Is it cheaper to maintain a private decentralized system or hook into the public system for drinking water?
Thing is IF a public utility has water mains and sewer upgraded to travel past your property then you will not have much choice you will be forced took hook up to them. Like here we are hooked up to public sewer but water is catty-cornered to our property so they can force us on public sewer we have 5 parcels of land our home is on 1, trailer park 20 lots sits on 2nd, 3 more lots on two parcels across the street, and 2 acre field with nothing on it. We have no meters and provide water, sewage, & trash as part of our rents. Wastewater company charges us flat rate for each parcel. Even the vacant lot pays $52.00+/-. So we pay $52.00/mo. for our house, $52.00/mo. for 20 lots on 2nd parcel, $52.00/mo. for 1 lot on 3rd parcel, $52.00/mo. for 2 lots on 4th parcel, and $52.00/mo. For 0 lots on 5th parcel $260.00/mo.×12=$3120.00/yr. Total + so far average $1500.00+/- per year for all required samples,(provided we don't have any bad samples), or about $4700.00/yr.
If we wanted to hook in to city water, (and this goes for everywhere in the U.S.A.) we would be considered developers and we would have to pay to bury a water main (North),from 4501 block thru 4699 so 2 blocks to serve our properties. But it doesn't stop there they make you do a right turn and also run a main, (East), to the next block over, even though we would never use it ourselves! We would have to use a contractor that is familiar with there systems and what their required standard installation is. So in essence you have to pay the contractor that they approve, (choose), to put in their water main so they can charge you for the water for the rest of your life. We would have to pay go under the road to start and then anotherroad at the 4649-4651 addresses so 2 roads on the north road and 2 fire hydrants. Then I could make the turn on my property and we would pay for about 700 ft of water main and a fire hydrant at the end. Wait a minute we went under another road or 2 blocks north so they make me run another 700 ft water main and fire hydrant at the end! So I have to pay for the installation of 2800 ft. of 12" or maybe it down to 10" out here (they pay for the pipe anyway and the fire hydrants and fittings)! It is not as expensive here as other states but it would cost about $10,000.00perblock and I would have to pay for 4!!! ($40,000.00) The ironic thing is I am a heavy equipment operator and a retired licensed and bonded general contractor. I could put some of my out of work tenants to work or just grab some of my crew that are now out bidding jobs trying to stay independant and work for themselves. Thing is I could do all the work renting the equipment I'd need and put good hard working people to work and do it for $10,000.00 or less. But they won't let me or you unless you have already been working installing their water mains and meet their qualifications. In other words you need to already work for them to get them to let you do the work for them!!!
So $40,000.00+(23×$500.00)=$51,500.00+$7,000.00=$58,500.00÷$4,700.00=12.45 years to pay for change over that is not a good return of investment. If I wait for them or someone else to install the water mains, I could change over for only $18,500.00÷$4,700=3.94 yrs. To get a return on my investment that's less than 4 years that's a good investment!
The answer given by TWALT is not true everywhere. The public water line runs past my house on my property and I only recently hooked up. I wasn't forced to do so.
If you have a good well, it would be less expensive to stay with your system. The electricity to run the pump is minimal, and you don't have too replace the pump often.
You can easily find what your local water company charges for water, and to tap into their line. Compare that to the cost of replacing your water pump. If you are capable of replacing your own pump, you are probably better off as is.