be installed to pump out water from the source and pressurize it to distribute water supply inside the household. Apart from the water pump and pressure tank, many modern well water systems also have computerized monitoring to make it easier to check the water levels in the well. Some also offer tank storage units that are automatically filled depending on the availability of water on the source.
These state-of-the-art features can help make the operation and maintenance of the water well more convenient for the homeowner. If you’d like to see an example of a modern well water system, checking https://www.eppwellsolutions.com/well-water-system and others can help.
Many people wonder why even if groundwater isn’t chemically-treated, its quality is still believed to be superior to regular tap water. When it comes to the quality of naturally-sourced groundwater, the well location and construction are key factors to be considered. Commonly, water system experts build the well in a way that they won’t accumulate rainwater as it can bring harmful bacteria and chemicals to the water source. Also, many private wells are made up of several components that act as filters to ensure the water passing through the pipes is already free of debris and other pollutants.
Apart from these factors, some homeowners also add filters and purifiers that could provide another layer of protection when it comes to the quality of drinking water in the household. Some of the common water filtration systems use carbon filters, chlorination, ionization, UV disinfection, and reverse osmosis. The effectiveness of filtration systems may differ depending on the water quality in an area, so professional testing and consultation may be needed.
If you decide to have a private well system in your home, it’s essential to know how to keep both the water source and the supply system in their optimal state. Private water wells are known to last for as long as 20 to 30 years if given proper care. As such, investing in its regular upkeep may be a wise decision to make.
Here are some examples of routine maintenance tasks that you and your family can do to ensure that your water supply remains safe and reliable for a long time:
Test Water Quality Annually
Since the water is sourced directly from the ground without any processing or treatment, there’s some risk of exposure and bacterial contamination. To ensure that your water supply is safe to use, you’ll have to regularly test its quality.
Experts advise homeowners to have a water quality check at least once a year so you can add features to your filtration and supply systems as needed. Water quality tests may also indicate a mineral concentration or water hardness, which can tell you if you also need to make changes in your water softening system.
Check The Water Softener
It’s common for properties with private wells to have water softeners in place. A water softener uses salt to filter out minerals and make the water clean and potable. Without a water softener, the excess minerals may leave an unpleasant smell or taste to the water, and its quality may be unfit for human consumption.
To maintain it, you’ll have to check the salt level once or twice a month, depending on how mineral-dense the water is and how much water is consumed in your household. For instance, a household with four family members may need a 40-pound bag of salt each month in the water softener to keep the water pure and clear.
Have Professional Inspections
Apart from testing the water quality, you may also want to know if the well has any damage or irregularities in its structure. You can also check if the water pump and pressurizing machines are free of contaminants and are working well. Annual inspections are usually priced around USD$100-200, and these routine assessments could be more cost-effective compared to repairs or replacements.
Also, water pumps are expected to last for up to 10 years if used correctly and given proper maintenance. This is why it may be a wise investment to have your well water systems checked regularly.
Pros And Cons
Before you decide on having a private well on your property, it may be helpful to look at both the advantages and disadvantages one could bring to your household.
PRO: No Monthly Water Bill
Your monthly water bill includes other charges apart from the water consumed in your household. These additional costs cover maintenance and service fees paid to utility companies. If you have your own water source, you won’t have to worry about water bills anymore, which can be cost-effective for you in the long run.
PRO: Uninterrupted Water Supply
Though many areas enjoy a stable water supply from centralized systems in their community, service disruptions are still common especially during natural disasters. If your household has a private water source, it’s likely that you won’t be affected by the same situations.
PRO: Access To Healthy Potable Water
Groundwater is believed to be beneficial to health because of the minerals it contains. It’s also free of chemicals since it doesn’t go through any treatment as compared to regular tap water. As long as the water source is kept away from bacteria and other pollutants, you’re assured of having steady access to superior quality drinking water.
CON: High Mineral Content
Water from some wells may contain high concentrations of dissolved minerals, which makes it unfit for consumption. Also, hard water usually has an unpleasant taste and odor. To counter this, you can use filtration systems and water softeners.
CON: Dependent On Electricity
Private wells use electric pumps. If the power goes out, it may be helpful to have some water in storage, which you can use while waiting for the power to be restored. Some homeowners also invest in backup power sources like emergency generators or solar power to ensure that the water supply won’t be disrupted.
CON: Needs Maintenance
Maintaining your private well may require you to regularly check the condition of the pump and pressure machines and then pay for repairs if needed. In centralized water supply services, the maintenance is usually done by utility companies and the expenses incurred would be divided among households.
Your share of the costs will be included in your monthly bill in increments if your home is subscribed to these services. In some ways, this option may be more convenient and cost-effective as the maintenance expenses may be minimal.
CON: Risk Of Contamination
Public water supply usually undergoes several stages of filtration and treatment before it’s distributed to households. Well water, on the other hand, doesn’t undergo chemical treatments, which increases the risk of having contaminated water due to pollutants that can enter the water source and the pump system.
The quality of water would also depend on the position of the well in the aquifer. If the well is too shallow, it can be more prone to contaminants. On the other hand, bacteria-free water from deeper wells that are well-maintained and regularly tested are believed to be healthier than those taken from other sources.
If you think that your household is ready to have a private water well, then it’s important for you to have all the relevant information you might need in order to operate it effectively. You might also need to enlist the help of professionals so you can ensure that your well water system can supply clean water while protecting the source at the same time.
Having a safe and reliable water supply in your household is a great advantage for you and your family, and it may be one of the most important investments you can make. Having a top-quality water system is essential to ensure that you can maximize the use of your water source and keep it at optimal functionality to last for the years to come.