In New York, many people are faced with choosing between a public or a private water system. In many cases, in New York, you do not have a choice. In some cases, the only option is a private water system. There are about 21 million homes in the U.S. that rely on septic systems. If you can choose between a private or a public water system, which one should you choose?
What Are Private Water Systems?
Private water systems are privately owned systems as defined by the Environmental Protection Agency, as water systems that serve no more than 25 people at least 60 days out of the year and have on average no more than fifteen connections.
Most private water systems in New York are ground wells that are fed from groundwater. In many cases, a private water system includes a septic system to manage waste. Many homeowners have to finance the cost of developing a private water system. This can pose problems if their credit is not in the best shape. About 35% of your credit score is related to whether you pay your bills on time. A few late payments and it can impact your ability to finance a private water system.
Cost is a big factor when choosing a private system over a public system. For example, if you are going to have your own private system installed, then you will have to pay out of pocket for the well and the well pump system, and all the pipework.
Of course, if you live a certain distance from the road, it can also get expensive to tie into a public water system. Typically, over time, private water systems are less expensive overall.
What Are Public Water Systems/
Public water systems are municipal systems that are managed by local government and state entities. They usually serve hundreds of thousands of people and in some cases, millions of people. Public water systems are usually closely monitored, making the system potentially safer than private systems.
According to a study done by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) about 23% of 2000 wells tested contained at least one contaminant that was above safe levels and posed a health concern. In the urban areas of New York, public water systems are the most common option.
Public water systems are reliable. The water is treated to a specific standard, and as long as you pay your bill there will always be water waiting at the tap.
Which One is Right for You?
Location really matters when you are deciding whether a private system or a public system is the right choice for your home in New York. If you can take advantage of a public system, in most cases you should. It is a cost-effective, worry-free option. You will not have to worry about maintenance or tremendous out-of-pocket start-up expenses.
If you live in a rural area of New York, you may have the option of tying into the public water system, but at a cost. You will need to compare public and private water systems to see which option is the most cost-effective option. When you are running the numbers, be sure to include the cost of maintenance on a private system and the cost of gambling with reliability.
Many public systems will charge per foot to bring water to your home. Depending on how far from the road your home is will dictate the cost. It is really a personal choice that depends on how much you are willing to invest in upfront costs.
It is A Lot to Think About It
Water is a necessity, it is something every home and business needs. Making the right choice in New York about where and how your water supply is delivered requires a closer look. Ultimately, it all comes down to what you consider the best value for both your budget and your peace of mind.