Well water drilling and installation gives homeowners access to “well water,” which is technically sourced from the same place as spring water. However, there are some big differences—but also many shared advantages. To access well water, the resource is pumped via a drilled well that is in the ground. Spring water is “free flowing” via rocky streams and is above ground. Homeowners interested in either kind of fresh water may be able to have it piped into their home as well as stored in big cisterns underground.

The biggest benefits of both well water and spring water include low cost of the system and “free” water. However, both options come with an upfront cost in order to take care of piping, building a cistern and of course a well comes with a drilling/installation expense. Beyond routine maintenance of systems and pipes, that is where the cost ends. Homeowners have no monthly water bill and zero restrictions inflicted by city water departments. You can water your garden or re-fill your hot tub to your heart’s content (assuming there is plentiful well or spring water available).

The Downside

The worst “con” is that not all spring water or well water resources are really limitless. It is possible for either source to dry up, either in the short term or for good. This is why it is critical to have a well professional inspect the property before drilling a well. Otherwise, everyone in the home will be at the mercy of the whims of well or spring water. However, this should not be an issue if the well is professionally installed and an expert has confirmed that the water should be plentiful.

Another arguable disadvantage is that, sometimes, some homeowners say the water tastes and smells like sulfur. However, this is very safe and very natural (and some well water has stronger or weaker sulfur connections than others). It is an acquired taste, but in the long run most well owners agree they prefer the taste of well water over city or bottled water.

Truly Clean Water

The biggest risk of all is the possibility of the underground cistern getting contaminated. This can happen due to poor installation or if the cistern is not well maintained. Since both well and spring water have no sterilizing agents, like chlorine, it can look safe but be harmful to humans. Deadly bacteria can be invisible, but this is exceptionally rare in newer and/or wells which are maintained properly. A yearly inspection should include water safety testing, but this testing is also something homeowners can do on their own.

Those at the highest risk are farmers, due to the added animal waste that inevitably gets buried. Part of responsible well ownership includes routine testing. It is minimal, affordable and can ensure your safety so you can enjoy that free, fresh water with ease.