How much it costs to switch from well water to city water

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- The investigation continues into the water at Gilmer Park. After talking to residents, the health department, ABC 57 News sought to find out how much it actually costs to switch to city water. 

We depend on our water for a lot of things. We drink it. We bathe in it. We wash our dishes in it. But if the health department told you it was suddenly unsafe to do that, what would you do? 

That's what the residents of Gilmer Park are dealing with. They rely on their wells for water but the St. Joseph County Health Department is telling them they need to make a few changes. Changes residents say they can't afford. 

A local plumber told ABC 57 News, hooking up to city water from well water could cost anywhere from $2,000 to $4,000 depending on the size of your property and how far contractors will have to pull the water line from point A to point B. 

On top of that, their monthly water bill could range from $50 to $70 per month, according to the St. Joseph County Health Department. 

Cheryl Hatfield lives in Gilmer Park and says she doesn't need that extra expense. 

“We don’t want the bill. And you know what, if they want the taxes, if they want the money, go to Granger. That’s where the money’s at. It’s not here," says Hatfield. 

But, there are a few options you can buy at your local home improvement store.

Dan Smesseart is an expert when it comes to home plumbing and he pointed out a few in-home filtration devices. 

“If it’s just drinking water they’re worried about then the reverse osmosis is probably most useful to them," says Smesseart. “Most of the time what people will do is out the reverse osmosis under their sink and run a line to the ice maker in the refrigerator, and that’s going to take care of most of what you’re consuming.”

The models Smesseart is suggesting can range from around $150 to $300. But he says in order to filer the water throughout your home, that will cost much more. 

“I know they have reverse osmosis systems for the whole house but you can’t get them in the store. That’s more of a contractor thing but I do know those could be very expensive," says Smesseart. 

The health department says there are funding assistance programs available but Hatfield doesn't buy it. 

“They say, oh we can get you discounts, we can do abatements and all this other stuff. Yeah, okay, they say that now but are they really going to follow through with it?” says Hatfield.

A local plumber says when you switch your water lines from well to city, contractors have to dig a 4 feet deep tunnel through your yard. The price to fix the lawn was not included in estimates.

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