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NGWA releases study on financial advantages of water wells vs. regional pipelines

April 5, 2021  By National Ground Water Association

Westerville, Ohio – The National Ground Water Association has released a new study outlining the cost efficiency of private and local water wells over long regional pipelines in rural and suburban areas.

The white paper, Cost Comparisons of Local Groundwater Sources to Regional Waterlines, reports that even with additional water treatment and potential upfront costs, water wells can be a more cost-efficient source of clean drinking water in much of the United States. The white paper shows this through seven case studies.

Groundwater supplies more than 41 million Americans with private water wells and another 87 million through groundwater-supplied public water systems. While there are key advantages and disadvantages to both private water well and public water systems, the study outlines that financially private local water systems cost less over time.


The study provides data from 2018, which compares the cost of private water well installation and maintenance vs. that of regional waterlines in seven rural and suburban areas in the United States. The data indicates that while the average cost of a private water well is almost $10,000, the ongoing cost of providing water to a home, even with proper maintenance, is less than that of a regional pipeline.

“While each situation should be evaluated individually, generally less dependence on imported water from distant sources offers the opportunity to maintain lower operational costs. This consideration will be important to rural and suburban residents’ decisions about managing their water supply,” noted Chuck Job, lead contributor to the study and NGWA’s manager of regulatory affairs.

In addition to the long-term financial benefit of private and local water systems, the white paper also identifies the advantages in the owner’s ability to manage their own water quality and well maintenance.

Cost Comparisons of Local Groundwater Sources to Regional Waterlines is free for NGWA members. It costs $150 for non-members.

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