Well Water vs. Tap Water

Tap water running from black faucet in a kitchen

Many of us don’t drink enough water, but proper hydration plays a role in healthy digestion, joint lubrication, nutritional absorption, and regulating body temperature. It can even make skin and hair look younger and healthier.

Many people wonder about the benefits of well water vs. tap water and which is better, particularly those who are concerned about water contaminants and the impact they might have on their health and wellness.

You may have a choice between tap water and well water, which is why it’s important to understand the differences and health benefits of each.

What is the Difference Between Well Water vs. Tap Water?

Well water and tap water both have their benefits, but the most important difference between well water vs. tap water is that well water tends to taste better to most people because it is fresh and has not been treated with chemicals.

What Are the Benefits of Drinking Tap Water?

Drinking enough water is essential for good health. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the average adult male body is 60% water while the average adult female body is about 55% water.

Tap water may not always taste as good as well water, but as covered by Healthline, there are still benefits to drinking it.

  • Tap water contains essential minerals including calcium and magnesium.
  • Drinking tap water has less of an environmental impact than drinking water from plastic bottles.
  • Tap water is inexpensive and convenient.
  • It provides the same hydration benefits as well water.

Tap water is accessible to most people in the United States and can provide the hydration needed for good health.

Well water in a bucket over a brick well

What Are the Benefits of Drinking Well Water?

Well water is not as widely available as tap water, but the Environmental Protection Agency estimates that approximately 23 million Americans rely on private well water.

Because it is not treated with chemicals, well water often has a cleaner, fresher taste than municipal water supplies. 

  • Well water is typically higher in healthy minerals and nutrients than tap water.
  • Well water comes from deep under the ground and is clean and fresh-tasting.
  • Well water is less likely than tap water to become contaminated during a natural disaster.

The primary downside of relying on private well water is that it falls to the owner to maintain and repair the well when there are problems.

How is Well Water Purified?

Well water may be considered clean and good-tasting, but it still requires treatment and it’s the responsibility of the owner to ensure that the water is safe to drink.

The Centers for Disease Control points out the risks of drinking untreated well water, which include the potential presence of impurities and microorganisms.

Here are some methods that answer the question, “How is well water purified?”

  • Filtration systems work by passing water through a physical barrier or putting it through a chemical or biological process.
  • Distillation systems work by boiling water, evaporating it, and condensing the steam in a separate container, thus leaving most solid contaminants behind.
  • Softening treatments remove “hard” minerals such as calcium and magnesium which, when present in high quantities, can leave deposits on hair, skin, and appliances.
  • Disinfection systems use chemicals or biological treatments, including chlorine or UV light, to remove harmful bacteria from well water.

Anybody who owns a private well should conduct water testing before deciding what type of filtration or disinfection to do since each well is unique. Deep well water treatment may be necessary in some cases.

Spring Water vs. Well Water

Some bottled water comes from springs, which leads us to the question of whether spring water is better than well water. The primary difference between spring water and well water is that spring water flows over the surface of the ground while well water is pumped from deep within the ground.

Both types of water are naturally clean and pure-tasting. However, the safest choice is still to treat water before drinking it.

Should Tap Water Be Filtered Before Drinking?

People who rely on tap water for drinking and cooking may wonder if they should filter or treat their tap water before they drink it. The answer is: it depends.

Most municipal water is safe to drink as it comes from the tap. That said, there can be significant differences in the taste of tap water from one location to the next. The mineral content of water isn’t the same everywhere.

People who are concerned about contaminants or who don’t like the taste of the local tap water may choose to install a filter. Those who own a house may opt for a whole-house filtration system while apartment dwellers may choose between a filter that fits over a faucet or using a filtration pitcher.

Filtering tap water can help to improve its taste by removing chemical smells and may provide protection for people who fear their municipal water supply is not as safe as it could be.

Well Water and Tap Water Provide Health Benefits

The question of whether well water vs. tap water is better is largely one of taste and preference. If treated properly, water from either source should be safe to drink and provide the hydration that people require to be healthy.

This entry was posted in Health, Home & Garden, Science and tagged , . By Aimee Parrott