Water Well Basics in Texas
A water well is a structure created in the ground by drilling to access groundwater in underground aquifers. The well water is drawn by a mechanical pump and pressurized to provide water for a home or business. In Texas, water is considered a scarce resource. For many years, concerned citizens have worked to protect and maintain clean water in Texas and even argued over who “owns” the water in underground aquifers. In order to drill a water well in Texas, there are some restrictions. However, there is currently no formal permitting process in place for drilling a water well.
The Pros of a Water Well
A water well appeals primarily to the independent individual who prefers to be “off the grid”. A water well, while expensive to drill upfront, will provide an unlimited supply of water at only the cost to pump it out. No more water bills, ever.
Other pros to a water well are also:
- It can be cleaner than municipal water sources
- It ensures independence from municipality
- It avoids possible contamination from communal water supply
- It can be installed in remote locations
The Cons of a Water Well
- Initial installation costs can range between $20,000 and $30,000, where a city water connection fee may only be $5,000 or $6,000 (water only, sewer is usually separate)
- The cost of additional filters to remove sediments and dissolved materials. Depending on the area, the water can be very heavy in dissolved materials. Some wells are in areas with sodium deposits and have a high salt content, which can damage fixtures and plants if not removed. Other areas are in limestone and have high sediment.
- Maintenance responsibility falls on the owner
- As droughts continue and water tables drop, the water well may have periods of low water and might need to be drilled deeper