Home » Well Water vs. Spring Water [Costs, Collection, Quality & Taste Compared]

Well Water vs. Spring Water [Costs, Collection, Quality & Taste Compared]

Updated on February 17, 2023

Well water is pumped from an aquifer below the earth’s surface. Spring water is found where the aquifer is close to the earth’s surface. It may also bubble up through the surface if the spring is artesian. An artesian spring, also known as an artesian well, brings underground water to the surface due to pressure exerted on water by the aquifer.


Well water and spring water are both underground water sources. A well is dug into the ground, and water is pumped via a pump and stored in a storage tank. It is mostly treated (filtered/softened) before being supplied to your home. Each state has different laws to build a well, and the depth of the well also varies from one location to another.

The only difference in collecting spring water is that it is taken from an above-the-ground source.

spring water is that it is taken from an above the ground source

Cost of Using Water

You don’t have to pay for well water or spring water. There is no monthly bill for both of these sources. However, some other costs are associated with using well water and spring water.

For example, drilling, piping, water storage, testing, and filtration costs are costs associated with using well water. The costs with spring water are laying pipes (can be very high depending on the distance between source and point of use), pumps, filtration, and storage systems.

Both these sources also have additional costs like obtaining permits from local authorities, contractor charges, and routine maintenance for well equipment such as pumps, electric switches, and water filters.

Water Quality

Well water is generally better than spring water because surface water is usually contaminated. Human activities, animal wastes, sewage and wastewater treatment, fertilizers, industrial waste, and environmental pollution has destroyed spring water quality.

All these factors also impact well water, but the impact is lesser. Moreover, well water is also filtered naturally by sand. Well water is believed to be rich in minerals and healthy nutrients.

People who use spring water or well water often install treatment systems to enhance water quality and make them fit for drinking.


Every water source tastes different. There is a slight taste difference in city water if you move from one city to another. Similarly, water from two wells tastes different because of different compositions. Spring water’s taste also depends on its composition and minerals/contaminants present in it.

Can Springs and Water Wells go Dry?

Yes. Springs and water wells can dry when the source (aquifer) goes dry. However, it usually takes a few decades before these sources go dry. For example, a water well may last 30-50 years, depending on the aquifer’s health and water usage.

30-50 years depending on aquifer’s health and water usage

Is Bottled Water better than Spring and Well Water?

It depends on what you prefer. Bottled water is treated and regulated by the FDA. However, well and spring water need to be tested and treated (in most cases) to make them drinkable. Many people reject bottled water because of environmental concerns (plastic) and prefer the city or well water. Well water and spring water quality is the user’s responsibility.

Is City (tap) water better than Spring and Well Water?

City water is tested and treated before being supplied to your home. Although city water is regulated by EPA, it can still catch contaminants from plumbing systems and water pipes. Well water and spring water are underground water sources and are maintained privately. It gives you the freedom to monitor water quality. Well water is usually better than city water because it is rich in minerals and healthy nutrients.

Read More: Well Water VS City Water: Benefits and Harms Discussed

Conclusion – Which is better: Well Water or Spring Water?

Finding an uncontaminated spring water source anywhere in the world is difficult. Human and animal activities have contaminated these natural sources. Well water is better than spring water because it hasn’t been contaminated to the same extent. Moreover, it is filtered by the sand and often treated by homeowners and communities before drinking. So, you can say that well water is better and healthy than spring water for drinking.


  • Earl Rojo

    Earl Rojo has been a senior mechanic in well drilling and maintenance firms for 3 years. He is from Longview, Texas, and he loves sharing his experience with others. He frequently writes on various well water issues with a special focus on well maintenance and drinking water quality.

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