Well Water? Good or Bad? The Pros and Cons of Well Water vs. City Water

Well Water?

Buying a Middle Tennessee Home with Well Water?   I thought it would be a good idea to discuss the pros and cons.  Why is well water so much better than city water?

Infographic about Well Water Benefits
Well Water is Fantastic!

Contaminants in Our Tap Water?

Why is the bottled water industry so huge?  Why is tap water not safe to drink? Did you know that the EPA estimates that over 60,000 chemicals are used with the United States, but only about 90 are regulated?  Why?  Here are a few of the most dangerous contaminants:

Diagram of Water Contaminants
So Many Things in Our Drinking Water!
  • Lead – from old/aging pipes.  Lead poisoning can cause brain damage, blood disorders as well as a long list of serious medical problems.
  • Chromium-6 – Carcinogenic chemical
  • Aluminum – Think Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Ammonia – Burning of the Eyes, Nose, Throat & Respiratory Tract.
  • Arsenic – Lung and Bladder Cancer
  • Barium – Blood Pressure, Heart Rhythm, Muscle Weakness, etc.
  • Cadmium – Lung Damage, Cancer and other Adverse Health Problems
  • Chloramine – Respiratory Tract Damage and Eye Irritation
  • Chromium – Lung, Nasal and Sinus Cancer
  • Fluoride – They add this to our public water and tell us it is good for us…something about strong bones and teeth.  But, the truth of the matter is that it’s no longer added to our water.  For quite a while, they have been using fluorosilicic acid instead.  Here’s a quote from the www.fluoridealert.org regarding this chemical substance:
  • Fluorosilicic Acid
    The fluoride chemicals used to fluoridate drinking water are: fluorosilicic acid, sodium fluorosilicate, and sodium fluoride. Unlike the fluoride compounds found in toothpaste or supplements, fluoridation chemicals are not pharmaceutical grade quality. They are, instead, unpurified industrial by-products that are collected in the air pollution control systems of certain industries. Due to the lack of processing, these chemicals are known to contain elevated levels of certain contaminants, particularly arsenic. In addition, recent research — including both epidemiological and laboratory investigations — have detected associations between the fluoridation of water with fluorosilicic acid and elevated lead exposure, particularly those living in houses with old pipes.

Why would we want to drink this stuff?  This is the answer as to why so many people buy bottled water and home filters.   It’s just not safe for our families.  We’ve all heard stories about particles of toilet paper being found in tap water.  Not to mention pills and drugs being flushed down the drain – and ending up in our drinking water.

Why is Well Water Better?

It’s true!  Well water is groundwater, and it also contains contaminants.  But the reason I like this water best is the lack of chemical additives.  It’s a very simple thing to insert an ultraviolet light purifier into your incoming water line.  Infographic - How Well Water WorksAll it requires is a yearly change of the bulb, and it reduces contaminants by 99.99%.  I also like the fact that there are no monthly water bills to pay.  I’ve actually tested my water just as it came out of the ground, and it was better quality than the tap water.  The taste is great and I would choose well water any day over city water.

You’ll find that rural properties depend on a well for their water.

This is naturally filtered water that is safe to drink, and it’s good for you, so don’t be afraid of it.  I know it’s a new thing when you have been accustomed to city water, but it’s great!

Exclusive Buyer's Agent
An Exclusive Buyer’s Agent is one that works EXCLUSIVELY for you, the Home Buyer – without any conflict of interest. I do not take listings, and therefore have no ulterior motive to sell you one of my listings. I work only for you – to find the home you are looking for…at the best possible price. Call me today Pam Rumley, Broker 615-428-8500

Well Water Testing

Your water should be tested (as should all your drinking water) when you purchase your new home in the Branson area.  It’s an easy process.  The county health department will help you test for nitrates and bacteria.  Or, if you choose, you can have the water tested by a state-certified lab. 

