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Cisterns vs Water Well: Which Is Better?

Canadian rivers dispense almost nine percent of the global renewable water supply. Common ways of extracting water include using water wells and cisterns. Wondering what's the difference between a cistern and water well? Here’s a quick guide to the pros and cons of water wells and cisterns to help you decide. 


What Is a Cistern and How Is It Different From a Water Well? 

While both cisterns and water wells provide water supply, there’s a difference between how they do so. Water wells tap into underground water, and consumers have to use a pump or a bucket to draw water from below.


Meanwhile, cisterns are containers found either aboveground or underground. The primary purpose of a water cistern is not to tap into an existing water source, but instead, it’s to store rainwater.


Unlike water wells, a homeowner needs to fill the cisterns with water. While it’s mostly used to store rainfall, you can pump water from the well and direct it into cisterns. 


Cisterns vs Water Wells

As for water supply, with a cistern water system, you’re no longer dependent on public water suppliers. However, the downside is that you have to be wary and ensure that your cisterns are full. Also, there’s a limit to how much cisterns can store, making them unreliable during long droughts. 


You have plenty of water supply with water wells, especially since Canada is home to big water sources. This means that you don’t have to take on the extra task of refilling your cisterns now and then. 



Installing cisterns are more expensive than drilling a well. It also needs a bi-yearly cleaning which can cost you around $650 per cleaning. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that cisterns aren’t a cost-effective option. You can collect and use rainwater in your cisterns for domestic activities such as flushing toilets. This will help cut the need to buy potable water, minimizing expenses. 


Meanwhile, aside from the bi-yearly chlorination, water wells have a lower maintenance cost. Yet it does rely on electricity which means an extra load on your bills. 



Poly-cisterns are long-lasting as they can last for at least 20 years. Cisterns made with steel can go for as long as 30 years and up. While water wells can serve you for a minimum of 25 years or more.



Did you know that the results from the 12,000 water tests carried out in 11 major cities in Canada between 2014 and 2018? It yielded that one-third of the population has lead content, exceeding the safety level of five parts per billion.


The research found that old pipes and public service lines connecting homeowners to the main water supply are the largest sources of lead. If you’re among the millions sourcing water from such pipes and service lines, you’re water is likely contaminated. 


However, when you have cisterns, you can avoid such as you can source water from rainfall. However, you’ll have to install a disinfectant system. This will allow you to create safe and drinkable water without worrying about possible water contamination. 


Dedicated Water System Partner in Sherwood Park! 

Whether you’re going for the classic water well or opting to install cisterns, Westar Drilling Ltd. is here for you! Since 1988, we’ve provided efficient and high-quality service across sectors. 


What are you waiting for? Talk to our team today and reap the benefits of getting dedicated service from one of the best in the industry. 



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