Do You Have a Water Bill With a Well?

If you get your household water from a private well, you may be wondering if you still have to pay a water bill each month. The answer depends on a few key factors.

No Monthly Water Bills

The main perk of having a well is that you do not receive monthly bills for water usage from a utility provider. The well water comes from your own private supply, so there is no third party sending invoices.

This can lead to significant cost savings over time compared to paying a water company. Your only costs are those associated with operating and maintaining the well itself.

So in terms of a recurring bill coming in the mail – no, you do not get billed for consumption when you have well water. The water itself is free once you drill the well.

But Not Necessarily Free

However, that doesn’t mean well water is free in the broader sense. Here are some costs to keep in mind:

  • Initial drilling – Depending on depth and terrain, drilling a new well can cost $3,000-$12,000 upfront. This investment provides water access over the long term.

  • Energy for pumping – Electricity is required to pump water from the underground well into your home. This ongoing utility cost powers the pressurization.

  • System maintenance – Periodic cleaning, inspection, pump servicing, and repairs are needed to keep your well functioning properly.

  • Water testing – You’ll need to test for contaminants and water quality parameters 1-2 times per year, which has a fee.

  • Water treatment – Filtration, softening, or purification systems are common additional costs if issues arise.

So while you avoid a usage bill, legitimate expenses still exist with a private well. The maintenance responsibility also falls on you rather than a utility.

Calculate Long-Term Costs

When deciding between well water and tapping into public water from the city, look at projected costs over 5-10 years for each option:

  • One-time well drilling cost

  • Yearly costs for electricity, testing, treatment, etc.

  • Cumulative monthly water bills from the municipality

This gives you a better picture of total outlay. Wells have larger upfront investment, while city water incurs ongoing usage fees.

Over time, wells often come out cheaper – but verify based on your specific situation. All costs for properly maintaining a well must be accounted for.

Impact on Home Value

Most mortgage lenders actually prefer properties on public water over well water. The reliability and regulatory oversight provides them peace of mind.

So while a well may save you money every month, it could work against you if trying to maximize home resale value down the road.

This is a longer term consideration when weighing the overall pros and cons of paying for city water versus drilling a well on your land.

Consider Convenience

Sure, you avoid paying a direct invoice each month. But with a well, you take on the responsibility of ensuring safe, adequate water for your household.

If issues arise, you have to put in time, effort, and/or money to fix them. And problems can happen more frequently than with municipal systems.

So evaluate whether the convenience of having the city manage and monitor your water is worth the monthly rates. For some homeowners, handing over those duties is preferable.

Install a Meter

To track your well water usage, have a meter installed on the distribution line from the well into your home. Then you can monitor gallons used monthly and take steps to improve efficiency.

Tracking data also alerts you quicker to possible leaks or abnormal usage which could signify an issue needing attention.

Metered monitoring gives you more control over your “invisible” water supply since you don’t get a statement in the mail.

Well Water Regulations

Importantly, be aware that well water is not regulated by EPA or health department standards. You manage water quality entirely on your own.

This means taking responsibility for regular testing, installing treatment systems if needed, and confirming safety for all household uses. Don’t take this duty lightly.

While avoiding water bills seems attractive, you trade it for accountability over your isolated water source.

Weigh the Pros and Cons

Living off the grid with your own private well can be rewarding when you want independence and cost savings. But recognize it also comes with responsibility.

Do your homework when deciding between tying into public utilities or drilling a well during new construction or a home purchase. Know what you are getting into when managing your own water supply from the ground up.


Is water free on a well?


No water bill: You can use as much water as you’d like and never have to worry about a bill when using a private well. The only reason you’d pay is if you’re using city water for wastewater (such as showering, flushing the toilet, etc…), although you can install a septic tank to avoid these costs.

Do you save money by having a well?


One benefit of installing your own well is that you’ll no longer need to pay municipal water bills. You’ll only need to pay for the electricity to operate the pump (about $3–$4 per month), plus maintenance costs of $100–$250 per year. Compared to a monthly utility bill of $20–$40, you can save up to $500 a year.

What are the disadvantages of well water?


Well water drawbacks Well water is straight from the ground and unprotected. Bad taste: Unfiltered well water sometimes has a sulfur-like taste due to high levels of iron. Stains, spots and buildups: The hard water that comes directly from wells can leave spots on dishes and cookware.

What maintenance is required for a well?


Wells should be checked and tested ANNUALLY for mechanical problems, cleanliness, and the presence of certain contaminants, such as coliform bacteria, nitrates/nitrites, and any other contaminants of local concern, (for example, arsenic and radon).

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