Like everything else, you can find basic tests or very detailed tests.  But, at the very least, you should test for:

Infographic showing good drinking water
Water is VItal to Our Health
  • General Chemistry
  • Hardness & Alkalinity
  • Toxic & Heavy Metals
  • Nitrate & Nitrite
  • Coliform & E.coli
  • Silica


I was working to get a hobby farm ready to close in Tennessee, and we had ordered a water test from the county environmental office.  They wouldn’t give us a time frame to conduct this test, so we had ordered a private test just to make sure we could close on time.  I had asked the county office to notify me when they were going out so I could be there to let them inside.  So, one day (without any notification) I received a phone call from the county environmental agent that the house had failed the test and the closing was not going to happen.  You can imagine the confusion that this caused since everyone involved was ready to move.  Well, it just so happened that the private tester was due the next day, so we decided to go ahead with his test as well.  But, this time I was notified and met him at the house for access, and then I watched to see how he conducted the test.   He went to the kitchen faucet, unscrewed the little tip, and cleaned the whole thing.  He then let the water run for about 5 minutes to clear out the lines.  Then he collected the specimen for testing.  And guess what, it came back perfectly OK!  So, I called the county office to see what their testing protocol involved, and they said they just filled a bottle from an outside faucet.  Of course, it wouldn’t test well.  It was outside, weeds had grown up around it to allow any kind of little critters up into that faucet.  Not to mention the dust and dirt that is part of being outside.  In the end, the lender and buyer accepted the private test and allowed us to close.  The moral of this story is to investigate how any well water testing is done for yourself and not take anyone’s word for it.

Don’t ever forget how important it is to check out everything about a well.  An Exclusive Buyer’s Agent is invaluable when buying a new home.  This is a time when you need all the protection you can get.

It would be a good idea to check for water output as well.  The well should produce 3-5 gallons per minute because it’s no good unless it can produce enough water for your family.  Another test to consider is a radon test.  Yes, radon can be in the water and it’s very dangerous.  It can be removed from water by aeration, which lets the gas escape without coming into your house.

Cost of Drilling a Well

The cost of drilling a well depends on many things.  Obviously, depth is a huge factor, but rocky soil that hard to drill through would increase the cost.  The price could range from $5,000 to $15,000 depending on the individual situation.

Well Water FAQ

  • Is it safe to drink well water?  Yes, see the above article.  Purify the water with an ultraviolet light or carbon filtration and it is very safe.
    Water Testing Infographic
    Water Testing is a Must!
  • How is Well Water tested?  By a Private Lab or County Environmental Office
  • Do You Pay for Water if You Have a Well?  NO!  There are no water bills!
  • Why does Well Water Smell?  It can smell as a result of sulfur.  This can also discolor your sinks and bathtubs.  It can be filtered out of the water.
  • Can You Get Parasites from Well Water?  Yes, they can be present if the water is not purified.
  • How Often Should You Chlorinate?  It shouldn’t have to be chlorinated at all.  Ultraviolet light or carbon filtration should take care of any contaminants in the water.
  • Can the well run out of water?  Yes, that’s why it should be tested for the volume of output.  It should be 3-5 gallons per minute.
  • How Dirty is Well Water?  It shouldn’t be dirty at all.  But again, purification and/or filtration is the answer.
  • Is Well Water Healthier than City Water?  Yes, I believe it is for all the above reasons.
  • Is Well Water Better than Bottled Water?  It depends on the way the bottled water has been purified.  If it’s reverse osmosis, it’s usually good water.  But, many water bottlers just use water out of the tap and call it bottled water.
  • Is Well Water Soft or Hard?  That would be a testing issue – but most homes that I’ve seen with well water have a water softener installed.  Hard water can be a real problem, so it’s best to check it out.
  • Can You Use a Well and a Septic Tank?  Yes, most homes outside the city limits will have a septic tank – and they should be located 50-100′ away from the well.  The septic lines should be at least 100′ away from the well.
  • Where Does the Water  Come From?  Groundwater comes from aquifers and springs under the ground.
  • How Well does it Work Without Electricity?  You would need a power source, which could be solar panels or a generator.  Or, you could install a manual pump, which needs no electricity.
  • Will Boiling Well Water Kill Bacteria?  It would probably kill some bacteria, but to be safe I would use the ultraviolet light or carbon filtration system.

Please contact me or call 615-428-8500 with any questions you have.  I look forward to hearing from you and helping you find your new home~

Well Water. Good or Bad?

Well Water? Good or Bad? The Pros and Cons of Well Water vs. City Water

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