City Water Vs. Well Water: Why it Matters

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Depending on where you live, you either have city water or well water and you may have preconceived notions about both. Why does this matter? Since water is essential for a healthy life, where you get your drinking water is very important. And if your water is not ideal for drinking or for the health of your appliances, knowing where your water comes from allows you to properly treat it. Do you know the differences between the two?

City Water

If you have city water, this means the city collects it from a water source, purifies and filters it, and routes it into your home through a pipeline system. City water is the most common type of water to have if you live in the US. Over 280 million Americans rely on their city to deliver safe water to their homes. According to the CDC, .8% of community water systems provide water for 82% of the entire population of the United States.


The one major pro of city water is that it is regulated by the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), so you can rest easy knowing your water has to be tested for safety daily. City water also has added nutrients in it like fluoride and chlorine. Chlorine is used to kill disease-causing germs like norovirus and Salmonella, and fluoride is a safe and cost-effective way to prevent tooth decay and cavities in people of all ages.


Flint, Michigan is a city that relied on its local water department to provide safe water. Because it wasn’t treated properly, lead from old pipes seeped into the water supply and caused health issues throughout the city. While not common, it is impossible to mention this ongoing crisis when discussing the disadvantages of city water.

Another main downside of having city water is the cost involved. Water bills are increasing in some areas due to the amount of pollution. The more pollution in the water, the more expensive it is to clean and filter. If you happen to miss a payment due to high costs, your household is left without water until you can pay it back.

Taste of city water can also be a common drawback. There are so many chemicals added in the filtering process, it can leave the water tasting less than fresh. It is already difficult to get the recommended daily water intake for some, and bad-tasting water will not help.

Depending on which city you reside in, your water can be hard or soft. Hard water is water with a high level of minerals suspended in it, namely calcium and magnesium. While these minerals are not inherently dangerous, they create scale, or residue buildup in your pipes and appliances. They can also cause issues in your beauty routine.

If you live in an area with natural disasters, city water proposes another downside. Things like hurricanes and floods can contaminate the water and it can take weeks, months, or even years (in Flint, MI’s case) to get the water, pipes and equipment treated for healthy consumption.

recently installed faucet for a reverse osmosis water system

Water Treatment Options For Every Home

At Leaf Home Water Solutions, we offer the most comprehensive selection of water treatment products anywhere. With conditioning, filtration, softening, and more, our team is able to correct water chemistry in homes with municipal water and private wells alike.

Well Water

Well water is what the name implies! People who get well water get their water from a private well on their property from an aquifer underground. (That is just a fancy way of saying groundwater) This is most common in underdeveloped areas and according to the US Geological Survey, only 15% of the US relies on well water, or about 43 million people.


Unlike city water, those who have well water are lucky enough to not get a water bill. Since it is basically your own private water supply that comes from the ground, no one can charge you for the amount that you use!

Though taste is relative, most people agree that well water tastes better than city water because of the lack of added chemicals. Well water does however contain natural minerals, but they do not alter the taste for the worse and can be good for your health.

Also, unlike city water, well water is not generally affected by natural disasters, so you will never be without water


Depending on which type of well is on the property, it either needs to be manually pumped or, it needs electricity to draw out the water. Both can be inconvenient in their own way. Manual labor can be difficult on its own but add inclement weather and it can become unbearable. On the other hand, if your power goes out, you can be without water for an unknown amount of time.

While not having to pay a water bill is great, it also means that you are the one responsible for the maintenance of your well. If it needs to be repaired in any way, the burden falls on you. The EPA also does not regulate your well water, so you should routinely test it for safety.

Speaking of safety, another downside of well water is that it can become contaminated easier than city water. This can be caused by sewage, radiation, or even dead animals, so you can’t let testing fall to the wayside.

Like city water, well water can also be hard water. Common problems caused by hard water include feeling a residue on your skin after washing hands or bathing, soap scum on dishes and/or the necessity of more soap or detergent to clean household items, and the buildup of scale (solid deposits of minerals like calcium carbonate) in appliances like dishwashers, water heaters, and pipes. Even coffee pots can experience scale buildup.

Though you may not have a choice between city water and well water, there are steps you can take to make the water you consume daily is safe for everyone in your household. Contact Leaf Home Water Solutions today for a free water test with instant results!


About Leaf Home Water Solutions

We strive to present a custom solution for your home, with your needs and budgets in mind. Backed by the strength of one of North America’s largest home improvement companies, you can feel reassured that you are working with the best team and getting the best products available on the market. With a distinguished digital water test and systems designed to meet the needs of your home, you can feel confident that you and your family are getting the crispest, purest water possible. Plus, our friendly customer service team is always ready to help should any issues arise down the road. Protect your home and family from the effects of hard water and get a custom solution today!

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